Just an exercise. Trying to get bigger, more interesting words back into my active vocabulary.

Does this sound stodgy to you, or is it nice?



The cat looks intently at the edge of the table. Her bronze eyes bespeak her intentions: she would try her reign from this elevated place. Coiling springlike energy down into her haunches, an instant of quiet tension and calculation. Then, in one powerful movement, she launches herself three feet into the air, hooks her paws on the edge and forwards herself even higher, a leap of such precision and delicacy that might put any prima donna to shame. By the time gravity catches up with her, it is too late; she has already gained purchase of her goal with all four paws. A wondrous maneuver, brilliantly executed.

Unfortunately, she cannot stay.

You scoop one open hand under her belly, lift her scant weight with hardly an effort, and transport her to an area which is more convenient for you. The instant you pick weight up off of her legs, they become silken fluid. She droops, either extreme of her small form dangling, limp as wet seaweed, from your unyielding support. Her apparent power has been shattered. She knows the futility of struggling in this gargantuan grip. Instinct and training directs her to wait until she is liberated, as struggle will only injure. The cat has been effectively paused.

Once you arrive at an adequately removed location, you deposit her back on her dainty feet with a inconsequential drop of a few inches. She absorbs the concussion with all the grace of a liquid creature.

Her coat is ruffled from your handling of her, and from her discontent. The tip of her tail indignantly flicks. This goddess, a miniature incarnation of noble wilderness, in whose eyes still blaze the sands of ancient Egypt, has had her will defied.

Disoriented, she sniffs, acquainting herself with the alternative locale, and selects for herself a new throne. She will not spare a glance in your direction.














  • What a great exercise! Love the words “silken fluid.” Have you thought about writing the same thing at the opposite extreme — with almost no modifiers? I think that’s another way to stretch oneself as a writer. By the way, a cat’s will may be detoured or delayed, but never make the mistake that it is completely defied! HA!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I tend to write really spare anyway.
      I’ve noticed myself using the same boring old words and phrases a lot, but I know I’ve got lots of fun and crazy words in me! You’re right though, I should try flipping it around.
      Haha, yeah, the cat’s just going to wait until you’re not looking and then get her way just the same 😁

      Liked by 1 person

  • Definitely not stodgy, and far betterer than nice, and I loved your line, “Limp as wet seaweed”,

    Liked by 2 people

  • I want to be honest with you. The first sentence is great and has energy. The rest drowns in the $5 words. I understand what you’re trying to do and it’s a valuable exercise for a writer, as is Waywardsparkles’ idea, going full Ray Carver.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, I also think it had its moments but it goes a little overboard, haha. I appreciate your honesty! 🙂

      Liked by 2 people

    • I disagree. I feel that this entire piece is full of energy and emotion for such a subject. The beginning is so engaging, I felt as if I was at the same level with the cat – I was in her world. The amazing aerobics that animals can perform with ease; the cat jumps with an amazing explosion of energy, an intense moment! But then just like that we’re brought back to reality, the human can simply grab the kitty, turning it into a limp furball, and foil its plan to eat the food off of the cutting board. Intervening with the hunt. I love the part about the eyes reflecting the sands of Egypt. It really plays into the cat’s world – cats totally know they are superior, ancient creatures, but somehow we can ruin their plans of world domination so easily. I love how clever the piece is, putting us in the cat’s mind and everyday struggles of living in a world of hoomans.

      Liked by 1 person

      • It’s OK, I was actually really pleased that Paula was honest with her criticism. Any writer worth her salt values a good critic as highly as she values her fans. I think she had a great point, from a very technical, fellow writer’s perspective. She verified something that I kind of felt was true but hadn’t had anyone corroborate yet.
        On the other hand… or the same hand… you’re also right. It had great imagery, which I think is why, as a visual person (and a kitty lover), you enjoyed it so much. Even though the story was kind of pointless, it was a lot of fun too, and sometimes that’s all something needs to be.
        I love you both. Please argue on all my posts so I can analyze you and my work through you 😀

        Liked by 1 person

  • And, kitty said “Talk to the paw!” 🐾

    Liked by 3 people

  • Good writing. I enjoyed it. And yet, subjective judgement is a sentimental luxury of the poor. The ethos of our age requires us to put aside sentiment and judge this piece in objective economic terms. Indeed, I find it contributes nothing to the GDP. Nothing!

    Liked by 1 person

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