Finding My Characters in the Strangest Places

In searching for ways to breathe life into my heros and heroines, as well others who populate my books, I shuffle through people I've met or who had caught my attention. Combining parts of several personalities, transforms my characters into fully rounded people. 

As I was sitting on my deck during some unusually warm winter weather watching my dog and cats, a novel idea hit me. Watching the animals interact, I realized they each had a unique personality and reacted to  their environment with the variety of a group of friends As I watched, here's who I saw:

Mag—She's shy but loves her friends. She isn’t comfortable with strangers. She’s a ferocious mother willing to take on anything to protect her children.
Darwin-Outgoing, friendly and slightly overweight . Always says please and thank you and likes people from two to eighty-two.
Martin-Ruler of his realm, the king-honest, fair but rules with an iron glove. Willing to get his hands dirty for a good cause.
Bosco-An independent young woman, beautiful and sure of herself. Loves to try new things.
Dottie- An athlete who loves to meet new people, feels the joy of life, an adventurer.
Fargo-Bitchy and always wants her way. She is willing to do anything to get it. Not afraid to use force to make her point.
Boon-A big clown, loves to joke but a little unsure of himself in new areas.
Cindy-Aggressive when she needs to be, quiet and able to assess the situation with a glance. She's very confident in her abilities.
Suzie-Able to take care of anything that comes at her. Perfectionist. Kind and Capable.

Mag is actually Mixed Magic, a registered Munchkin female cat. She was one of my favorites when I was breeding kittens, and although I re-homed most of my breeders, I had her spayed and kept her. Now she rules the roost among the cats.
Darwin is a black cat given to us when we were building our home. He’s loves to cuddle and eat. He weighs in at fifteen pounds. He’s bigger than the rest of the cats, but he’s happy letting them set the rules.
Martin is my male registered Munchkin. He’s chocolate and fathered many chocolate and pointed kittens. He’s so sweet that I had to keep him, too. He always goes for walks with me and helps round up the calves. I think he thinks he’s a border collie.
Bosco is a chocolate long legged kitten from Magic and Martin’s last litter. Her best friend is our dog, Dottie. She is the best hunter we have and a real beauty.
Dottie is our Border Collie. She loves Bosco, playing and herding cattle. She’s not much of a guard dog because she loves everyone she meets.
Fargo is my barrel racing horse. As a mare, she has earned the right to be a little cranky. She takes it to the extreme. If she hadn’t transitioned to such a good heel horse for my son to team rope on, she might be gone by now.
Boon is my husband’s head horse for team roping. His childhood was marred by being attacked by a cougar when he was a colt, but he recovered and it hasn’t affected his attitude. He’s a happy animal (maybe he’s just glad to be alive) and he loves to be around his friends, that translates to any other horse.
Cindy was a red Australian Shepherd we owned for years. She would be the heroine in anyone’s story. I can say she was the best dog we ever had the pleasure of having in our lives. She could anticipate what a cow would do and head it off without a word from us. RIP Cindy.
Suzie’s Last Flight was the best barrel horse I ever had the pleasure of riding. She was a joy to be around and was as talented as any horse being hauled down the road. She was sweet and loved her treats.

Whether I'm watching people or animals, they all have their own personality traits and make a wonderful treasure trove for my make believe characters.

What animals have graced your lives?