At the library's book sale the other day, Katie brought home some children's books, with one being Carl Goes to Daycare, by Alexandra Day. Carl intrigued me even before I had children when he was in I believe Good Housekeeping magazine. Good dog Carl, a rotwieller (spell check and the dictionary isn't helping me with this spelling!) in mostly an almost Victorian style illustrated book, does every thing for a toddler, Madeleine. I love the series.(I goggled it and it is Rottweiller. Spell check still wants me to write rototiller!)
When my youngest daughter was born, I believe these books influenced how I thought of my Siamese cat, Princess. She scolded me and followed me until I took care of whatever made Mary Ellen cry. I could picture a series of books with Nanny Princess and chubby baby adventures. First the introduction, then they go to the beach or camping in the mountains like Parker Dam or Raystown Lake in the middle of Pennsylvania,then helping the older girl, a precocious blond, get ready for first grade and the events of the day without Katie.
Is it any wonder then that my girls have made stories and voices for our present animals? Steven, our Siamese now, is a Ninja, who was in 'Nam, trained Chuck Norris or the other way around, sometimes suffering from PTSD. He speaks in a Zen voice, all knowing and condescending. No intimidation of Harrison.
Harrison is my mixed beagle. His mom is the squatty, bug eyed beagle, that he really doesn't remember and we don't know who Daddy is, so he suffers from that insecurity. His voice is a combination of Napoleon Dynamite and Doug from Up. He deems Steven his equal, but Clarence, he bullies.
Clarence, the world's biggest kitten, is a taupe striped cat that I acquired from a home on Mosquito Lake. He was the next to last to go of his 10 litter mates, which may explain his more animal affinity. He doesn't really connect with the humans, except when it is cold and he'll lay beside you, never on your lap, or when food is involved. He and Harrison have that in common. Noise, smell or even intention of eating will bring these two to our sides. He still has a high pitched voice like Steven's, but innocent. He never realizes he does wrong. "I don't know how that vase made it to the ground with such a tinkling sound. I love to watch things fall."
If I scold Clarence, he half lids his eyes as if to shield himself from unpleasantness. Another annoying habit he has is falling down right in front of where you intend to walk, jumps up and runs ahead of you, starting all over again.
The back stories are from Mary Ellen's imagination and Katie voiced them. We all have embellished on these characters. I have gotten so used to it, that I talk to the animals expecting the voices. No, don't call mental health. Tell me you don't do this in some way. And I know Walt Disney and many others have made money, lots of it, voicing animal characters.