I will be the first to admit that I”m the worlds biggest rule-breaker when it comes to my writing. I’m not afraid to try anything, especially in regards to POV. There is, however, one unwritten rule you don’t see discussed much. The one about the cat. You know–as in don’t kill it. This *seems* to hold true for movies too. But why?
(BSG SPOILERS BELOW–so if you didn’t watch last week’s episode yet, you were warned)
I thought about this all week long….ever since I watched the last Battlestar Gallactica episode. This episode really bothered me for a lot of reasons, and if I, a hardcore BSG fan was bothered, then you know I was REALLY bothered. Anyway, I was cleaning my room today and the answer about not killing the cat came to me–killing a cat, a dog, a PET is gratuitous, and by it’s very nature unnecessary. Interestingly enough, I’ve seen the cat killed in not one, but two horror movies lately. I guess (*very* reluctantly) that one worked while the other was WHOLY gratuitous and unnecessary (and left me screaming at the television).
So what does that have to do with BSG? Well in Sine Qua Non, they reintroduced Romo Lamkin (and his cat). He was a fascinating, enigmatic character who took on the defense of the most hated man in the fleet and that cat helped to humanize what could have a been an unlikeable character. They even showed us the cat! A cute little white and gray thing! Adorable! It made you go awwwwwwwwwww to see him holding his cat. He carried around this cat carrier during the entire season when he was defending Baltar (was that Season 2 or 3?). All over the battleship did he carry that cat while telling folks the cat wasn’t his…(I think he said it was his wifes).
Anyway in Sine Qua Non, Romo and Lee Adama are discussing who should be president (that’s a whole nother ranty mc rant*), and Lee kicks the cat’s food dish and says something to the affect of, “Don’t you ever feed that damned cat?” And they SHOWED THE CAT! IT MEOWED! Fast Forward about 20 minutes….toward the end of the show, and Romo’s got Lee at gunpoint, ranting on about his dead wife and daughters…and that cat…and he makes Lee, at gunpoint, OPEN the cat carrier.
And the damned cat was DEAD!!!!!!!!!!
He’d been carrying a dead, smelly, mummified cat (no they didn’t SHOW the cat) all over the fracking fleet the entire episode!
It was a total and complete WTF moment! (Turns out on watching it again he was pissed because after he defended Baltar HUMANS killed his cat…but still)
You can break the rules, if you do it well.
*We’re not dumb, we KNEW Lee was going to be president, you TOTALLY skimmed the storyline regarding the missing president, half the fighters (and ships) and the Cylon ship — which made Papadama’s decision to stay behind for TRUELUB that much LESS believable. And that fight between Papadama and Saul over his fracking the Cylon 6? Not buying it–sorry. Nor was Starbuck’s sudden return to sanity (and hygiene but thank you for making her brush her hair). Oh and one last thing….when you end your chapter with a cliffhanger, it’s best to not make the next chapter completely unrelated–just saying. 🙁
**Edited to Add that last night’s episode TOTALLY made up for last week’s.
Ohhhhhhhhh and last Sunday when I was looking for something to read, before i pulled out Lifelines, I pulled out another book, an urban fantasy from the same imprint of the last UF that I said was so horrid. Guess what? This one was just as bad …and I’m talking PISS ME OFF bad, people. OMGWTF 🙁