Why Yoga and Kittens Don’t Mix

February 10, 2010 at 5:37 am (Character, Tension, Thoughts on Writing) (, , , , , , , )

Or, why some situations are just doomed to end in tears.

I try to do yoga everyday. What that means is, I do it everyday on holidays and maybe once over the weekend once I’m back at work because I just do not find the time and when I have the time, I don’t have the energy. Occasionally I’ll manage the time during the week and I’m really glad about it because I feel so much better.

Unfortunately, my kitten seems to think that when I am stretching out on a mat that is must be an invite for her to come running over and to try to get pats. She rolls over my feet and if I’m lying down she’ll try to crawl onto my stomach and curl up and go to sleep, which doesn’t work for me when I’m about to move and try to keep the routine flowing. Clearly this is a situation where I am not going to win. Yes, I can put her in a different room and shut the door but that seems kind of mean and she is really cute and if it comes to a choice between spending time with my cat and yoga, the cat will win.

There are lots of these situations in real life where it is quite obvious that even though there are ways around a problem, it just isn’t going to happen. It is better just to concede and move on.

However, what if our protagonist was simply to concede and move on. They’ve been driven for page after page to accomplish something and finally they’ve decided to pass. How disappointing would that be?

The difference is that while I like yoga it is clearly low on my priorities (or at least lower than keeping my kitten happy). I work, I write, I spend time with family, I spend time reading, I spend time with friends, I watch television and let my brain take a break, I go for walks, I have lots of things that I do throughout the week that take priority over yoga. So, when I walk away from it, I’m still driven toward my goals.

Protagonists can walk away from things so long as they still have their main goal ahead of them. In point of fact it may make them more interesting if they are forced to make tough choices and give things away in order to achieve their other goals. It may be that they could save the world if only they didn’t try to bail their sister out of jail and left her to sort her own problems out. The protagonist may worry over this choice but in the end the choice is obvious.

In my life, yoga and kittens are not mixing well. For the protagnoist in my WIP her day job and her boyfriend are colliding and one is going to have to go. What choices do your protagonists face?



  1. Elizabeth Spann Craig said,

    Great point, Cassandra. We all have obstacles to our goals…even small obstacles as cute as your kitten! Thanks for making me think about my protagonists’.

    Mystery Writing is Murder

  2. Carol Kilgore said,

    Kittens, puppies. Maybe that’s why they’re so cute, so we do pay attention to them. Anyway, obstacles and characters definitely go hand in hand. While we might rather not have so many in our own lives, our characters thrive on them.

  3. AlexJ said,

    A conflict of interest for our characters?

    Maybe you can entice the cat to join you in Yoga?

    • Cassandra Jade said,

      Kitten yoga? Someone should sell a program of it. Someone probably already has.

  4. Anna said,

    My dog does yoga with me. I finished corpse pose and found him lying on his back, paws in the air. I had to prod him few times to wake him up. It was hilarious – he’s usually so energetic.

    My main character keeps deciding to “concede and move on” with something. Not sure how it’s going to turn out, but the conceding must stop! She has to eventually to get to the ending.

    Thanks for getting the ideas going!

  5. JackieS said,

    My character’s situation is a bit like that too. She’s a cop and her ex-husband, who is also a cop, dies. She feels an obligation to investigate his death even though she’s been taken off the case due to conflict of interest. This in turn conflicts with her family life.

  6. barbaraannwright said,

    I also would like to see kitten yoga. I think you’ve found your next novel idea!

  7. eyeresist said,

    You must not give in to your kitty! She is part of an evil plot to make you die of stress! It’s you, or her….

    Well, that’s one way of looking at it.

    In a fictional context, “giving in” on some issue can be a sign that they have become “older and wiser”. Or “older and sadder”, you can go either way.

    If your hero decided that defeating the Evil Overlord was just too much trouble, that would make the story either a farce, or some weird existential piece.

  8. Kirby-Jane said,

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