|Reviews for Days of Madness|
| ForgottenDream21 chapter 1 . 11/14/2011
An interesting look at life through the eyes of a feral cat. I truly enjoyed the strong individual characteristics that you gave Shalane and Luhei. That Luhei not only understood her own lacking as a hunter and accepted what would occur in letting the farmer's family take her in made this a very different coming of age story than I expected initially at the beginning. That eventually she would find her blessings from their goddess and become a marvelous hunter. I much prefer your own choice.
| Skinny.Pig chapter 2 . 2/24/2010
Awesome short story! I love all the different emotions that define each of the cats. :D
| lookingwest chapter 1 . 2/17/2010
Right off with this piece, I like how you use terms like "litter-mate" to really reinforce the certain discourse of language for what I a story concerning cats would entail.
Shalane flicked her tail, turned and addressed us.
-I would almost suggest the dialogue stay with the tag of action here, because it's all concerning Shalane, her action, and what she says should all be together.
-I really love her dialogue though, it was powerful and even believable. There's also a hint of some larger ideas, like their Goddess, ect. that kind of adds to the story since this is just a short story. It alludes to something larger.
Love the following plot, again, excellent cat discourse. I'm really impressed, I think this is your writing at your finest. I haven't even finished it and I would say: look for literary magazines who would be interested!
-Haha, I had to look that word up in a dictionary. _ I admit to having done that once with Foster's Gambit too. I love that! I'm learning new words-it's always exciting to discover new ways to say things. I almost thought you were using an awkward tense for "seated", haha.
The tang of blood she wore like a prize.
In the days that followed, I did hunt, and fared ... poorly.
-I like to see that flaw in your central character, well played.
"What was it like?"
-Interesting, beautiful pain-I like that you go into this.
"...To feel myself ripped apart, and, yet, have my body sing to it."
-Meh, I know this is cats but this almost still freaks me out because of its sexism. But this is cats, haha, so I have to keep it in perspective ;). It reminds me of this really famous anthropologist/scholar named Havelock Ellis, who believed in the freedom of eroticism concerning women, but at the same time believed that women enjoyed being chased and "caught" by men, and enjoyed pain (rape, beatings, ect) because women want it. Yuck, I'd like to see him try to catch me...
I like the slang terms like "Da" and "slugger" and "mouser", they're almost cute, haha. Oh, I love that end, wonderful! I didn't expect it, so it took me off guard!
Again, this was a great piece, really nice bits of language in it, and very polished!
| Mizzuz Spock chapter 2 . 1/22/2010
I have mixed feelings about this piece.
On the one hand, I enjoyed the coming-of-age theme, as seen through the eyes of a wild cat, and the character development throughout the story was done wonderfully. I especially like her fear and uneasiness concerning the rush. Her reaction to her sister's story is spot-on and (It is a she-kitty, I take it? Humans can be so silly sometimes...)
While I liked this story, the piece comes off as a bit too formal for me. (Which, of course, is no fault of your own. It's a personal preference.)
I also felt your cats were characterized well, but the dialogue felt a bit stilted in some parts, and I found the formality to be a bit off-putting. I know cats are smart and cunning (maybe "cunning" isn't the word I'm looking for, but I know you know what I'm getting at...), but it was a bit of a stretch for me to picture a cat using such words as "Orgasmically excoriating."
["And you, Luhei? Did any mice fall to your teeth?" Reisa doomed me.
Nahmi saved me. She attacked Reisa from the rear, not letting fly her yowl until she was a tail's length away.]
Something about this transition just didn't feel right. Maybe it's the two sentences together that end in "me."
Overall, I liked this piece and found the concept enjoyable, but the dialogue was just a bit too stiff for me. :]
| xenolith chapter 2 . 1/22/2010
Wow, what an interesting perspective.
The hunting kittens wasn't exactly what I was expecting, they were so fierce and haughty. And they way they talked was weird too, but it fit.
I also wasn't expecting the twist about the rush. I was a little grossed out - barbs! - but it was handled nicely with the older cat talking and explaining to the younger. The end tied in well but I still felt a little unsatisfied, not sure why though. But all in all, a nice piece!
| Vulpine Ninja chapter 1 . 1/21/2010
I'm an imaginative person, and the intro gave me an image of something canine or feline. And I like how 'tribal' the mood is, with the native names, Great Mother and their coming of age ritual. I love how Shalane described mating. So honest yet not too direct. (btw you mispelled the name somewhere before the mating description)
Then it is revealed that they're 'kittens'. But the way you wrote it made me assume that they're fantasy cats or wild cats. It's not a bad thing actually. I like it. I had to change my WMP playlist to get into the mood. XD
Some sentences are a little weird to me. "Reisa awaited me" and "You were wise to go there - where there live farmers, there live mice". I dunno how to point it out because I'm not too expert on grammar myself. But I can accept it if it's the felines' way of speech. Oh yeah, I understand that this story is written in past tense but you broke the rule in the second last line. Unless it is what the cat is thinking at that very moment, I suggest you separate it with ' ' or in italics.
I'm confused with the persona's gender too. It's supposed to be a tabby right? but then again it's normal for humans to confuse the gender when the cat's not fully grown. A friend of mine called her kitten "Ed" but turns out that it's actually female lol. People who are used to cats can determine a kittens gender easily. I have a Persian, when he was a kitten my dad could tell his gender in spite of his fluffiness.
Kittens are usually thought to be playful, but this story shows their darker side of growing up. It's nice to see from that perspective for a change. And how a cat desperately wants to run from the 'days of madness' by becoming a human's pet. I love the imagery... the way it gave me the first impression of something fantasy themed (seeing the world through a cat's eyes) and slowly transited to reality. Good job kitty!
| Dreamers-Requiem chapter 2 . 1/21/2010
Really nice piece - I loved all the imagery and the speech, exactly how I'd imagine cats to speak. I felt very sorry for her, especially with how scared she was during in regards to the rush and the hunt. Great job at building up the sympathy. The part at the end was lovely too, with her finding a home and all.
| Narq chapter 1 . 1/21/2010
" with only the bottom of her paws not not the colour of shadows." - you've got a double "not" there. But I liked the way you said "with my sisters", and then showed that, they were kind of separated, too, prowling in their own way, differently, and yet, all cats, all sisters. (what intruges me is that there's no males)
" Reisa, my litter-mate" - I'd think that you should have a "one of my litter-mates"? because then that would indicate that there's more litter mates than one?
" Feel its last life strengthen your heart. See fear fill its eyes, and let that fear be taken from you." - shiver. That is powerful speech.
"strangling the moon." - wow, vivid, wonderful imagery. You have some lovely senseous images there, and it helps me identify to being a cat, ie, your narrative.
"The tang of blood she wore like a prize" - poetic, vivid. Good!
"and her grey/black coat seemed shinier" - for the colour, I'd say to just choose one, because with the "/" your sentence weakens, and I think you don't want that.
"blooded hunters, tested killers. Let those who dare taint our paths fear us!" – cool!
“When next came those days of rush, we would be ... I banished the thought, joining in the light and merry songs in our honor.” – I like the feeling that you’re foreshadowing something bad, but I’d like to see you expand more on it. “banished the thought” doesn’t seem enough to me, she joins in the light and merry songs, but is her heart really in it? Does she still worry? Ps, I realy love the way you’ve put in a human perspective of male/female relationships!
Um, maybe I got it wrong – the narrative (cat) was a boy? I thought tom cats mean male and queens mean female? So s/he didn’t need to worry about mating afterall? Or am I confusing myself?
Overall, lovely perspective and style!
| sophiesix chapter 1 . 1/21/2010
“With my sisters, I stalked through the woods, silent and alert.” This had me torn two ways. First, I like the image of the sisters stalking through the woods. But second, the ‘silent and apart’ seemed to contradict the vibe of the ‘with my sisters’. Unless maybe as a whole they were silent and apart from the things around them…but yeah, unclear.
“with only the bottom of her paws not not the colour of shadows.” Again, doubletake. Ok, so assuming you meant a single not, the wolf is dark in colour apart from her pads. It rang strange to me, a wolf with light pads, its just something I usually associated with puppies rather than wild animals?
Sentence structure for the first paragraph: repetitive I the subject verb combination, but does this allude to the quiet monotony of stalking the woods, the regular padding of their steps? Could do. Is monotony what you want for a first para? Debatably not.
“threatening to deprive us the shelter of these woods. Shalane flicked her tail” This, I really like. Especially the verb use in the first part and the showing of the flick of annoyance/tension in the second.
“Little sisters. Tonight, you cross the threshold” Effective. Formal, measured, ceremonial. I can hear her intoning this.
“Feel its last life strengthen your heart” sorta kinda didn’t work for me. Heh heh. So I mean it did and it didn’t. I really like the idea of the transfer of life, draining from one and filling another, but the words ‘last life’ evoked a frail, sickly kind of life, that in my mind would weaken the heart it was transferred to. If you had a greater sense of the vitality of that life before the transfer, it would worlk better for me.
“and let that fear be taken from you” taken from you as in the animal took away the wolf’s fear? Or taken as in the prey has become afraid because of the wolf’s mere presence?
“Now hunt, says you. How hunt, ask I.” nice. Love the rythm of this bit
“If this was Great Mother's boon, then avail myself of it I will” the will struck me as odd because the rest is past tense. Could work though, it’s like an actual thought at the time, right? Not her narrating, thinking back. As a thought it works.
“Tonight ends my time as a kitten.” OH! They aren’t wolves! Lol! Them starting out like a pack, together and all, made me think wolves, but NOW I read back and see all those little clues. Lol! Disregard all the above XDD
Oh but when she comes back, wouldn’t they smell that she hadn’t killed?
“especially the toms” lol!
“given that I was not my breed's best either” XD
“did every touch my tongue.” That did ever? Or did every night? Or…?
Love the slow approach to the family/domesticity
“His touch I found sent a warmth to the tip of my tail.” Just plain ‘warmth’, no ‘a’, worked better for me, because then you have the a in the next sentence to specifiy
“There, then fading, then gone.” Nice, really evocative.
“It has prongs” lol, I’d called them spines. But love the realism here. though, part of our narrator's fear could be that because she knows it mating season, she knows her rush will come soon?
“Some showed relief, other disbelief.” Lol! Poor cat!
It surprised me that she liked being squeezed by the kid, but it was very sweet.
Aw, and an awesomely sweet ending! Must say I am very keen on speying, so was very tickled by it XD