When I redesigned this website last year before Eyes of Crow’s release, I intended to create a page for each of the twelve Animals to correspond with the Animal of the Month. I made one for Crow, but it was so much damn work I never got around to making any more. No one wrote me begging to be enlightened as the biology, mythology and cultural history of various critters, so after a few months of feeling guilty, I gave up.
But then it occurred to me that I could still talk about the Animal of the Month as it applies to the books themselves, since that’s probably more interesting to readers, anyway. After all, more information on real animals can be found on the internet.
So let’s start this month, right now, with Cougar. Here’s the description from the Discover Your Spirit Animal quiz results:
Grrr, baby—you're the personification of animal magnetism. Your confidence, beauty, and athleticism make you the target of many romantically inclined individuals. Too bad for them—you don't stick around long enough to make breakfast, much less a lifetime commitment. Hello Kitty, Goodbye Heart.
Sounds dangerous but fun, no? In the Aspect of Crow series, the Cougars are the hunters. They have super-speed and strength, average stamina, and are skillful tree climbers. They can see in the dark and therefore make great sentries.
In a scene from Eyes, Alanka tells Rhia about her blemished relationship history:
Alanka counted on her fingers. “There was Adrek, a Cougar, he was the first. After that came Morran, a Bobcat, then Endrus, another Cougar.” Alanka sighed. “Learned my lesson finally. Thrice bitten, once shy, right? Cats don’t stay around.”
Adrek is less than reliable, but in Eyes he does the right thing when it really counts. In an early draft of Voice, he broke Alanka’s heart again, but the feedback I got from beta readers said that he was too much of a jackass for a strong woman like Alanka to fall for. So I shipped him off to a foreign country to rescue his kidnapped two-year-old daughter, thus
a) making him more heroic, and
b) saving Alanka from his jackassedness.