Cat person, his point of view
I followed some of the debates around this cat person short story and I have nothing to add that’s not already been said.
What really intrigued me was the chance to do some practice writing a similar short following the point of view of the guy. I did find some other tentatives by they wasn’t along the line I wanted to pursue.
Cat person is about two people unable to get along, the girl doesn’t come out in a better position than the guy, they both struggle to express themselves, and fail miserably to a very mean ending.
So why not writing the other matching half in a way to obtain the exact same effect but from his side? I did, and it was interesting, I found that the narrative from her point of view leaves space to a complementary one that confirms quite well the article on Slate “ the relationship between Margot and Robert is no relationship at all, but two imaginary constructs colliding with each other until they fall apart”.
The narrative has many blind spots, we don’t really know what was passing in his mind, we do know her reactions and just a small part of his behaviors, sufficient to draw a prototype of a script devoid of his inner movements.
It was really easy to fill the gaps almost till the end, when I found difficult to fit the actions of my “borrowed” character (especially his insults, because they didn’t really fit in the character I was drawing).
The key turning point happens during her break from University, I could easily make him lose his grip on the fancy he was building upon the girl. They message a lot but we don’t know if he’s comfortable with it, we may even imagine him realize she’s just a girl of her age, maybe a little childish to him (the cats thing), we may see him play the game with mixed feelings, desires, doubts (is she seeing some old ex from high school?) and at the same time fighting to keep his projections alive.
There’s a moment when she uses him against her parents (her own fancy is in motion there), and writes him “my parents want to meet you”, a weird thing to say to a person you met just once, his apparently positive reaction through the use of smiles can be traced back to an uncomfortable feeling that he didn’t want to express freely (thus braking the magic).
This is the ultimate confirmation, he grows an imaginary girl made of desires, dreams, expectations that are his owns, and then when confronted with reality avoids to break that dream trying to make everything fit together. This leads to doubts and perplexities that are evident in their meeting after the break, she’s super excited (her expectations are still alive and well) while his uncomfortable behavior is the proof that something happened to him while she’s unaware of it, since he avoided to confront reality.