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 Post subject: Attica Question #7 ~ Nelson
PostPosted: Mon Sep 14, 2009 11:04 am 
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Let’s talk about Nelson, the cat. What is his importance to the story? What does he represent, if anything? Any other comments?



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 Post subject: Re: Attica Question #7 ~ Nelson
PostPosted: Mon Sep 14, 2009 11:28 am 
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Nelson is a symbol of home, to remind the children they're still in Kansas so to speak. Amid the weirdness and the strange creatures, is their cat, doing the exact same thing he would do if they were in their world. To Nelson his life is still as it should be, chasing rodents. He's a touchstone, a sense of normalcy. But he could also represent strength of mind, body, and soul because it's no accident that Nelson only has three legs. Even though he suffers from a disability, he refuses to give up. It could be a message to our three heroes to never give in to Attica. Nelson could also exist as a link, a tether so that Chloe, Alex, and Jordy won’t permanently lose their way, a furry guide. Nelson helps to calm their worries of no escape.



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 Post subject: Re: Attica Question #7 ~ Nelson
PostPosted: Mon Sep 14, 2009 12:06 pm 
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I loved Nelson. His attitude is perfert for a cat - "I don't really need you - but you need me"!! His 3 legs is a symbol of strength to over come obsticles and ability to carry on as a hunter should. He appears to the children at times when they need reassurance and is a connection to their life below. Nelson is a great addition to the story!! Can you tell - I really liked him???? :harhar:


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 Post subject: Re: Attica Question #7 ~ Nelson
PostPosted: Mon Sep 14, 2009 12:55 pm 
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I really liked him too! And trygirl and ladylinn I really like your answers. "A furry guide"--love it! And that made me think of the bat, the rat and the owl as guides. But luckily, Nelson appeared to prefer home to the attic.



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 Post subject: Re: Attica Question #7 ~ Nelson
PostPosted: Mon Sep 14, 2009 1:43 pm 
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I agree that Nelson added a sense of home and safety. He was familiar and comforting -- there is nothing like petting a cat to calm an uneasy heart! Nelson seemed unconcerned and unfrightened by the weirdness in the attic, and I think that helped the children to be less overwhelmed by their situation.

I love cats and I have a lot of them :smiliewithhearts: , so for me Nelson added a bit of joy to the story. I found myself smiling at the realistic scenes of Nelson just being a cat.


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 Post subject: Re: Attica Question #7 ~ Nelson
PostPosted: Mon Sep 14, 2009 2:41 pm 
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I agree with what everyone says about Nelson. He was "home" in an unfamiliar place. I really liked this cat...and I liked how Garry would occasionally give us a glimpse of Nelson's thoughts. And when Nelson had just had enough of the voodoo doll and its' yelling and sticking him in the nose with its needles -- and he just bit the doll's head off and chewed it up a bit. I actually laughed (and could really see this scene in my head) when that happened.

And when one of Nelson's "gifts" was finally accepted; how happy he was about that!

And just speculating...could Nelson's three legs been symbolic of the three children?


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 Post subject: Re: Attica Question #7 ~ Nelson
PostPosted: Mon Sep 14, 2009 3:22 pm 
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Theresa wrote:


And just speculating...could Nelson's three legs been symbolic of the three children?


As I read the comments that thought occurred to me also, Theresa. There were times I worried about Nelson, but, then, was reassured because of the resourcefulness of most cats!! Yes, he was so comforting when he showed up offering a sense of calm. Almost as though he timed it!! Cats seem to be that way. I loved the part where Chloe noticed something moving beneath Alex's coat and became concerned. Then out pops Nelson's head between the buttons! I guess Garry might be a "cat" person.


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 Post subject: Re: Attica Question #7 ~ Nelson
PostPosted: Mon Sep 14, 2009 4:01 pm 
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Theresa wrote:
And just speculating...could Nelson's three legs been symbolic of the three children?

Theresa, good catch! That thought had not occurred to me.

Nebraska, Nelson "calmed" me when I was worried about the fate of the 3 children.

Deppaura, good point that cats are resourceful. After all, they have 9 lives. :biggrin:



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 Post subject: Re: Attica Question #7 ~ Nelson
PostPosted: Mon Sep 14, 2009 7:04 pm 
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I feel silly saying Garry must be a cat person. I just realized he dedicated the book to Nelson!


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 Post subject: Re: Attica Question #7 ~ Nelson
PostPosted: Mon Sep 14, 2009 8:14 pm 
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I also thought Nelson was great and certainly lived up to his name. I love that he was real as well as a character in the book. That he was named for Lord Nelson because of his disabilities or his lack of noticing his disability. To the children Nelson was a calming reminder of family. He was there for comfort as well as his strong independence, which fit in well with his human family. Like Theresa, I loved when he was happy about his gifts finally being accepted. So much like a cat.

The other animal friends, the bat, the owl, and the two rats all were the same comfort to their attica partners. I thought it very appropriate that Garry had the characters that would be totally alone all attached to an animal friend.



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 Post subject: Re: Attica Question #7 ~ Nelson
PostPosted: Mon Sep 14, 2009 8:19 pm 
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That Nelson, there's a cat with some personality! (I had a cat like that once, named Little Bit!) I'm with Theresa--I loved it when he bit the head off the voodoo doll. I was worried about him, but he proved he could take care of himself--like most cats, I guess. He always turned up when the kids needed a little reassurance.



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 Post subject: Re: Attica Question #7 ~ Nelson
PostPosted: Mon Sep 14, 2009 8:21 pm 
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Theresa wrote:
And when one of Nelson's "gifts" was finally accepted; how happy he was about that!
And it can be so difficult to accept those gifts from my cat. "Oh, 2/3 of a mouse! How kind of you to share with me!" :yuck:

I especially liked that Nelson kept checking on the children when they were separated.


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 Post subject: Re: Attica Question #7 ~ Nelson
PostPosted: Tue Sep 15, 2009 2:09 am 
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So Nelson is a cat, how cute :cool:


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 Post subject: Re: Attica Question #7 ~ Nelson
PostPosted: Tue Sep 15, 2009 3:43 am 

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Nelson - ah, yes, he was real cat. He was owned by some friends of ours when we lived in Hong Kong and he was such a great personality. There were many snakes in HK in the New Territories where our friends lived, including king cobras, and Nelson treated them all with contempt. Sadly he died while I was writing the book, but of old age, not snake bites.


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 Post subject: Re: Attica Question #7 ~ Nelson
PostPosted: Tue Sep 15, 2009 9:44 am 
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I’m sure Nelson could hold his own against those cobras……or at least know how to flee from them. How cool to know the story behind the real Nelson. :cool:



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