This is not Maurice, but a close representation* of what Maurice would look like, were someone to photograph him.
Here's the thing. Maurice is a joke I put into my new story, A WALK THROUGH A WINDOW, that likely only a few people in the world would get. Mostly me and my sister, actually. My sister and I.
When my much older sister** and I were growing up, there was a series of commercials with a cat named Morris. Morris the cat. He was fat and funny, and he even had a book written about him. When I was writing this story [A WALK THROUGH A WINDOW], it needed a cat. So, in hopped Maurice. Now, most people would pronounce this name Mo-reece, with the French intonation. It is, after all, a French name.
However, my grampa, to whom this story is dedicated, was also named Maurice. He was called Ferno, but his full name was Maurice Ferno Graves. (Great name, eh?) He grew up in an English-speaking family on an island where many of the people were of Acadian descent. But in the 1800's on Prince Edward Island, if you were an English-speaking family, you anglicized the pronunciation of everything. Therefore, my grampa's name was pronounced Morris. Since he went by his middle name, he was never called Maurice -- either the Mo-reece OR the Morris variety, though he signed his name MF Graves.
When I was writing my story, and the cat hopped into it, it struck me funny (probably because it was the middle of the night, and these things are funnier at that time, somehow) that the cat should be called Maurice, pronounced Morris, like my grampa. It was like a little joke to myself, one that would only come out if I read the story aloud to someone. Or when my sister reads it, which she has not, as yet.
I'm thinking, right about now, you are not really finding this funny at all. So to alleviate the tension that has suddenly appeared, how about if I tell you that I have just drawn the names of the winners of this week's book prizes? As soon as I post this note, Maurice and I will mosey over to Darby's blog and he'll paw them to her in that laconic way he has, and she will announce them.
Still not really funny, but perhaps a little excitement-inducing?
I hope so!
*photo displayed with thanks, subject to creative commons agreement, shot by SkyWideDesign and displayed on Flickr.
**I'm actually older, but rarely admit it anymore. The "I'm older than you are" taunting has somehow lost it's sheen -- not sure why.... These days it is more amusing to pretend I am younger. You'll just have to go with me on this one.