In his debut novel, The Incarnation of Catman Billy, author Will Jordan writes about the adventures of a man reborn as a cat. Billy finds he now must look at life from a different perspective, and in so doing, he discovers some important truths. Jordan hopes his book inspires readers to re-examine their own lives and pursue goals that bring them meaning and fulfillment.
Jordan describes his motivation for writing the book.
"My wife got sick and died and transformed my life," he recalls. "And then, I thought, 'How do I make something that's informative, serious but entertaining?' We didn't need another self-help book. So, a novel seemed to be a good way to allow people to have fun and perhaps see a different view of life at the same time."
CatMan Billy sees the world in a new way
That's how The Incarnation of CatMan Billy was conceived. It's a series of adventures undertaken by an unlikely circle of friends that include a gang of barn cats, a pair of dogs, a deer and a bunny led by a white and black kitten named Billy.
"Billy is a human coming back as a cat to learn to be a better person," he explains. "The whole idea of a human coming back as a cat runs against traditional beliefs of a number of cultures. But it was a fun vehicle for looking at problems that everybody in every culture understands; things like bigotry and injustice," Jordan says.
In the following passage from the novel, the leader of the barn cats teaches Billy how to see a new world, or perhaps the same world, in new ways.
"Listen to me Bill-boy. Cats are direct. If you like something, you purr. If it's dangerous, you attack or run. If isn't your business, you walk by and ignore it. As a human, you felt you had to comment on every little thing, whether it concerned you or not. You proved your 'superiority' by judging everything around you, and with sarcastic comments – and all it ever did was make you full of judgment. Man, people are soooo funny."
Having a vision of what you want is important
To embark on a life transforming journey, Jordan says you need to keep a vision of the life you want to live in front of you.
"In The Incarnation of CatMan Billy, it's called dream space, but it's really about what vision do you have? If all you do is get up and say, 'Well, I have to go to work and spend 8 hours sitting,' then that's all what you're going to do. If you get up and say, 'What can I create today? What do I want at the end of the day that's bigger?' Do you have a notion of what you want? Then you set your space differently. And once you do, it's much easier to get that," he says.
Keep a positive outlook
Jordan adds that looking at positives rather than focusing only on negatives will also enhance relationships. "We are united as a world, if we look at the common instead of all those little differences. Let's look at accord and see where we actually work together. Let's look at the glass being [half]full instead of being [half] empty. That's really at a personal level as well as a national or cultural level. If you want to be in a relationship with your husband or wife, you look at where you grow together, 'How can I help you?,' not 'Where you are wrong and what's bad?' It falls apart if you do that."
As we begin a new year and a new decade, Jordan says this is the right moment for us to re-examine our lives. And like CatMan Billy, he says we all can get out of our personal isolation, connect with others and create a better life.