Thursday, February 19, 2009

Cat Got Your Tongue?

by Jeanne Adams

Okay, you asked for it, you got it...I gave air time to the dog lovers last week. All day it was Diver this and Remy that and oh-let-me-tell-you-about-my-dog.

So its your turn now, Cat Lovers! I've already confessed myself to be a Both-er, that is delighted with both Cats and Dogs, however many are not. They are Cat People. None of this silly barking, woofing, slavishly devoted dog stuff. Give them the independence, the self-sufficiency of cats any day and they will be happy.

You have furry, lifelike mice lurking in corner of the house where mice ought not to be.

You have paper bags laced with suspicious substances, lying in wait for your unsuspecting feline while you sit, glass of wine in hand, ready for the show.

You will set aside the paper, the knitting, the book, the homework just to pet the cat.

You're one of The Cat People, aren't you?

I thought so.

Cat People are usually much like their pets. Independent. Warm and friendly on THEIR terms, not yours. You have to admire cats for that. There's none of this fawning obsequiousness that dogs sometimes show. They are their own creatures first, your companion second. If only we humans could learn some of that. I mean, really. Wouldn't it be better if we took more time to decide what WE want, and do that? All the success books say so. Before haring off trying to please everyone else only to find out that there are too many of Them to please and there's no way to please Them even if you work forever, we should be Cats. Self sufficient. Warm and friendly on OUR terms.

Yep. Sounds about right. Easy to say, hard to do. Cat-like.

Aunty Cindy was talking about it yesterday. Contrary to popular belief, we writers focus a lot of energy on what other people think. Something we have absolutely no control over. Instead of writing our own stories, making them so deliciously creative, and independently brilliant, we try to play to the market. Even as the editors - fickle creatures, those! - say "Give us something different!" we try to do it the Evanovich way. Or the Roberts way.

Do you think Cats do that? Heck no. They are strictly love-me-or-get-out kinds of creatures.

For some reason, Cats have become quite well known as companions for writers. Maybe its the nature of our profession. I'd like to make it high-flown and erudite and say that writers are the independent voice in the collective mind. We're the voice of dissent. The spotlight on society.

Mostly its that we spend a lot of time in solitary, talking to imaginary people.

Cats understand this. They accept it.

In fact, they embrace it. Isn't it interesting that when writers or Hollywood want to portray an independent - or nefarious! - woman, they give her a cat? *humming We are Siamese if you Pleee-eese*

Heck, Cats get the whole thing. Tinseltown and writers have nothing on Cats. We just make up stories. They see the unseen. They spend a lot of time looking at, pouncing on, and interacting with things we just cannot see. My black cat, Dubh, use to do this. She'd wake from a deep sleep and without even stretching first would go tearing down the hall after some unknown intruder.

*Whispers* They see Ghosts.

Yep. You betcha. I blame the Ghosts. It would wig me out to suddenly have Dubh go from zero-to-sixty, growling, only to saunter back in a few minutes later to resume her nap on my bed. Weird.

(Then there's the whole "companion of witches" thing - okay, we won't go there) point...what was my point? Oh, yes. As storytellers, we "get" the strange and unusual and pretty much accept it. Cats like that. In fact, Cats like us just as much as we like them if we're willing to let them do their own thing, pet them when they demand it, and tolerate the litterbox. Same could be said for writers. Let us WRITE, darn it, when we need to write, and worry about all that laundry stuff later. Grins. So you think the cat worries about the laundry? No. She'll appreciate the clothes warm from the dryer - great place to nap - but she won't fold 'em.

Cats are absolutely perfect foils for certain characters in books too. Take Lillian Jackson Braun's pesky Siameses. For nearly 30 books, those two cats have bedeviled thier curmudgeonly writer-owner Quill into solving mysteries. There are Cat Anthologies. There are mystical cats, and there are Cat Societies.

Cats have had their own following since Egypt was young and have never forgotten it.

So it's time for you, dear Cat People, to tell your

What's your favorite book featuring a feline? Favorite Movie?

Are you strictly a Cat Person, or a Both-er? (Both Cats and Dogs)

Do you love a swirly, patchwork kitty, or a high-faluting pure-bred feline? Or both?

Ever been to a cat show?

Let the games begin....


Anna Sugden said...

Back to England ... and my cats?

hrdwrkdmom aka Dianna said...

Aw shucks, I thought I had a shot at least,

Anna Sugden said...

Definitely a Cat Person.

I mentioned Gobbolino, The Witch's Cat - one of my favourite children's books. I also love the Midnight Louie series by Carole Nelson Douglas. Midnight Louie is an awesome character - totally steals the show.

Yes to Lillian Jackson Braun and Rita Mae Brown too.

As many of you know, we're black cat/tuxedo cat people. We adopt them (from a rescue or shelter) because they are always treated so badly and rarely adopted because of superstition and ignorance.(You can see my cats' pics on my website).

My favourit cat saying is "Dogs come when called, cats take a message and get back to you". LOL.

One interesting thing I've noticed is that writers often use cats as character references. How many times have they hissed at villains and twined their way round a hero's legs?!

Anna Sugden said...

Sorry Dianna! He may prefer your place to mine - Jersey Girl and CC have been stalking him mercilessly!

hrdwrkdmom aka Dianna said...

I am a bother but at the moment I only own (and I use this term loosely) cats, two of them. A solid gray male that is scheduled to become not so male and a huge tortoise shell female that has a definite bad attitude.

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Good Morning Anna! I've got Gobbolino in my notes to get the book. I love your tuxedo cats. The same reasons apply to all-black-cats too. Pretty much a guarantee that I'll have another black or tuxedo at some point. :> Or a Siamese.

Midnight Louie!? What a great name for a cat. I'll have to look Carole up too.

As for hissing and twining, when it comes to your hockey players, I'll take twining. :>

Congrats on the GR...and don't think he doesn't know how to deal with da catz. He does. In fact he's probably instigated some kind of wargames scenario a la P226. Training, you know. Must go on.

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Hey Dianna! Good Morning! You very nearly had the bird....Maybe it's the spectre of that huge tortie female that the GR's afraid of...or the "not so male" part.


Love the grey cats, don't you? And isn't attitude part of the package?

Beth said...

I like cats but am terribly allergic to them - as Tawny's cat can attest to. When I stayed with Tawny last summer the poor cat was banished to the backyard where she watched us through the glass door.

I still feel guilty *g*

Gannon Carr said...

I'm a both-er. I have 2 cats and 2 dogs, all rescues and I love them all! One of my cats, Mr. Bean, thinks he's a dog--comes when you call him and is a total people cat!

Deb Marlowe said...

Ha! I'm just back from clearing the carnage, uh, present, from the front mat.

Yes, I am a cat person,and my kitty is on a mission. My dh says she's the best cat we've ever had--because he approves of the carnage, and is perversely delighted to have to step over dead moles, mice and yes, birds, every day.

Really, we've never had such a dedicated hunter before. I've had to stop filling my bird feeders. I felt like I was luring them to their deaths.

Amazing how this little destructinator can turn into the cuddliest, snuggliest thing in the blink of an eye!

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Awww, Beth. That's so sad. :> They're nice creatures but when you are allergic, oh, man, are you miserable. I had a friend who was terrifically allergic and I always had to put her up at a hotel because even if I locked the cats up...yeah. Hair everywhere.

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Hi Gannon! A people cat. I like that. I love his name too, Mr. Bean. For the comedian?

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Good Morning Deb! Ugh on the carnage clean up. I had both a cat AND a dog like that. The black cat I mentioned, Dubh, liked to present me with all that and squirrels, and rats. Oh, she also presented me with 7 kittens at one point. :> Thankfully, that only happened once. The carnage continued throughout her natural life. She just knew we were starving and, poor us, were so ill equipped to provide for ourselves. No claws. Such poor eyesight. Sigh. She did her best to make up the lack.


Now the dog...she was just fast as greased lightning. For cats, the whole bird, squirrel thing is pretty natural. For the dog? Amazing.

PJ said...

Cats are cute in photos but that's close enough for me. I'm allergic. Good thing I like dogs so much. :)

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Good Morning, PJ! So glad the blog stopped being wonky (Thank you Anna!) and you could post)

I remember you saying last week you were 100% a dog person. Allergies are such a killjoy, aren't they?

PJ said...

They really are a killjoy, Jeanne. I have a friend who has a cat that loves to cuddle. I always feel so bad when I go to her house and can't hold that sweet cat like I want to.

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

See, PJ! You'd be a Both-er if you could, right? :> Dratted allergies!

You read a ton, what are some good cat-as-a-character books?

Susan Sey said...

Hi, Jeanne--

I wouldn't say I'm a cat person, necessarily, though I do appreciate the self-sufficiency, as I spend enough time wiping bottoms not my own these days. :-)

I once had a cat who behaved in a strangely dog-like manner, though. We named her Stinky because...well....she was. She wasn't the fastidious sort. Unusual for a cat. Then add in the fact that she met you at the door every night, actually wagging her tail. She would force strangers to pet her by nudging her head under their hands. She romped like a dog, chasing things that were thrown & retrieving them.

It was...odd. But we liked her.

Then we had a baby she didn't care for & the fun was over. She lives with my sister now where she reportedly is extremely happy living in sin with a big, slobbery dog.

Treethyme said...

I'm a Both-er, but I've had a lot more cats than dogs. Two of our cats died last year and my dog died the year before that (we got them when the kids were little, so they were all getting old) and now I just have one 13-year-old fat orange cat.

Casper pretty much rules the house now, which suits him fine. He thinks I exist to open doors for him and feed him, while my husband's purpose is to pet him and rub his chubby tummy. Since the other cats died, he has made friends with two raccoons and they all hang out on our deck together at night.

I love books with cats and/or dogs that play a part in the story. I'm currently reading Would-Be Witch by Kimberly Frost, and there's a great, unusual cat in this book.

I must admit, though, I've never gotten hooked on any of those Cat Who... and similar series.

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Ooooh, living in sin! How like a cat not to care about social mores! I declare!


Stinky, eh? Interesting. My black cat would retrieve things as long as it suited her - so you could throw them again for her - but only when it suited her. :>

I know what you mean about appreciateing the self-sufficiency. The dogs I now have are old enough to go out in the yard alone. Yes, I still ahve to clean up, but I can do that in daylight if you know what I mean. The bottom wiping can come at all hours of the day/night. Right Susan? Arrrgh. I am SO doing the happy dance, cork-popping, hallelujah fest when the DiaperGenie leaves my house permanently. *Visualizing the day with great longing and glee*

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Hi Becke!

Friends with the raccoons? Really? Hard to believe. 'Coons are usually very anti-cat, anti dog. Very liberal, politically correct coons you have going there.


I love that you and your DH have different functions for Casper. Can opener. Belly rubber. Heehee.

I didn't get hooked into the Cat Who... books, but I've read several and enjoyed them. I like the sound of the Would Be Witch.

Kirsten said...

I'm more of a dog person than cat, but I do like our cat (Buffy), who is absolutely the boss over our lilly-livered lives-for-approval yellow lab Riley. When Buffy's feeling put upon, full of life, or just plain mean, she'll stalk Riley, jump out of a corner, and attack his face. It's all (mostly) in good fun. They don't actually hurt each other. But he definitely does everything in his power to run when she's feeling frisky.

I do like the independence of the cat. But the whole -- sit on your keyboard when you're typing -- thing. What's that all about? :-)

Louisa Cornell said...

Maybe the GR felt like he needed a little exercise after all of the treats and liquor he's consumed lately. Those cats will keep him moving! Congrats, Anna!

I am a Both-er of course. I have four cats - three neutered males and one spayed female. The three boys are the heavy-weights.

Tigger - an orange marmalade who weighs 19 pounds.

Pooh - a deaf, caramel point, long-haired 21 pounder

Bagheera - a black bob-tailed long-haired green eyed 24 pounder

Then there is the little lady - Rebecca - a gray/black tiger stripe who weighs a dainty six pounds and thinks she's a dog. She was raised by my Great Dane from the age of four weeks. She was abandoned on an attorney friend's doorstep and her dogs didn't like the little fluff ball. Glory the Dane however ADORED her. Poor kitty spent the first two years of her life covered in Dane slobber. And when we lost Glory to bone cancer I nearly lost Rebecca. She wouldn't eat and went into deep mourning. Fortunately Frodo kept bugging her and I think he just pissed her off enough to come back to life.

My cats are all housecats so no dead birds. And the boys refuse to do anything that even resembles work. However, Rebecca's one concession to her catness is that she hunts and kills ANYTHING that invades the house - lizards, frogs, snakes, bugs.

My kitties do a great job of holding down the foot of the bed. They live indoors because my outside dogs are cat haters. My indoor dogs are cat buddies.

Yes, I live in a zoo.

Christie Kelley said...

Yep, I'm a cat person. No dogs for me. Luckily, I also married a cat person who unfortunately is allergic to cats.

But that's why I have my pure bred darling, Misha. Siberians don't tend to give off the same allergens as other cats. So I paid a hefty price but it was worth it.

She hasn't taken to chasing ghosts but I've had cats do that. Her favorite thing is my son's air soft pellets (that's a plastic BB). She jumped 3 feet straight in the air trying to catch one last night. (and she did catch it).

I can't think of the name of my favorite cat book. It was a children's book about a cat a Christmas time. And no, I've never been to a cat show.

Anna Sugden said...

Becke, Jeanne et al - Check out Midnight Louie (the first books are Catnap and Pussyfoot - there are loads now, and they're pretty much in order of the alphabet after those two). I think he works the best of the cat detectives because he's such an alpha male and Carole has his personality and voice spot on.

Both our girls are hunters, as were the boys we lost in 2007. Jersey Girl - the one who was abused and abandoned, and thus the more timid - is the one who defends her territory like a tiger. CC - the curious and lively one who's always exploring and loves everyone - is a chicken and hides behind her sister when it comes to dealing with an invasion!

Kirsten - I hear you. My girls like to sit right in front of the screen. And on top of any recently printed material. Subs for editors, agents and contests are a particular favourite - almost like they have to earn a muddy pawprint of approval before they can go out.

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Hi Kirsten! Have to love the mental image of that mock-battle between the cat pouncing out of the corner and the dog, running for his lilly-livered-life. Heehee.

As to the sit-on-the-keyboard thing. It's control, baby. You vihl NOW be taking the hand OFF ze keyboard and petting me with the hands. You vihl NOT be typing a-gain until it is done to MY satisfaction!

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Oh, my goodness Louisa! I'm surprised you don't fly OUT of the bed if all three of the boys were to jump on the foot of it at once. :> Wow, they are heavyweights. I'd love to see Bagheera. Sounds gorgeous. (Not that they all don't, but I'm a sucker for the blacks)

Had to LOL about the Glory-slobber. One of my Siamese and one of my Dals had this kind of relationship. The cat, Mocha, would sit with her "arms up her sleeves" (You cat people know the pose I mean, where they look like a big loaf of bread with a head) and the dog would come "groom" her. Talia, the dog, was SURE that Mocha needed that service most desperately. Mocha would hiss, because, you know, she was not supposed to like that sort of thing, being a cat. But she wouldn't move. :>

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Oh, Christie, I remember the pictures of your new kittybaby. SO gorgeous!! Wow on the leaping and catching BB's, plastic or not.

As to cat shows, I've only been to one. One was enough. I thought the dog show people were out there...they got nuthin' on the cat show people. :>

terrio said...

Now that I think about it, I've had two dogs in my life and two cats. Both cats were strays I took in. One when I was maybe 4 yrs old. She was pure white and I think she adopted me. Her name was Ginger and I loved that cat.

The other was one that showed up on my porch in Nashville. I named him Baby because he really thought he was one. He would cuddle like crazy. Then my ex and I decided to move to AR and we couldn't take him. He spent the last two weeks with me while I packed (ex was already in AR) and then the morning the moving truck arrived, he just walked down the driveway and moved on. It was as if he was sent to keep me company and then knew when his job was done.

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Oh, wow, Terrio. What a great story. They are so intelligent, aren't they?

The pure white ones are just as beautiful to me as the pure black ones. Did she have blue eyes? :>

Suzanne Welsh said...

Sigh. As cute and playful as kittens are, and as soft and comforting a cat may be....I cannot be a cat person. The whole wheezing and hives things puts a damper on enjoying them.

But, my oldest has four cats. I think it's just so I won't come visit, but maybe I'm just paranoid?

terrio said...

I'm pretty sure her eyes were green. We had a pure black cockapoo at the time and when they would wrestle around it looked like that yin/yang thingy.

terrio said...

Louisa - the size of those cats amazes me. My sister has a calico that weighs about 17lbs and she's HUGE! Her legs are still really tiny so when she walks, this giant stomach sways from side to side. I have pictures of her spread out and she looks just like that fat cat next to the wine bottle in Jeanne's blog. LOL!

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

You're just paranoid, Suz. Hahahah! You're right though, the wheezing and watering eyes do put a damper on things. :> They're beautiful creatures though.

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Terrio, now I have this mental image of a very furry, barking, purring yin-yang thing. :> I'll never see it the same way again.

Wasn't that a funny pic w/ the cat and the wine bottle? I couldn't decide if it was to give a sense of the cat's sheer bulk, or to imply that the cat was a total lush.

Treethyme said...

Jeanne - that's why my kids are always buying toy raccoons, raccoon puppets, etc. for me. We also get possums on the deck, but they co-exist with the others, they aren't friends.

The raccoons actually come to the patio door and tap on it when they want Casper to come out and play.

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Okay Becke, that's just freaky. Strange raccoons from outer space. Hahaha.

limecello said...

Congrats on the GR, Anna - and how fitting you got him today!

... O_O Cat show? Haha I id know they existed, but I can't help but picture owners trotting their cats around... or attempting to. (Obviously I've never followed one.) I don't mind cats, but I wouldn't say I prefer them. Never spent as much time around them and heard/saw to many horror stories where friends showed up with clawed up arms. Eek.

Virginia said...

Congrta anna on nabbing that rooster! Have fun with him. Hardwrkdmom, better luck next time!

I like both cats and dogs but I don't have either one right now. We kept a cat for a while but my son developed an alergy to them. We also kept a bird for a while and they are neat pets. If I lived in the country I would have both a dog and a cat.

jo robertson said...

Hilarious post, Jeanne. Love your take on cats and cat people, of which I am one. Well, sort of. I prefer cats over dogs, but I don't necessarily HAVE to have a cat.

I like their independence, their cleanliness, their self-sufficiency. And yes, their mystery. It's certainly easy to see why the ancients gave them all sorts of mystical properties. They are, indeed, strange creatures.

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Heeheee. Limecello...the picture of a cat owner trying to get a cat to trot anywhere...priceless.

They pull them out of their carrying cases and streeeeeeetch them out and then look at eyes and's weird.

Ouch on the clawed arms. Yeah, I remember some of that too.

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Hi Virginia! I like them both too, but I can't have birds. Eeeek. I admire Cassondra and her bird. I have a wonderful friend who has a scarlet MaCaw. That bird has a thing for me.

But I'm scared of her. That beak can crack brazil nuts in one go. Eeek.

And they flap.

Maybe I saw Hitchcock's The Birds at too young an age...

No birds.

Nancy said...

VA, how approriate that your cats will be guarding the rooster today!

Jeanne, I'm strictly a dog person, mostly due to allergies. I have nothing inherently against cats (aside from the one that gave our whole family, except for my grandfather, ringworm when I was in grade school), but I can't be close to them. Around them is okay, just not close.

Besides, what's not to like about slavish devotion? *g*

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Mornin' Jo! :> I don't have one right now either, but I do enjoy them. It is indeed fun to consider their mysterious ways.

We should do mysterious cat pictures for RNTV next year. Ha!

Nancy said...

Jo and Kirsten make good points about cat independence. A dog will eat until it sickens itself as long as there is food, which is, of course, why you can't go off and leave a multi-day food supply for a dog, and a cat seems to assume there will be food later if it's not eaten now.

Getting a house-sitter for the pet seems to be something our cat friends don't have to worry much about, whereas our dog needs company.

Which she considers servants, as she does her family.

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Hey Nancy! Yep. I'm all for slavish devotion too. Heehee. Ringworm huh? Bleeech. I'm a Both-er, but right now, I'm just doing dogs. Like Susan said, one thing in the house needing diaperage is enough and at least cleaning up after the dogs is done OUTside. :> (And no one likes the job so I can get 15 minutes to myself!)

Gannon Carr said...

Yes, Jeanne, our cat is named after THE Mr. Bean--he's lovable, but a complete goof!

Anna Sugden said...

Guarding the rooster? Actually, Nancy, I think they're stalking him *g*.

Though, given the evasive tactics he's been displaying, P226 has trained him well. Not sure what the GR has planned next, but there have been some strange noises coming from the utility room.

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Oh, Gannon, well named. Have you seen Rolan Atkinson - Mr. Bean - in Love Actually? I thought I would fall off my chair. Then again, I can't get past the guy who plays the lounge singer in Love Actually. He's the lead Vampire in the Underworld series...verrrry spooky. :>

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Oh, dear, Anna. You let the GR have access to the utility room? Don't you know there are...utilities in there??? The things he could do. Oh. My.

P226 has taught him TOO well, methinks.

Susan Sey said...

Jeanne wrote: I am SO doing the happy dance, cork-popping, hallelujah fest when the DiaperGenie leaves my house permanently. *Visualizing the day with great longing and glee*

Amen, sister. Amen.

Did I mention I went the cloth diaper route with both kids? My poor washing machine will also heave a sigh of relief when these days are behind (HA!) us.

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Oh, man, Susan you get major Mom Points for that one. I'm pretty much a recycler-save-the-planet kind of gal for everything else, but the cloth diapers? Nope. I work doubly hard to do the other stuff to make up for it, but I"m weak. What can I say.

You're right about your washer though. It will bow down to you in great thanks when you finish with the dread potty training. :>

Donna MacMeans said...

Anna - I think the GR was anxious to head over your way. He found pecking at the calculator a bit tedious yesterday and when the weatherman predicted snow for today, he started packing his bag.

I'm a both-er. I grew up with cats and dogs. But my husband is allergic so we've just had dogs. My son recently discovered that he's allergic as well. His girlfriend has something like six cats. My poor son was covered in hives (I didn't ask how the rash managed to get in SOME of those places).

I've had cats in my last two books, maybe because I can't have them at home. But the one coming out in April has a dog named Spotted Dick.

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Donna, I'm SO not asking about the hives. Nope. Not askin', not thinkin' about it...nope.


I love that you put cats in your books and dogs too. I know we mentioned Lord Hairy in the Lori Foster Anthology in the Dog Blog, but it bears (har, har) repeating.

Loucinda McGary aka Aunty Cindy said...

GREAT POST, Duchesse!

I'm a both-er (and I'm sometimes a bother, too! HA!). I've had both dogs and cats, and I do tend to more heavily favor dogs. Haven't had a cat in a few years now, since we lost the DH's 21 yr old Katie-Kitty to kidney failure.

Unfortunately, the DH is allergic, mostly to long-haired cats, though he's had reactions to a few short-haired also. My cats tend to "adopt" me, and I probably don't have one right now because of two yappy little dogs that I DO have.

I LURVE the LJ Braun books with Koko and Yum-Yum! Haven't written either a dog or a cat into any of my books yet. But the current WIP has a sealion!


PinkPeony said...

Hi everyone. I watched a documentary once about cats. The cat expert said that cats do not view us as humans, but as larger cats. So, I guess I'm just the bigger cat that feeds them, cleans out their litter boxes and constantly reminds them not to swat at the possums on the deck. I tell them not to chase the skunks and to leave the raccoons alone, as they are bigger and meaner. Our cats, Paxil, a cat my husband found in a dumpster at his warehouse and Cheddar, an orange tabby I picked up at the pound to keep Paxil company, are like my husband. They hear me, but they're not really listening. I love dogs too but our yard is not fenced.

Nancy said...

Deb, we had a golden retriever mix who was a ratter. We live in the city, so there are rats around, though we generally prefer not to think about that. ("Your basic Norway rat," the guy from the health dept. calls them when he comes to put out poison. Really, they're not mine.) Maggie delighted in killing rats--nailed six in one week. The problem was, she then wanted to keep them. You know, retrieve them and carry them around. Bring them inside.


I would have trouble with this aspect of cat ownership. For a while, I found pieces of birds by my car door, but the neighbors' cat seems to have realized I'd honestly rather not!

Cassondra said...

I'm a both-er, but they serve different purposes for us. The cats are true companion animals for me and Steve. They live in the house with us, because I'm such a bird freak that I can't stand for the cats to hunt outside. The dogs we got primarily because of Search & Rescue, as they're working dogs. We love them of course, but they have a kennel so they don't live in the house. Mostly because they're giant dogs and our house is small.

I have two cats at present, and have had two since I moved out of my parents' house. Steve was allergic when we met, but after having cats anyway, and getting scratched enough times, the allergies went away. Although they say it doesn't work that way, in Steve's case it did. The scratches immunized him.

I have a long haired gray and white named Amon, which is Egyptian for "faithful and true" and a black with white splash on the chest named Umbra. He's just six months old and is still bugging the stuffins out of Amon, who just growls and hisses, which I've figured means, "grow up already!"

Recently Umbra has begun to play with Thor, the crow. They play chase. First Thor chases Umbra, then Umbra chases Thor. Thor grabs Umbra's tail. Yesterday they played a primitive form of catch with one of Umbra's toy balls. They rolled it back and forth across the floor to each other. No lie. I don't even get surprised any more. I just frown a bit, think, "hmmmmmmm," and go back to reading.

That thing about "Egyptians used to worship cats; Cats have never forgotten this" That's true. Every bit of it. I actually think they're highly evolved and we should be grateful they allow us to live here in their world.

Cassondra said...


Thus far cats have appeared in every manuscript I've written. They just show up. I don't plan it. I start writing, and there's a cat. The cat won't allow him/herself to be written out of the book. If I try, the cat takes over my brain.

I have not written a dog into a novel yet, which is weird, given how much I've worked with/trained dogs.

I cannot explain this.

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Sealions, eh, Aunty? Well, well. We'll have to be on the lookout for THAT when it come out. :>

How wonderful that Katie-Kitty lived to 21. Whoa, that's a long life. She must have been well loved. :>

Aren't Koko and Yum-yum a crackup? Such true Siameses. (I miss mine who've been gone for several years now)

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Hi PinkPeony! Good to see you. Okay, Paxil, like the drug? :> Good for you for adopting a homeless one and adopting another to keep him company. Rock on! :>

I was LOL about the DH hearing you but not really listening. There's this great Larsen cartoon...

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Wow, Nancy, that is one fast dog. Six in one week? Eeew is right. Esp. the retrieving and carrying them about part. Bleeech.

One of our neighbors has a cat who will come to our front yard and sit where the dogs can see her, usually with some savory morsel in her mouth. The dogs slaver and bark. She laughs and moves on. I DO wish she'd do something about the chipmunk population, but she seems far more interested in voles.

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Wow, Cassondra, that's totally cool about Thor playing with the cats. Go Thor! Had to LOL about the cats taking over your brain. There's some kind of animal in every manuscript I've ever written, from Dragons to guard dogs, I can't leave them out so I understand this, totally. Ha!

I love that your cat is named Amon. Sounds like you and Anna both have a thing for the tuxedo cats.

Gannon Carr said...

Jeanne, LOVE ACTUALLY is one of my favorite movies. Rowan Atkinson was a hoot, as always, and Bill Nighy as the aging rocker cracked me up.

I also love Rowan in FOUR WEDDINGS AND A FUNERAL! He plays the bumbling idiot so well. :)

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

He does play that clueless bumbler brilliantly, doesn't he Gannon? My fav is still Black Adder. "I have a cunning plan..."


But the whole "Quite quick..." bit in Love Actually slays me every time. :>

Gannon Carr said...

As far as cats in books, how about Galahad, Eve and Roarke's cat in J.D. Robb's IN DEATH series?!

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Oh, he's wonderful, isn't he Gannon? Galahad the cat. Fat, odd-eyed, lifesaver of a cat. :> Well portrayed.

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...


I just found put our very own KATE CARLISLE is hitting the New York Times List with her debut, Homicide in Hardcover!!!


Uncork the champers, boys!! Cabana boys, bring the hors d'oevres!

hrdwrkdmom aka Dianna said...

I doubt that Anna, the last time he was here I think Shadow gave him a stroke and Angel (who isn't) had him trapped in the bathroom for hours until I got home.

Cassondra said...


There's news!

Jeanne, are you gonna tell??????

Are you????

Anna Sugden said...


The hockey hunks and I are conga dancing around the Lair in your honour!!

CONGRATULATIONS to our very own NYT Bandita!!

Cassondra said...



Snoopy Dancing in the LAIR BABY!!!!

Call in the second shift cabana boys....we've got a party to set up!

Suzanne Welsh said...


Champagne anyone!!

Cheers to our Kate!!!!

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

I've already called in the second shift. JT's working, but I know she'll get her Roman boys on duty PDQ as well.



(And there's a cat on the cover too, just in keeping with today's blog! Snork!)

Kate Carlisle said...

Sorry, I was in the conga line with the cabana boys, then there was a new batch of pina coladas I had to taste test...

Hello!!!! Thank you, guys!!! Oh, and champagne, too? Maybe just a sip...

I'm thrilled and stunned and insanely happy about the news!! I hit the New York Times extended bestseller list for March 1, in case anyone in the universe didn't hear all that screaming noise coming from somewhere in Southern California!! LOL

And I know I totally owe it all to my wonderful Banditas and Buddies right here in the Lair!!

And the cat on the cover, of course. :-)

Loucinda McGary aka Aunty Cindy said...

WTG Kate!!!!!!!!!!

Cabana boys, HOP TO IT with more bubbly!!!

happy dancing around the Lair

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Da-da-da-da-DAH-da! Conga LINE!!!

This is so FAB-U-LOUS!!!!


The first of many!!!

*raising glass* Here's to Kate!!!


Susan Mallery said...

Happy, happy news, Kate!!! Big congrats and hugs.

Love the cabana boys...

Deb Marlowe said...

Whoo hooo, Kate! I was hoping for a chance to say that I am right smack dab in the middle of HIH and loving it!

Lots of other folks are too! Hooray!

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Hi Susan! Isn't it GREAT? Beats talking about the cats - with apologies to the cats and Cat People - to have THIS to celebrate!!!

Pull up a cabana boy and a glass of champagne and chat a while!

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Hey Deb! It's a fab read, isn't it?

Here, have some champagne. Kate's buying tonight. :>

Kate Carlisle said...

Susan!! Hi! Thank you, thank you! Thanks for coming by the Lair! :-)

Hey Deb, thanks! I hope you like the book lots!!

Yep, the bubbly's on me, so help yourselves, everyone! (Literally on me because I'm spilling it all over the place!)

And hey, did I mention the kitty cat on the cover of the book? I'm all about relevance, Jeanne. :-)

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Kate said: And hey, did I mention the kitty cat on the cover of the book? I'm all about relevance, Jeanne. :-)

But of course, darling Kate! Independent, warm and friendly to those she knows...describes cats AND your heroine, Brooklyn, to a T!


Here, have a cabana boy bring you something drier to slip into...we'll have those KATE HITS NYT ball caps here soon.

Maureen Child said...

Woo Hoo, Kate!!!!

This is AWESOME!!! And soooooo well deserved!! Send that cabana boy out for more vodka!!

Keira Soleore said...

Cat did get my tongue. I'm allergic to them. Hence I have nothing to post here today. Must be relief for some, given how much I chatter usually.

Keira Soleore said...

KATE!!!! THE NYT!!!!! Huzzahs! Huzzahs! Major party in the lair.

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Hey Maureen! *shouting* Is Maureen's vodka here yet???

Welcome! Isn't this a great impromptu party? We love those, here in the Lair!

And WHAT an occasion! Yeeehaaa!

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Heehee, Keira! You were just posting along, being so nice. THEN you read the news, right? Grins.

How cool is THAT?!?!?

Here, have a drink. No cats involved, ergo, no allergens involved.

Beth said...

Yippee!! Super congrats, Kate - you awesome, NYT bestselling author, you! So thrilled for you!!


Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Here, Beth, have a drink! Champagne all around. (Kate's already had to change her shirt what with all the hugging and champagne splashing. Not to worry though, the Cabana boys didn't mind at all!)


Caren Crane said...

Anna, you sneak! You've been lying in wait...with your cats!!

I love cats. My father was a veterinarian, so we owned every sort of mammal, reptile, amphibian, bird and rodent you can imagine. I loved the dogs, but I adore the cats!

My cat, Chaps, is quite a character. He is, on the one hand, a revolutionary. He's always trying to rally the neighborhood and start an insurrection of some sort. On the other hand, he is a BRAT and meows at the door constantly. He jumps in my van every time I open the door and won't come out. He mostly stays outside, but when he comes in he runs straight to my reading chair and starts clawing it. Bratty kitty!

I just love him, though. I can't be upset with the purring, fluffy ball of pure love. He can take care of himself, but he likes to hang around with us. He is white and gray, mostly gray on his back. He has white markings up his legs that meet across his back, which is why he was named "Chaps". It looks like he's wearing a pair!

We adopted Chaps when he was 1-1/2. His owner listed him on Craigslist. She had brought him to Chapel Hill from her parents' farm in Oklahoma. He was a semi-feral barn kitty then. She lived in an apartment where he was NOT free to roam outdoors. After about a year of such torment, he began spraying her apartment to show his displeasure. So, he had to go.

We assured her he could roam at our house! We have a big yard and a very quiet neighborhood with little traffic. He has a kitty condo in the garage that is full of fluffy warm stuff in the winter and has a light burning 24/7 for heat. He has a cat door into the garage. He is divinely happy at our house and we cherish his bratty little self!

Um...yeah, I'm a cat person. *g*

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Darling Caren! A revolutionary insurrectionist cat? I love him already! Go Chaps!

He sounds like he's got a great life. And as if he's a fabulous companion.

(Does he like champagne?)

Joan said...

I love me some cats!

My first pet was a tabby cat named Pebbles. She loved me and I loved her even when she found herself in a delicate way from a wayward Tom....She presented ME with 4 kittens (Brownie, Panther, Scout and Squeaky)

Yes, I loved my cat!

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Grins. How old were you when naming these kittens, JT? Heehee. I love tabby cats. :>

See, I know if you were naming them NOW...Bran, Gaul, Bandit, Celt? Ha!

Kate Carlisle said...

Yes, champagne for Chaps and Posh!

Maureen!! Hi! Thanks for stopping by the secret party!! Is the vodka here yet? Okay, a little tonic, a squeeze of lime. Aaaaahhh!!

Keira, hi!!! Welcome to the festivities! Don't mind the kitty cats, the Lair is allergy-free! Here, this champagne will help. :-)

Hi Beth! Thanks!! Yes, do enjoy some bubbly! Pablo, take care of Beth, will you? Mm, better than champagne!

Champagne and Pablo for everyone!!!

Joan said...

Demetrius! Demetrius! Grab that NYT Bestselling Author and your shield....

Time for some celebrating!!!


Joan said...

I was a wee little lass, Jeanne.

It was also during my Girl Scout years.

Squeaky was my fav. She was a calico and the only girl. But a vicisous dog named Blackie ATE HER!!!!!


Joan said...

Squeaky was my fav. She was a calico and the only girl. But a vicisous dog named Blackie ATE HER!!!!!

I should have gotten her a stiletto!

Caren Crane said...

Kate, you are the awesomest! WOO HOO!!! I, like Deb, am smack in the middle of Homicide in Hardcover and it is FANTASTIC!!

Rock on, Bandita, and pass the champers!

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Ooh, champers AND Pablo!?! Kate, you generous soul you. :>

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Kate?! Be care...oh well, there she goes.

*squinting into the darkness down the hill at the back of the Lair*

Demetrius, you keep her safe!?!

Is that a squeal of delight I hear or was that just the whoosh from shield-sledding with Demetrius?


Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Kate, Squeaky TOTALLY needed a stilletto. :> Thanks for bringing Demtrius and your party attitude. I know it was a long day for you at the DDJ>

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Sorry, that should have been JT, not Kate, who needed to give her kitty a stilletto. I think I either need more food or less champagne.

How 'bout both!? Pablo!!

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

BTW, Banditas, why is Pablo on second shift? He's QUITE nice...

Donna MacMeans said...

WOOHOO Kate!!!

Sorry to be late but just got the news! Who's got the champagne? I have some catching up to do.

Kate, m'dear, I'm so proud of you. You rock the big time, bandita!

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Here, Donna! *pouring* Lift a glass. Rockin' the big time, I like that! :>

Wooohooo Kate!!!

Louisa Cornell said...


Kate I am SO EXCITED for you!!

All 60 plus pounds of feline are dancing on the bed with Mama Louisa!

HUMUNGOUS Congratulations and so well deserved!!

HIH is on my TBR stack and it just moved to the top!

May this be the first of many trips to the LIST!

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Louisa said: May this be the first of many trips to the LIST!

Amen, Louisa! *waving hankie* Isn't it THRILLING???

Here, you and the cats need some champagne....

Treethyme said...

Kate - congratulations! Wow, that is fabulous news!

Cassondra said...

Jeanne said:

BTW, Banditas, why is Pablo on second shift? He's QUITE nice...

Because I'm on second shift.

What'd ya think?

Where's the champagne? My glass is empty. Paaaaaaabloooooooo!!!!!!!

hrdwrkdmom aka Dianna said...

SQEEE!! I missed it! Such wonderful news Kate. It kind of looks like a war zone this morning in the lair so I am just going to leave this note and tip toe back out. For those that are up to it breakfast is in the oven, just a little breakfast casserole.

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Cassondra said: Because I'm on second shift.

Ahhhhh. It all makes sense now. :>

Diana, thanks for the casserole...

Kate Carlisle said...

Uhh, wow. Sorry I missed some of the party, but it seems Demetrius wanted to uh, bare his, um...soul. Right, yeah, that's it! He wanted to bare his soul, so we, um, talked--yeah, talked all night!!! I swear we just talked, Goddess Sangria!!

Now where did I leave that chilled bottle of champers? The perfect accompaniment to breakfast casserole! Thanks, Dianna!! Thanks everyone!! Thanks, cat people!! What a fun party! Woo hoo!!!