As a fan of cozy mysteries because I star in one myself, I’m excited about my next guest. What is your name and your author’s name?
Thank you for inviting me, Sneaky. I’m so excited to meet you and Debbie! My full name is Miss Cuddlywumps, but people call me Miss C for short. My author person’s name is Roby Sweet, but I like to call her She of Little Talent, or old SoLT for short. She doesn’t seem to mind.
You are so lucky about that, Miss C. I don’t think Debbie would appreciate that type of comment from me, although she does stand for a lot of cat poop from her pre-teen daughter who just turned 12 today.
What book(s) have you appeared in? Please tell us about them.
I star in a cozy mystery series called Miss Cuddlywumps Investigates. There are three books so far: A Bump in the Road, The Ides of October, and Siren Song. We are finishing up work on the fourth book now, it is called Night of the Furies, and it will be out in December.
I also write a blog called The Cuddlywumps Cat Chronicles. It is all about cats in history, mystery, and culture. I also care a lot about helping senior kitties in shelters find homes, so I blog about that sometimes too.
My Bastet! You and I have much in common. Not only are we both in cozy mysteries, but we both write blogs. Of course, we don’t “litter-ally” write them. Our authors lend a hand because it’s quite difficult to tap computer keys with our paws.
Please tell us more about your series.
I play myself in the Miss Cuddlywumps Investigates series. I am a classically educated calico cat who is also familiar with mysteries. All of this education serves me well in my life in a tiny Maryland town where strange things keep happening, like people being murdered. I help my person (a rather clueless soul named Rory) solve the mysteries. Without me and my knowledge of Homer and Socrates and the like, criminals would go free.
Pawsome. I also live in a small town. Cobble Cove is in upstate New York. I am the library cat there. I help with the mysteries Alicia faces but not in a direct way. I hope to convince my author to give me catnip-worthy parts in the future.
Are you based on a real cat such as your author’s? If so, please give further details.
I am a completely fictional cat. Old SoLT says that one day she was taking a rather ordinary walk when out of the blue, this cat (me) popped into her head. That was about six years ago, and I have been in her head ever since. Sometimes she forgets that I’m not real.
In that we are different. I am based on Debbie’s Oliver, who is also Siamese, but I am a younger and more tail-anted actor than he.
Can you share an excerpt from one of your books that features you in an important scene? If so, please include it.
Yes. Here is a scene from my first book, A Bump in the Road. This is a scene from chapter 7, where I alert my person to the fact that I have just witnessed a murder outside our house:
Rory awoke to the sensation of a paw hitting her repeatedly on the cheek. The hitting was accompanied by a persistent meowing. She tried to brush the paw away, but the hitting and meowing continued. Finally she opened one eye, complaining, “It can’t be five already.” Looking at the clock, she saw it was not five o’clock; it was three thirty. “You’re kidding me. Knock it off, cat.” Rory pulled the blanket over her head.
Miss C did not knock it off. Did Socrates “knock it off” when he was on trial for his life? No! Did Odysseus “knock it off” on his epic journey home from the Trojan War? Well, a little bit, but he persevered in the end. The cat hooked the claws of one paw into the blanket and tried to pull it back, meowing all the time. “Rory! Rory! You have to get up. Thor!”
Rory felt the blanket being pulled from her face, and then the hitting began again. The meowing had never stopped. Now more fully awake, she realized there was something frantic, urgent, about Miss C’s actions. Rory sat up and reached to turn on the bedside lamp. Blinking in the light, she saw Miss C looking positively frazzled; her eyes were wide, her tail erect and puffy—she looked ready to run and hide. “What, Miss C? What’s wrong?”
Miss C jumped to the floor meowing, “Thor! Thor!” She ran from the room.
Pulse racing, Rory swung her feet out of bed, pulled her robe on and stepped into her slippers, and followed her cat.
She found Miss C sitting in the living room window and staring at something outside. “Murder!” the cat meowed.
“What the heck is going on?”
Rory looked out the window, saw the white pickup parked in front of her house. Its headlights were on, the driver’s-side door was wide open, and it sounded like the engine was running. Looked like Don Miller’s truck, but where was Don? A yard sign reading “Bumps Save Lives” was leaned up against the truck’s driver’s-side rear tire. Then Rory spotted the sign that had been installed in her front yard. Nearby lay a baseball cap.
“Don, what on earth are you doing?” she breathed.
“Murder!” Miss C meowed.
A purr-fect scene, but how in the world does a cat meow murder? I have never done that, although I know Debbie’s cats do it regularly when they are waiting to be fed.
What do you like most about your role in your authors’ books?
I like that I am the star, as is only fitting for a cat of my caliber. I also like how I get to mention monsters and things from classical mythology, like Medusa. It is so much fun!
Are you a talking cat in your books or just a silent one like I am who just meows occasionally?
I am a talking cat, and I have a lot to say, but of course none of the humans understand me; they all think I am just meowing. It is so frustrating to say such wise things and not be understood.
Same here. I feel your fur-stration.
What advice would you give other cat characters?
The main thing is to let the humans think they are in charge, even though obviously you are the only one who knows what’s going on. Also, if you can get someone to read to you from the classics—Homer and Herodotus and so on—you will learn a lot about humans and life.
I must try that. I’m actually a bit of a Shakespeare fan myself. To Meow or Not to Meow, that is the question.
Do you have any new books coming out? Please give dates and details.
Yes, my fourth book, Night of the Furies, is coming out in December. In this book, there is an archaeology dig going on in my town, Brooksford, and suddenly it seems that everyone has a skeleton in their backyard. I mean literally, one skeleton after another is found, all buried in the same odd way. In the midst of my inquiries into that situation, a fresh body turns up, its heart pierced by an archaeologist’s trowel. So, in addition to investigating a series of 200-year-old deaths, I now have to investigate a brand-new death, in what turns out to be my most challenging case yet.
I have only been in two books so far, my second just came out October 12, Between a Rock and a Hard Place. I am trying to pur-suade Debbie to start my third book soon.
Are you and/or your author on social media? If so, please list your links.
We are all over the Internet and social media, and we would love for people (or cats, or whatever) to visit us there. You can find us in these places:
Blog: The Cuddlywumps Cat Chronicles (http://cuddlywumps.blogspot.com)
Paw-some. I will share those links. Thanks again for the interview, Miss C. It was a pleasure to chatter with you today.