A Cat Calendar to Meow About and a Great Cause to Support

calendar3caledar4Hey, Kitties. I know you and your humans probably got a ton of calendars for the holidays and January is almost over, but my author won a special limited edition one recently in a birthday contest for 17-year old Clyde that I think you should really check out before the last copies are gone. Not only does it feature cute cats, but it includes cat-related holidays, moon phases, and international holidays. Even better, the calendar is connected to a new cat book coming out featuring debonair black felines. The calendar and book both support a pawsome project that I want to share with you.

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The entire black cat initiative to raise awareness and shelter adoption rates began as a Kickstarter campaign last summer. It’s a 501 (c) 3 nonprofit for the book, calendar and all merchandise. I’ve included a video testimonial by Chris Poole from Cole and Marmalade, two of my favorite video cat actors, that explains this purrfectly wonderful project.

clyde2The Black Cat Tells All book is due to be released in early Spring, 2017 with pre-orders available in February. Clyde and the editor and author of the one of the stories who is also the founder of the Black Cat Initiative, Layla Morgan Wilde, are very busy now preparing for the book release, but I would very much like to interview Clyde one day soon.

laylamorganMs. Wilde considers the Black Cat Initiative her “passion project.” As editor of Black Cats Tell All, curated story and poem submissions for the book and devised a feline purrsonality profile questionnaire. She also curated thousands of images for the anthology and worked closely with a copy editor and book designer to create a unique visual narrative for it. She said that she found the job which included curating large numbers of images from over 60 professional and amateur photographers to over 300 photographs  for acceptable quality for printed and e-versions of the book “more daunting than expected” but one which she hopes will “stem the tide of black cat prejudice in the U.S. and beyond.” and, considers the Black Cat Initiative her “passion project” and hopes it will “stem the tide of black cat prejudice in the U.S. and beyond.”

Below are links for more information about the Black Cats Tell All book, the initiative, and Layla Morgan Wilde.

BCTA (Black Cats Tell All) community Facebook group: www.Facebook.com/blackcatstellall

Instagram @blackcatsofIG

Twitter: @catwisdom101

Nonprofit shop http://shop.catwisdom101.com

Layla Morgan Wilde’s Website/Blog: https://catwisdom101.com/

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Feature Friday Film: Funny Siamese Cats

TBIF (Thank Bastet It’s Friday). For the feature film this week, I decided to post one about funny Siamese cats. As you know, although I am a book character, I am a member of this breed, as is my author’s real-life cat, Oliver. Like some of the Siamese in this film, he can be quite amusing and talkative. I hope you get a laugh out of this funny cat movie.

Sneaky Interviews Svetlana and Rex from the Moorhaven Mystery Series

What a lucky cat character I am to have two new guests on my blog today. Can you please introduce yourselves and your author?

morgan-talbot-author-pic-bigSvetlana: I am Svetlana, Kitty Mistress of Moorehaven, and my author is Morgan C. Talbot. Oh, and that fluffy tabby back there is young Rex. He is merely two years old, but I will kindly allow him to answer one or two questions if he is a good kitty.

That sounds purrfect, Ms. Svetlana. What book(s) have you appeared in? Please list them and their genre.

Svetlana: We live in the Moorehaven Mysteries series, which only has one book out so far: Smugglers & Scones. Our world is very cozy, and comes with plenty of yummy food!

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There’s lots of food in my Cobble Cove mysteries, too — special PB&J sandwiches, delicious muffins and cookies, and tons of tasty scraps from the library staff lounge which I enjoy sneaking bites of (my name is “Sneaky,” after all).

Can one of you tell me more about your series? It sounds pawsome.

Svetlana: You may speak now., Rex. Be polite.

Rex: Yes, Svetlana. *ahem* Moorehaven Mysteries is a series set in the small town of Seacrest on the Oregon Coast. Moorehaven is a Victorian B&B, which used to be the home of world-famous mystery author A. Raymond Moore. All the humans in Seacrest know about murder mysteries because of him. And all of the guests who come to Moorehaven write mysteries, too.

Our owner, Pippa Winterbourne, runs Moorehaven, so we get to sit on all the laps and computer keyboards we can find! The B&B has so many windows for us to gaze out of, it’s great. Plus there’s all the kitchen leftovers. Pippa and her Uncle Hilt make the best breakfast food I’ve ever eaten, and if I sit in the kitchen window sill and stare at them long enough, they’ll give me some!

Svetlana: Yes, that is enough, Rex. Thank you. I apologize for his youthful exuberance.

No apologies necessary. Rex did very well. While I’m a library cat, I sometimes pay visits at the Cobble Inn which used to be run by a nice lady named Dora when my author’s main character, Alicia, first came to town. Now her friend Gilly is in charge, and she is just as good a baker. Alicia is a librarian and is a co-author of a mystery series, so we have a lot in common.

Are you based on a real cat such as your author’s? If so, please give further details.

Svetlana: No, Rex, I will answer this one. You are too young and get the facts wrong. Now then. Rex and I are not based on real cats because our author’s husband is allergic. Such a tragedy, I know. But in our book series, we are both named for characters from Mr. Moore’s fictional bestsellers. It’s a rule of Moorehaven: the B&B must always have two cats, and they must always be named for characters from Mr. Moore’s novels. I am named for a gorgeous Russian spy, as you might have guessed, in The Alabaster Guile. Rex, well, he is less interesting. He was a bodybuilder who got mixed up with the wrong crowd in The Brass Artifice. But Rex is very lovely to snuggle with in window sills during the winter. And he licks my ears. He really is a good kitty. Even if he is just named for a musclehead.

How interesting.  What do you like most about your role in your author’s books?

Rex: Hey, I like being named for a musclehead! Actually, I think it’s neat that we’re named for characters in bestselling books. Moorehaven is a mansion with over a hundred years of history—and mysteries of its own—and we get to live there and be part of its atmosphere. Writers and cats have always been natural allies. Except, y’know, when keyboards are involved. I’m proud of my job to help set the tone of the B&B and the book we’re in.

Svetlana: That was a decent answer, Rex.

Very decent indeed. Don’t be so hard on him, Svetlana.

Are you talking cats in your books or just a silent one like I am who just meows occasionally?

Svetlana: We don’t speak, but with our body language, we offer a kind of color commentary on the life and excitement in Moorehaven.

Rex: Yeah, you are a white commentary, and I am a tabby commentary.

Svetlana: No, just no. You should probably stop talking now.

MOL (Meow Out Loud). Give the Kit a break. He’s just got a weird sense of humor.

What advice would you give other cat characters?

Svetlana: Be cats. Everyone who knows cats will know when you get it right. And beware of dog characters. They are all spies for the humans.

I agree cats are the superior species, but my co-star is not a spy. Fido is just a dumb dog even if the human characters treat him the same as me. Cats make much better spies especially the “sneaky” ones like me.

Do you have any new books coming out? Please give dates and details.

Svetlana: Our author is hard at work on the second book in our series, which is tentatively called Burglars and Blintzes. But its release date is classified Top Secret. Even I don’t know it.

Hmmm. I hate when authors keep secrets from us characters. Debbie has the third book in our series coming out soon and a reprinted version of our first, A Stone’s Throw, but the only thing I know is that she may have taken my advice and put my photo on the cover of Written in Stone. Actually, it’s not my photo but another Siamese model. I also noticed, when I peeked at her screen, that she was adding some new scenes featuring me in more adventurous roles. That was after I complained about the silly storytime and annoying vet scene she cast me in our second book, Between a Rock and a Hard Place. I guess my blogging has opened her eyes to my true talents.

Are you and/or your author on social media? If so, please list your links.

Svetlana: Our author has these social media links you speak of. They are just distractions from petting us, you know, but I will slip you the information you need anyway. You owe me a treat for this, okay?

No problem. I always keep some catnip on hand to loosen up my guests, so go ahead, and I will share some with you and Rex, too.

Here is the bird one: https://twitter.com/MorganCTalbot

Here is the purple one: http://morganctalbot.blogspot.com/

Here is the blue one: https://www.facebook.com/MorganCTalbot/

I’m such a clever kitty, just like the spy I’m named for!

And quite modest, Svetlana. Thanks for the interview, and best whiskers to you, Rex, and your author on your upcoming books.

Sneaky Interviews Oliver and Max, the Cat Characters of J. Schlenker

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Oliver by J. Schlenker
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Max by J. Schlenker

I have the honor of interviewing two cats today. One shares the namesake of my author’s cat, Oliver, and the other is named Max. Good day, lads. Welcome to my blog. Can please you share with my readers the name of your author and what books you’ve both appeared in?

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https://www.amazon.com/Missing-Butler-Other-Life-Mysteries-ebook/dp/B01N41RJP7/

Max meows: Our author is J. Schlenker. She wrote “The Mysterious Butler and Other Life Mysteries” (A Collection of Short Stories). Oliver and I are in the story, Nine Lives, in that book.

Are you based on a real cat such as your author’s? If so, please give further details.

Oliver says:  One of my lives, the one of Buddha, is based partially on a true story about my author’s cat.

Can you share an excerpt from one of your books that features you in an important scene? If so, please include it.

Oliver announces:  This is me starting to tell my tale.

Nine Lives

“You look old,” the white fuzz ball of a kitten said, keeping a cautious distance from the fat cat. The old cat, almost the same color as himself, but marked with age, sat curled up next to a bowl of milk.

“If you’re looking to get some of my milk, that’s no way to go about it,” the fat cat replied with a sluggish raise of his eyelids.

“No, still nursing. Have no need of your milk.”

“Ugh,” the fat cat grunted, dropping his eyelids back down to a narrow slit.

The small kitten edged closer but toppled over on the fat cat after being distracted by a butterfly.

“Meow,” came the gruff voice of the fat cat. “Why are you still here? Why don’t you go somewhere else to play? Find another cat to bother.”

“You don’t have to be mean,” the kitten said, jumping back and sliding over on its side.

“I saw your brothers and sisters earlier. Why aren’t you off playing with them?”

“I didn’t want to. Besides I’m the runt. They ran off and left me.”

“Oh, you want to bother me then, do you?”

“No, not bother. I came to ask you questions. My name is Max.”

“Well, Max, could you kindly come back after my nap?”

“When will that be?” asked Max.

“How about tomorrow? No, make that next week,” the big fat cat said, hardly moving his lips, as it took up far too much energy. But Max just sat there silently, staring.

The big cat half-opened an eye and cringed. “You still here?” Max sat in silence, all wide-eyed.

“What’s wrong? Cat got your tongue?” The big cat almost laughed, but his rheumatism was acting up, so he stifled the urge for any kind of movement, even his mouth.

“No, the cat doesn’t have my tongue. My mama said be respectful because you’re old, and she said you were wise.” Max stiffened in reverence. “She said you were on the last of your lives. She said you are called Oliver, but before that was called Buddha.”

“Your mom knows about me, does she?”

Max nodded with wide-eyed awe and waited for Oliver to speak, but nothing came but a low snore. Max ever so lightly touched Oliver’s leg with his paw. Nothing. Max tapped harder until Oliver jumped up in a growl. “What is it, you young whippersnapper?”

“I just want to know,” Max said, keeping his position, remembering what his mama said, show no fear.

“Know what?” Oliver snapped.

“About your lives?”

“You’re a persistent chap, aren’t you? Hmm, well, I’ve been persistent in my day. Don’t get to nine lives without being persistent.” Oliver repositioned himself and took a slurp of milk. “Well, I guess since you’re here. Nothing else to do these days. Might as well make yourself comfortable.” Oliver looked young Max up and down. “This your first life?”

“Yeah, how did you know?”

“Written all over you.”

Oliver took another slurp of milk. “I go back, way back. Ever hear of the pyramids?”

Max shook his head.

“Well, they’re in Egypt, a far piece from here. That was where I spent my first life. Barely weaned when an Egyptian princess took a fancy to me. In the nick of time, too. I was orphaned.”

“Oh?” Max questioned in awe.

“Yes, my mama was hit by a huge obelisk. Faulty construction. Happened back then, too.”

Max looked puzzled. “It’s a huge pillar. Well, never mind. Not really pertinent to the story. There were human lives lost, too. Not that there wasn’t law suits. Shifty lawyers back then, too. But being a cat, I had no recourse. All I cared about was that I lost my mama, along with all my brothers and sisters. But, like you, being the runt, I tagged behind. That saved my life. Maybe it was karma. I don’t remember my lives before being a cat. Maybe it was just dumb, blind luck. I didn’t think so at first. I just curled up into a ball and whimpered until someone picked me up. It was the princess who saved me from a life of begging.”

“A real-life princess? Wow,” said Max. “Was she beautiful?”

“No, not in the least.”

Max looked down in disappointment.

“But not being beautiful was a good thing. At least for me. Now her sister, Neffie, as everyone called her, was drop dead gorgeous, but no, Miffen, was a little on the pudgy side. I’m sorry to say that people called her Muffin behind her back. But Muffin, I mean Miffen, had the biggest heart.”

“Why was not being a beautiful princess good?” Max interjected.

“Because not everyone can be beautiful. Like I said, she was kind. She didn’t have any toms all over her like beautiful women. Her attention wasn’t divided on this or that, not the trivial things that interest most women, hair brushes, hair ornaments, lip rouge and the like. Time goes on, but humans change little. She lavished most of her attention on me, at least for a long time. Oh, she took in other strays from time to time, but I was her first and was always dearest to her heart, until…”

“Until?” Max perked up.

“She fell in love. Not with a prince but with a lowly worker, a stonecutter. Well, at first I thought no worries. But then, one day, she scrambled off to spy him through the reeds. He saw her. He knew how she felt. They lost all abandon.”

Max sat up straighter.

That was pawsome. Thanks for that purrfect excerpt, Oliver. You and Max are great cat actors.

What do you like most about your role in your authors’ books?

Oliver answers: Educating Max. Possibly he can avoid some of my mistakes.

You are doing a great job. I’m sure he appreciates that.

Are you a talking cat in your books or just a silent one like I am who just meows occasionally?

Oliver replies: Really, I’m not much of a talker or a meower, mostly a lounger in my old age.

I see. With age, comes wisdom.

What advice would you give other cat characters?

Oliver states: Not all dogs are bad.

Very true. My co-partner in the Cobble Cove mysteries is Fido, a golden retriever. He’s a nice guy but not all that sharp. I’ve also just started featuring dogs and other animals on this blog. I still think cats are the superior species, though.

Do you have any new books coming out? Please give dates and details.

Max explains: Our author J. Schlenker’s  current project is Sally. It will be fictional history, based on a woman she met when she was eight years of age. She was born into slavery in 1858. She lived to be 110 years old. Our author projects it will be out in late spring or early summer.

That sounds very interesting. I will tell my readers to keep an eye out for it.

Are you and/or your author on social media? If so, please list your links.

Max indicates: Here are our author’s links. You can contact us through any of them:

https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/14763892.J_Schlenker

https://www.facebook.com/J.SchlenkerAuthor/

https://athursdayschild.wordpress.com/

https://twitter.com/athursdayschild

Thanks for the interview, guys. Paws-up to you and your author on your future books and best whiskers also to your author on her participation in Mystery Thriller Week.

Some “Cool” Feature Friday Films

Hey, folks. Since it’s January, I thought I’d show some winter films for Feature Friday. I don’t condone letting your cats out in the snow, and some cats hate getting their paws cold and wet, but these clips show that some kitties enjoy a supervised frolic in the white stuff. My author Debbie keeps her cats inside except for an occasional sit out on her enclosed patio. As for me-ow, I’m an indoor character cat, too, enjoying my very own room at the Cobble Cove library and the window seat in the Children’s room.

I realize some of you reading this are in places where it never snows, and others who have snow almost all winter. Here in NY, we’ve had two storms so far, but they’ve been washed away by rain as temperatures rose afterward.

I hope you enjoy these funny snow cat videos.