Sneaky’s Interview of Susan Mann’s Spy Cat, Rasputin

Wow, Meow. I have a spy cat here today. Actually, he’s not a spy. His character is a librarian like my human co-star Alicia, but Quinn becomes involved with a spy, so I guess that would make Rasputin a spy accomplice. How exciting!

Let’s see what we can deduce from this fellow feline. What is your name and your author’s name?

Hi, Sneaky. It’s nice to talk with you. My name is Rasputin and I’m a brown tabby. I live in the imagination of my author Susan Mann.

That’s a great name, purrfect for a spy accomplice. What book(s) have you appeared in? Please list them and their genre.

My literary claim to fame is as Quinn Ellington’s feline roommate in the romantic suspense/adventure novels The Librarian and the Spy, A Covert Affair, and An Uncommon Honeymoon.

Pawsome. I know my author is reading the first one now. She couldn’t resist a book about a fellow librarian. When she saw the review in a journal she was ordering from at her library, she had to get it.

Please give more information about your series.

I am in a series of three books, each “A Librarian and the Spy Escapade.” My first appearance is in The Librarian and the Spy. Quinn Ellington is a reference librarian who thirsts for the kind of adventures she reads about in her favorite spy novels. As luck would have it, she ends up going on the adventure of a lifetime when James, a patron at the library asks for her help identifying various artifacts. Some things happened in The Librarian and the Spy that kind of freaked me out, so I was happy to stay with the neighbor and his family while Quinn and James traipsed off to England.

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

Addison in all his glory

My real life alter ego was the cat Susan had when she was a young, single librarian. Addison was her buddy and constant companion for seventeen years. Over the years he endured multiple moves, and bringing on first the husband, then the kid and finally the dog. He’s gone now, but his memory lives on through me.

Aw. My author also published a book called Cloudy Rainbow that featured her very special cat, Floppy, who she had for 15 years. Now she has Oliver whom I am loosely based on in her Cobble Cove mystery series. He’s 17 and hanging in there but is starting to have some kidney problems.

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

I pop up a number times in The Librarian and the Spy, as well as the next two books to be released in the series. My most important moment is when I meet James for the first time. He comes to Quinn’s and my apartment to pick her up for their date. As I am an impeccable judge of character, I am her Feline Gatekeeper. Even if she says otherwise, Quinn would have grave reservations about getting involved with James if I didn’t approve. The following is our first encounter:

“Speaking of Rasputin, I believe I need to gain his approval before we can leave. What happens if I don’t pass inspection? Am I going to have to return to Santa Monica alone?”

          “Why? Are you not feeling confident about your cat whispering abilities?”

          “Oh, I’m ready,” he answered. The look he gave her melted her insides. “There’s just a lot riding on it, that’s all.”

          “I wouldn’t be too concerned,” she managed when she found her voice. “I pay the rent, so I have veto power. Besides, I’d hate for you to go back to Santa Monica alone.”

          “I appreciate the consideration.”

          “I have to admit I’m also curious about how he’ll react to you. I don’t have a lot of company, so he’s not around new people very often.”

          “Happy to be your test case,” he said.

          “Okay, here we go. Kitty, kitty, kitty,” she called. A half a minute later, Rasputin prowled out of her bedroom and slowly approached, his tail trailing behind him, tip curving up. About five feet from where Quinn and James stood, he stopped and stared at them with amber eyes.

          James didn’t advance to greet the cat. Instead, he squatted down, reached out his arm, and pointed his index finger at Rasputin. He turned his head slightly to the side, stayed completely still, and waited. After thirty seconds or so, the cat started forward again, his supple shoulders rolling as he strode straight for James’s extended finger. When the cat reached the outstretched fingertip, he sniffed it, and then touched it with his nose.

          Impressed, Quinn watched the greeting continue as Rasputin rubbed his cheek against James’s finger and then his hand. After the cat pushed his face against James’s hand a few more times, he scratched Rasputin under his chin. Still in a crouch, he twisted around and looked up at Quinn. “I believe I’ve just survived the crucible of the Feline Gatekeeper.”

          “With flying colors.”

          James stood and the cat immediately wove between James’s feet and rubbed his sides against James’s shins. “Obviously, Rasputin is an impeccable judge of character.”

          “Obviously.”

          There was a short pause while they both watched Rasputin continue to mark James, leaving a few stray strands of cat hair on his jeans in the process. James didn’t seem the least bit concerned. When the cat moved away to rub against the corner of the couch, James asked, “Ready to go?”

I appreciated James’s aloofness toward me. I could also sense their mutual attraction. And because he was unperturbed when I improved his attire by leaving my some of my hair on his jeans, I gave them my blessing.

Excellent scene, Rasputin. You are quite the actor.

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

I am Quinn’s steadfast companion. I am always there for her.

I feel the same about Alicia. Librarians make the best human co-stars in my humble feline opinion. They also make great spies, as do cats because they’re both so curious.

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

Even though Quinn and I speak different languages, we converse and understand each other perfectly. She especially appreciates my meowed input on her daily clothing selections.

Hmm. I should try giving Alicia input on her wardrobe. She usually asks our male co-star, John, for help with that.

What advice would you give other cat characters?

Love your human and always be there for her. Protect her from bad guys, unless they’re super scary. Then it’s okay to hide under the bed. Also, try to keep the middle of the night digging in the litter box to a minimum. Otherwise, your human will get cranky.

I think Debbie wishes Oliver would take the advice and not use his Siamese voice at four in the morning. I reserve my scratches to digging up old letters that are clues like the ones I directed Alicia to in our first adventure, A Stone’s Throw.

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

As I mentioned earlier, I’ll appear in A Covert Affair, available August 29, 2017. In it, I am pleased to once again mark James as my territory. Quinn and James travel to India, so I spend most of the book staying with Quinn’s grandparents and their English bulldog, Pot Roast. I overlook Pot Roast’s slobberiness as I find his dog purrs—the rumbly noises he makes when he sleeps—quite soothing.

That sounds wonderful. I’ll make sure Debbie keeps an eye out for it. I also have a dog co-star, Fido. He stole the thunder from me in our second book, Between a Rock and a Hard Place, but I had Debbie make up for that by starting this blog and putting me on the cover of our latest mystery, Written in Stone, in which I also play a larger role.

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

Thanks so much, Rasputin. I’ve enjoyed cat chatting with you, and I know my author is enjoying your first book. Best whiskers to you and Susan on your upcoming new release and your future adventures.
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