Meow, there. It’s time for another cat chat. Today, I have the honor of interviewing yet another of Marie Lavender’s kitties. Please introduce yourself and tell me a little about yourself, Sir.
My name is Smokey. I am a gray tabby cat with white on my underside, and I have jade green eyes. My white socks are a little mismatched, but my mom, Marie, thinks they are cute. I live in a two-story Victorian farmhouse with my family. I like to spend my time upstairs while my mother is writing and promoting her books in her office. She spends a lot of time on her PC! Why the humans call it that, I don’t know. I think PC should mean ‘personal cat’, like me! What do you think?
I think you have a good point, but please continue, Smokey.
Hey, the sun came out again! It’s been a cloudy day, and I love to sit in the window where the sun hits it just right.
Oh, where was I? Yeah, me. So…I’ve been around for a while. I am eighteen years old. I remember way before the other two felines got here. Marie says that just means I am wiser than them. What else? I am what they call diabetic, and she gives me two shots a day. I hate it, but I can tell that she tries to distract me with food while she’s doing that. Can’t blame her there! I love to eat. Turkey just out of the oven is my favorite. The holidays are really fun for me!
Marie calls me ‘Buddy’ or ‘Smokey boy’, and sometimes Smokey Dokey when she’s trying to get my attention if it’s food time. Did I mean I like eating? Sleeping is good too. I need to sleep most of the day, or I am a grumpy cat! But, it really takes a lot to bother me. I can tell Emma, one of the other felines here, is always trying to upset me, but I just want to be her friend.
Wow, Meow. Marie and Debbie have a lot in common as do you and Debbie’s cat, Oliver. You and Oliver are nearly the same age. He is 17 and, although he is not diabetic, Debbie’s cat before him was and received two shots a day from her until he went to Rainbow Bridge at the age of 15. He was gray and white like you., while Oliver is Siamese. He has bad kidneys and is having his ups and downs. Just like people, things start to go as kitties age. That’s why I’m glad I’m a character cat.
Have you appeared in any of your owner/author’s books? Are you a silent cat like me who just meows and leads my human characters to clues?
No, I haven’t appeared in any of Marie Lavender’s books. I figure if I needed to be in them, she’d put me there. So, maybe she just hasn’t found the right book for me yet!
That’s very possible. I’m based on Oliver, but Debbie’s other cat, Stripey, has yet to make an appearance in any of her books and stories.
(Cocks his head.) Am I a silent cat? Sometimes, at least when I’m resting. But when I’m hungry or I have something to say, I will meow my head off. It drives a couple of the humans in the house crazy. Especially if one of them is working at home with her full-time job. Hey, I’m a kitty! That should be good enough for them.
I think most cats are like you. Oliver certainly is and, with his loud Siamese yowl, he certainly can wake the dead especially at 4 a.m. when he wants breakfast.
What advice would you give other cat characters?
Climb all over your owners and rub your face on them. I heard somewhere that they love that!
Um…what do cat characters do besides kitty activities? Someone told me that a few of them in the books try to be private eyes. Why would you want your eyes to be private? I think cats have beautiful eyes, and we need to advertise them as much as possible!
MOL (Meow Out Loud). I like your catitude, Smokey.
Can you tell me something about your author, Marie’s other books? Can you share an excerpt from the latest?
I think she’s awesome! She works really hard on every project, even puts off that ‘me time’ thing that humans talk about in order to get everything done. I’ve admired her shelf of published books a few times. But since I can’t reach it, I haven’t been able to read any of her books yet. I just know that they must be important, or she wouldn’t be writing them.
Oh, where was I again? Right, you asked about something she’s written. Well, I know her latest release came out on July 25th, a romantic drama collection titled Directions of the Heart. But, drama…that’s not for me!
No!!! Did you hear that noise? (His eyes widen.) I hope it wasn’t something scary!
What did you say? Oh, right. As I was saying, I’m more into happy and funny stories. So, I’ve managed to scrounge together a couple pages of Marie’s current project, a romantic comedy. When she is working on something, she stashes them around the place. I think the story is called Chasing Ginger. Maybe it’s about chasing a mouse! Oh, boy, that would be fun. But I imagine this one is just for humans. Anyway, here it is:
The resonant, yet annoying blare of an odd alarm brought Ginger Halloway’s eyes open. Muttering an imprecation, she slapped the ‘sleep’ button. “Just five minutes,” she groaned, then burrowed back under her covers. The blissful quiet began to lull her to sleep.
The shrill bleat came again, and after a minute, she realized it was from her cell phone nearby. A curse sprang out her mouth. “Really? For God’s sake, people. It’s too early.” She played the waiting game, hoping if she ignored it, the sound would go away. Miraculously, it did.
She grunted as Sterling, her orange tabby, landed squarely on her chest. The fur ball wouldn’t budge, though, and the kneading motion he established with those talons made her double D’s scream in agony.
“Ster…Christ, cat, give me a break.”
She scooped him up and eased the cat beside her on the bed. As a hand absently stroked his soft coat, her mind numbed out and she closed her eyes. Sleep never came, though, and not because she didn’t try.
Her cell phone rang once more. With a curse, she flung back the corner of the spread, then eased off the mattress. In an aqua camisole and matching sleep shorts, Ginger padded over to her bulky purple and silver purse and dug inside. That identifying sound of a call being dumped into voicemail came. Curiously, she pressed the power button and the screen lit up.
Five calls. Three voicemails.
Not good. Someone wanted her attention in a bad way. Then the time jumped out at her.
She swung to her alarm clock, which proudly flashed, oh, twelve o’clock. So, why hadn’t the alarm go off? Oh, right. She’d reset it for Sunday so she could sleep in. That still didn’t explain the display. All she could account for it was that the power had been off, and then came back on.
Shit. Her boss must be pissed.
Oh, right. Five phone calls with no answer would do it.
Sterling sat up regally and cocked his head.
“I know,” she muttered. She quickly pulled up Tucker Adams’ information, then hit ‘send’. When he came on the line, she explained the problem and promised she’d be in as soon as humanly possible. The man surprisingly understood. But then, it wasn’t like she toed the line often at work. She was reliable, a hard worker. All qualities highly sought after in an executive assistant.
Seriously, she needed to get moving. And moving the feline was half the battle.
“Time to get up, lazy bones.”
The cat just looked at her.
“Fine,” she said, then stalked over to him and swept a section of the white down comforter over his body in what she liked to call a Sterling burrito. He began to purr loudly, flexing his paws. “Just don’t stay in bed too long, hmm?”
She found it ironic that he could laze and be a cat, and she couldn’t. Come Saturday and she was so sleeping in like that lump of fur.
Ginger took a quick shower, then ironed her flame red waves straight. She did her makeup – simple was better – then threw on a navy pin-striped business suit. In the kitchen, she fired up her Keurig, listening while it cooed its pleasant brewing sound, and worked her way through a bowl of cereal while the Arabica whirred into a mug. Yesterday’s newspaper sat on the countertop and she casually flipped through the classifieds. Then something caught her eye. One ad read:
Ladies, are you tired of having no luck in love?
Is dating just too hard for you?
“Affirmative on that one…”
Would you like to attract lots of men? Our 100% pure product can help. Get in on some groundbreaking results today. Sign up for our sex study, and try the pill that you’ll soon see in stores everywhere.
We promise your fantasies will come true.
Geez, it almost sounded like one of those late-night commercials, with the perfect women oozing sex appeal while they giggled on the phone. And at the bottom of the screen, it would proudly say, ‘CALL NOW!’
Still, her interest was piqued, and she noticed the study for InstaSin was starting today, about an hour after work let off. It was hosted by the University of California.
Just then, Sterling decided to grace the room with his royal presence, marching to his food bowl.
“What do you think, huh? Is it worth the drive?”
The damn cat lifted his head, cocking it to the side.
“Yeah, probably a bad idea, anyway.”
She grabbed her cup of coffee and nursed it. In the end, she tore the ad from the paper, stuffing it in her purse, and headed off to work, though she was still late.
Pawsome excerpt. Do you know when her next book will be out?
Not really. I’m just a kitty! Plus, it’s not like humans keep me in the loop. I think she’s hoping to have a futuristic paranormal romance, Blood Instincts, out sometime this year or early 2018. But I only know that because she can’t contain her excitement about it with other humans! Imagine if we could actually read their minds. (Shudders.)
I sympathize with you, Smoke. I’m not even a real cat, and I can’t figure out what my author is planning or the other human characters in our book for that matter.
Are you and/or your author on social media? If so, please list your links.
Is that a thing? Social…what? Did someone put me on there?!!!!
(Murmurs in the background.) Marie tells me I’m okay and I don’t have to worry about that stuff. I had to get mom’s help with the links below, however.
Sorry to frighten you, guy. Social media can be pretty overwhelming. I’m glad I only have to deal with a blog. Anyhow, thanks so much for the interview, Smokey, and best whiskers to you and Marie.