Some people think us cats are dirty, but that’s very far from the truth. Besides sleeping and eating, cats spend a large part of their days grooming themselves and sometimes the other cats in their home. When cats groom each other, this is called allogrooming and is explained in the first video I’m sharing for my Feature Friday Film today. The other video shows my authors’ cats, Harry and Hermione, demonstrating allogrooming.
I am proud to present the spotlight for my friend and fellow Cat Writers’ Association member, Mollie Hunt. Like me, Mollie has a cozy mystery series, but she’s branched out to write a wonderful sci-fic/fantasy tetralogy. Don’t miss the first of this 4-book set.
Lise has a special destiny: to help a clowder of sentient cats save the world from an evil older than history itself. It is a terrible battle, but Lise and her feline comrades prevail, putting an end to war, poverty, ignorance and want. The world is a better place.
Or is it?
A century later, it becomes clear that something has been lost. The new civilization produces no artists, no musicians, no scientists, no philosophers. Inertia has taken hold. Lise, now at the end of her life, must join her cat-friends once more to restore the Spark of the Human Spirit, but the goal cannot be reached without sacrifice. Is there enough time left for them to save the world for future generations?
Excerpt from Cat Summer:
“You are fighting a hopeless battle!” the demon Seh roared as Lise and Dominic continued their shift. “You will never win! Our essence is fused into the very core of your species, mingled with the helix strands of genetic code. You can no more change human nature than you can destroy us!” Lise noticed the mechanical voice was becoming muffled. “You are designated! You will…”
“You will…” it tried to reiterate, but the sound diminished. The voice was gone.
Lise didn’t let up but pushed even harder. With a final press and with Dominic’s help, the lush forest of the Alter-tier enfolded them. Not a scrap of Seh’s presence oozed into its serenity. They stood in an arbor at the edge of a meadow bright with wildflowers and lavender orchids, a perfect breeze playing through the leaves. Lise allowed herself to collapse into Dominic’s strong arms. Laying her head on the master’s shoulder, she gulped the perfumed air, trying to rid her lungs of the evil. She knew this peace was passing, that soon enough Seh would find her, and then it would begin all over again. She needed to gather strength while she could.
About Mollie Hunt: Native Oregonian Mollie Hunt has always had an affinity for cats, so it was a short step for her to become a cat writer. Mollie is the author of THE CRAZY CAT LADY COZY MYSTERY SERIES, featuring Portlander Lynley Cannon, a sixty-something cat shelter volunteer who finds more trouble than a cat in catnip. The 3rd in the series, CAT’S PAW, was a finalist for the 2016 Mystery & Mayhem Book Award, and the 5th, CAT CAFÉ, won the World’s Best Cat Litter-ary Award in 2019.
Mollie’s sci-fantasy, CAT SUMMER (Fire Star Press) is the first in her CAT SEASONS TETRALOGY where cats save the world from an evil older than history—twice!
Mollie also published a non-cat mystery, PLACID RIVER RUNS DEEP, which delves into murder, obsession, and the challenge of chronic illness in bucolic southwest Washington. Two of her short cat stories have been published in anthologies, one of which, THE DREAM SPINNER, won the prestigious CWA Muse Medallion. She has a little book of Cat Poems as well.
Mollie is a member of the Oregon Writers’ Colony, Sisters in Crime, Willamette Writers, the Cat Writers’ Association, and NIWA. She lives in Portland, Oregon with her husband and a varying number of cats. Like Lynley, she is a grateful shelter volunteer.
I just found out that a good friend and fellow writer created a special day in honor of her beloved cat, Jazz. This day, Rainbow Bridge Remembrance Day, August 28, is a day set aside for us to remember our pet companions who are no longer by our side. Of course, we remember them every day and the special love they brought into our hearts.
I wrote a short story in 2016 called “The Path to Rainbow Bridge” that featured many of the cats I’ve loved and lost. I wrote this story before I lost my Siamese Oliver, the basis for the cat in my Cobble Cove cozy mystery series, Sneaky the Library Cat. Oliver was only with me five short years because he was my mother’s pet for 12. I brought Oliver into my home when my mother became too ill to care for him. He bonded with me and my daughter immediately and was one of the sweetest and most lovable of cats. My mother and Oliver passed away within a year of one another. They will remain in my heart forever.
For Rainbow Bridge Remembrance Day, I remember Oliver and the cats before him — Floppy, Benny, Kitty, Little Girl, and so many others. My short story featured many of them. Here is an excerpt from it:
Old Tom the tabby was at the Gate. Next to him stood Shadow, a black shorthair who had been summoned while sun bathing on the Bridge. Shadow knew the reason Tom wanted to speak with him. It could mean only one thing. Another resident was arriving.
“Sorry to disturb you,” Old Tom said. “But I’ve had orders from above that another one of Kate Stewart’s cats will be joining us. This time, it’s Sam, her Siamese. He’s had a long life and much happiness with her, but it’s his time. Please alert Kate’s other cats about the new arrival.”
Shadow nodded his dark head. “I will be on it right away, sir. When is the welcome party scheduled?”
“Looks like tomorrow morning around 6 a.m. Remember, it takes time for the soul to reach us.”
“Who will be in charge of the party?” Shadow knew that, according to Bridge rules, the last cat admitted from a human’s family was the next in line to welcome the incoming resident. A year ago, when a car hit Shadow after he stupidly ran out the door
when his human Ben came home from a doctor’s appointment, there had been no other cats in Ben’s family on the Bridge or at least none that Ben had forged the forever bond with, so Old Tom had welcomed Shadow. Now it was Shadow’s job to notify the last member of each incoming cat’s family until another first-timer was admitted.
Old Tom checked the register he held in his paws. Tom had been supervisor of the cat’s side of RB since he arrived 20 years ago because he was one of the unbonded, those pets who had either been ferals, strays, or housecats who had never developed the forever bond, that special connection of heart and soul that united animal and human eternally. In Tom’s case, he had been a stray in the alleys of New York City, living a surprisingly long life of ten years for an outdoor cat.
“Kate’s Floppy was admitted a few years ago,” Tom said. “I think he’s now residing on the north cloud over the rainbow. He’s a gray and white tuxedo fellow. Kate lost him from diabetic complications. It was one of our sadder cases. She administered insulin shots to him for many years and was at his side at the vet’s when the lethal injection was given. She’d had him since he was a kitten, and he misses her dearly but is glad that she found another cat to love while he waits for her on the Bridge.”
Shadow felt a tear wet his cheek fur. He was always choked up when he heard these touching tales. “Thanks, Tom. I will find Floppy and let him know. Although this is the first party he will host, he’s attended enough to know the procedure.” Floppy had already been on the Bridge for eight years, although up there they didn’t keep track of human time.
When I wrote this story, I had no idea that the fictional Sam the Siamese would be my Oliver who passed away shortly after it was written. I was able to get my publisher to offer this story free at that time. It’s still free on Kindle Unlimited and is only $1.49 on Amazon for the eBook. If you would like to read it, I hope it gives you some comfort for the pets you’ve lost. It’s the hardest thing to say goodbye to your fur babies. I know the awful pain of their loss, but I also know the great joy they bring into your home. I adopted two kittens last year, Harry and Hermione, and they have filled my heart, although I will never forget Oliver or any of my other cats who came before them.
If you’d like to post a memory of any of your cats, please comment on this blog. If you’ve read my story, I’d also love to know what you thought of it and if it helped you. Thanks also to my friend, Deb Barnes, the President of the Cat Writers’ Association, for creating Rainbow Bridge Remembrance Day. She also has an FB event page and blog hop set up
Hermione here with some good news. For those who have been following me and my brother’s Kitty Korner columns, you’ll know that we were planning to stop sharing our adventures now that we’ve turned a year old. However, we’re still having so much fun in Debbie’s house, that we decided to ask Sneaky to extend our time on this blog.
Today, I’m sharing with you my love of baskets. It all started when I found a basket on top of Debbie’s wardrobe. It was sitting among some old Christmas tins and was very high, but I was confident I could reach it. I jumped on her jewelry armoire and climbed across her bureau. At that point, it was only a hop, a skip, and a jump before I was able to reach that beautiful basket.
I was so proud of myself because my brother, Harry, wasn’t able to follow in my pawsteps. I finally felt bad for the guy, and showed him how I got up there. Leave it to a girl to teach a boy some new tricks. It was just a matter of time before he copied me, but he wasn’t interested in my basket which is a good thing because it’s my new favorite place.
Now I regularly go up to my basket and even nap in it. Debbie cleared off the Christmas tins and other stuff, so I would have more room. I love a room with a view.
Cats do some interesting things that other pets don’t usually do — purr, meow, and knead. What is kneading, and why do cats do it? The first video explains why, the second shows lots of “kneady” cats, and the last is my author’s own cat, Hermione, kneading the blanket on her bed.