Sneaky here with another pet interview. Today, I’m speaking with a cat who has a new release and a 99-cent special.
Hello, there, Mr. Kitty. What is your name and your author’s name?
My name is Octavius Maxwell Ricardo Edmund Frederick Fulton Russo, esquire. And my author is Molly Fitz.
Meow, that’s a mouthful. I hope you don’t mind my calling you Octo.
What book(s) have you appeared in? Please list them and their genre.
All of them are cozy mysteries, because, let’s face it, it makes no sense to do something if you can’t be comfortable doing it. Thus far I have appeared in Kitty Confidential, Terrier Transgressions, Hairless Harassment, Dog-Eared Delinquent, and I believe I’m soon to be out in The Cat Caper.
Very mice. I assume that’s a series. If so, please give information about it.
Yes, all of those are part of the Pet Whisperer PI series. It’s a marvelous set of books that follow me and my human sidekick around as I solve crimes and try to keep my human out of trouble. Humans are so terribly accident prone. Delicate creatures. Phfffft.
Your books sound great. I must tell my author to check them out. She also writes a cozymystery series called the Cobble Cove Mysteries, and I’m her sort’ve sidekick, Sneaky the Library Cat.
Are you based on a real cat such as your author’s? If so, please give further details.
I am loosely based on my author’s cat, Schrödinger. He’s a nice enough fellow, but he seems to enjoy the company of the house dogs and that’s simply irredeemable.
MOL (Meow Out Loud). I was loosely based on Debbie’s Siamese Oliver who is now on Rainbow Bridge.
Can you share an excerpt from one of your books that features you in an important scene? If so, please include it.
Sure, this is how I tricked my human into buying me a mansion—bwahahahaha!
A couple hours later, we’d prepared an exhaustive list of questions and prompts, and even role-played how a conversation with Yo-Yo might go. That only left one variable for which we hadn’t properly accounted—Octo-Cat.
His mood changed so regularly, it would take far too long to draw out the various scenarios we might be faced with while trying to secure his compliance. Also, I was too embarrassed to admit to Charles how much I let my cat walk all over me on a daily basis. Instead, we planned to just show up at my house and tell Octo-Cat what we expected of him, plain and simple.
Oh, he’d definitely find a way to punish me for it, but I could handle a little cat puke or a fresh claw wound if it meant saving an innocent man from a life in prison and protecting a sweet terrier’s innocence.
We stopped off at Cliffside Apartments to grab Yo-Yo, then made a quick detour to the pet store where we purchased a leash and harness for Octo-Cat. Unfortunately, the only get-up they had in his size was bright neon green with a series of fluorescent bones patterned along the leash.
This would make it that much harder to convince him to wear it, but we didn’t have time to stop off at multiple stores just to assuage my cat’s vanity.
Sure enough, Octo-Cat baulked when presented with his shiny new walking gear. “So let me get this straight. You not only want me to spend more time talking to Dum-Dum while you make heart eyes at Upchuck, but you also expect me to wear this monstrosity? Ma’am, I am a cat, not some common, mouth-breathing dog.”
I crossed my legs and sat down on the floor in front of him, arranging my face in the best approximation of puppy-dog eyes any human could hope to muster. “Please. It’s just for a little while, and I wouldn’t ask unless it was really important.”
He flicked his tail a few times before responding with, “So you’re asking then? That means I have a choice. I choose no.”
I gave Charles the signal we had discussed, knowing in advance that it would most likely prove necessary. I watched as he slowly slipped his hands into a pair of oven mitts and tiptoed toward Octo-Cat from behind.
“I want you to know…” I told my soon-to-be furious furr-enemy. “I was hoping it wouldn’t come to this.”
Octo-Cat’s eyes widened with the knowledge of my betrayal at the same time I shouted, “Now!”
A furious cry ripped through the house as Charles scooped my cat into his arms, clutching him tightly and very much against his will.
“Unhand me, Upchuck!” he screamed as he swiped his claws in any and every direction. “I will not be disrespected like this!”
“Shh,” I said in a futile attempt to coax him into a belated agreement as I worked his arms through the harness. “You do this for me, help us find who killed Yo-Yo’s owners, and I will owe you a favor. It can be any favor you want. I swear. Please just help us. We need you. And, if you’ll recall, it wasn’t so long ago I risked my life to help you get justice for Ethel.”
At these words, all the fight drained from his furry little body, and Octo-Cat sighed heavily. “Fine,” he growled as I clipped the harness under his belly.
Charles set him back on the ground, and Octo-Cat took a few tipsy steps. His fur stuck out in various directions from the struggle, and he twitched spasmodically while keeping his posture low and defensive.
“You owe me a big favor,” he shouted in my direction. “The biggest favor you’ve ever given anyone in all your nine lives!”
I nodded, eager to put this confrontation to an end. I’d braced myself for a much bigger fight than he’d given me, and things could still go south if I wasn’t careful. “You’ve got it,” I promised. “Anything.”
Octo-Cat let out a maniacal chuckle that made the small hairs on the back of my neck stand on end, too.
“What?” I asked, my voice suddenly shaky and unsure.
“Oh, you’ll see. You’ll all see!” He swept a paw toward Charles, which only increased my worry—but my crazy cat’s demands could be dealt with later. Thinking of which, I should also probably put parent controls on the TV later to discourage this kind of crazed villainous behavior. Right now, though, we had to move on to the next phase of our plan, just in case he suddenly changed his mind and retracted his offer to help.
“Let’s get out of here while we still can,” I told Charles while bending down to clip the leash to Octo-Cat’s new harness.
“Fully unnecessary,” the tabby grumbled. “What makes you assume I’d run away? Remember, I chose you despite your many, many shortcomings.”
“It’s more for your safety than your compliance,” I explained.
Even if Octo-Cat fully intended to stick with us on this trip, he had a tendency to become a different cat from the moment he stepped paw outside. Inside the house, he was a cool intellectual who freely offered an unsolicited running commentary on my life. Once he got out into the wide open, though, he became flighty, unpredictable, and highly excitable. For all I knew, he could spot a butterfly and run three miles straight before realizing we weren’t right there chasing it with him.
Yes, as annoying as he could sometimes be, I loved my cat and wanted to keep him with me for many years to come.
Unfortunately for him, that meant he needed to wear the harness.
I only hoped the favor he requested of me would be something I could legally and physically obtain for him. You just never knew with this guy. That’s part of what made living with him so exciting most days.
Then there were days like today…
Pawsome. You are a fine actor.
What do you like most about your role in your authors’ books?
It’s refreshing to see a cat in a leading role and I suppose it’s nice that she makes sure to include plenty of my favorite Evian water in each of the books. I also like that I got to keep my previous owner’s house. Really, if you aren’t in a manor, are you even a cat anymore?
Well, I live in a library, but I love sitting in the children’s room window, not to mention everything I learn from pawing through all the books.
Are you a talking cat in your books or just a silent one like I am who just meows occasionally?
I’m afraid I don’t quite understand. I think the better question is if my human is one of the special ones that can understand cat, which, yes, she can. For the record, she’s done quite well as my assistant. Although with humans and their overinflated sense of self-worth, she probably thinks she solves all the cases.
Alicia and Laura both understand cat and also most of the Cobble Cove library employees. I’d like to get more credit for finding clues that lead to solving cases in my books, too, and I really love to go after red herrings. I’m sure you do, too. Get it? A herring is a fish. We’re cats.. Okay, back to the interview. Sorry I got sidetracked.
What advice would you give other cat characters?
Advice? Oh, of course. Never trust a dog, always buy Apple, and if your water’s not Evian, you may as well be drinking from the toilet like a common, mouth-breathing dog.
I’ve never tried Evian. Now you’ve got me curious, but I know curiosity kills the cat. I agree with you about dogs, although I have a decent relationship with Fido, my co-star.
Do you have any new books coming out? Please give dates and details.
Several actually. As I mentioned earlier, there’s The Cat Caper, I think in early August, but there are a few others that have been announced. Like Chihuahua Conspiracy and Raccoon Racketeer. My author is basically obsessed with me, so I’m sure many more will be forthcoming.
There are four books in my series, and I hope my author writes more. I know she has ideas for a 5th, but I have to purrsuade her to start it.
Are you and/or your author on social media? If so, please list your links.
My author is on social media I suppose, but I tend to steer clear of it. What’s with all the tweeting if you can’t eat the bird after, right?
I don’t have any social media either except this blog if you count it.
Thanks for the fun interview, Octo, and best whiskers to you and your author on your books..