Frivolous Friday – Olivia Joins Me in My Office

I think most writers consider their cats to be office helpers, even though there are times when you most definitely need to close the office door to an overly zealous cat or kitten. Olivia experienced my office for the first time Sunday—on her third day here. She LOVED it and learned several new things, like how to get up on my desk, and she found new toys. To a kitten everything is a toy.

We have two cat trees in the spaces where Olivia has been allowed to venture so far. She doesn’t seem interested. I brought her up on the bed with me a few times to give her a different perspective—a window, for example. She wanted down immediately. I learned that she can and will jump down, so that resolved my fear of her climbing up and not being able to get down. Unlike most cats and kittens I’ve known, Olivia is not interested in climbing or hanging out in high places. I wonder if she had a bad experience with heights.

Sunday, though, she climbed up on the small cat tree, which I’d actually put on its side, and leaped from there onto my desk where the action was. This is also a great vantage point for bird watching at the many feeders I have outside. Now that was a thrill for Olivia. It’s obviously the best show she’s ever seen and I’m sure she’ll return over and over again because there are never any reruns—it’s always something new.

Olivia Update

I wrote that on Sunday–Olivia’s 3rd day here. This is Day Seven and boy have things changed. Olivia is queen of the mountain. Well, she’s actually queen of everything around here, but she now loves heights and climbing and jumping and she does it all with ease. One day I moved the cat tree to keep her off my desk because she  was terrorizing my things. So she just jumped from the floor to my desk and went about her business. She is a busy girl–and so am I making sure I don’t roll over her tail with my office chair, or spill my coffee or dive onto my keyboard. She’s already done that once. Oooops! And I’m always looking for the photo opp with her.

The cats pictured here today are all working cats. They live and work at places of business. One is a library cat. I’ve included Olivia’s photo too, even though her job so far seems to be keeping me from working. Hey, there’s something to be said about taking breaks and mingling with your office help–especially when she’s so darn cute.

 

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Thoughts for Thursday – The Reviews Are Rolling In

Does an author check Amazon once in a while to see if there are any new reviews posted? Indeed they do. I published my latest Klepto Cat Mystery, “Love at First Purr,” last month–the 5th new book this year. Last year I published a record (for me) 8 new books.–not that I’m trying to make the Guinness Record Books or anything. I just write…and write and write.

By the way, Book 46 is almost ready to go to the editor, and I started Book 47 yesterday.

I’m happy to share the first two reviews for  “Love at First Purr.”

“This is a great book. I laughed out loud many times and cried at the end. Lizzy is a wonderful character. I know she was a tribute to Lily the cat and I think I got to know a her a little through it. Gabby is a sweet and adorable preteen. I hope she comes into the lives of the Iveys again in later books. It is good to have books like these that are well written with wonderful, clean, normal (kinda) storylines that brings the whole family to life. It is good clean fun. I recommend the whole series to anyone who hasn’t read it yet.”

“This is another excellent book in the Klepto Cat series by Patricia Fry. She just keeps the great books coming.

This was a fun and heart-wrenching book to write as it does feature a cameo appearance by Lily. You might be pleased to know that Lily (Lizzie) and Gabby do return in Book 46, “Something to Meow About.” Oh, this is a fun little story that ought to tickle every cat-fancier’s fancy. Watch for Book 46 to appear sometime in September. Meanwhile be sure to read Book 45–“Love at First Purr.” Available at http://www.amazon.com and http://www.kleptocatmysteries.com

 

 

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Wild (and Sometimes Crazy) Wednesday – Cats With Followers

This is day 6 with Olivia and she already has followers and cheerleaders interested in her, excited that she has been rescued and is being cared for, and  eager to hear about her progress. Some are waiting for her to appear in the Klepto Cat Mysteries. But there are cats out there with many more fans and enormous fame.

We all remember Grumpy Cat. Like Morris, the finicky cat in the cat food commercials years ago, Grumpy Cat became enormously well-known and popular among both cat fanciers and those who aren’t particularly fond of the feline species. Then there was Lil Bub, the odd-looking cat that won many hearts. In fact she reached over 3 million likes on her facebook page. Do any of you remember Stubbs. I wrote about him and if you ever took a tour through Alaska you may have heard of him or met him. He was the orange tabby who became mayor of Talkeetna, Alaska in 1997. He died a few years ago of 20. In fact we visited Talkeetna the year before he died and asked to see him, but were told he was too ill.

With the advent of the Internet and Facebook and the prestige of the simple “like,” more and more cats are gaining fame. There’s a cat named Gli, who lives in a cathedral in Istanbul, and boasts 48,000 Instagram followers.

Hamilton the Hipster cat, so named because of his mustache, has 821 followers. Like so many cats that gain some sort of notoriety, he was a feral who was rescued and ultimately adopted

Nala is reported to have the most likes of any cat ever—in fact it’s recorded in the Guinness record book. What’s her allure? Evidently it’s her seriously crossed eyes. She has a whopping 4.3 million followers.

Why do we follow cat? Why do we read about cats, get a thrill when there are cats on display at the pet store, visit cat shelters, stop and smile at cute videos and pictures of cats, bring cats into our home? I mean, who doesn’t love a cat?

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Newsday Tuesday – A Once in a Lifetime Cat Opportunity

I loved receiving all of the sweet ooohs and ahhhs and words of endearment and welcome regarding Olivia. Oh, the things you forget about having a kitten! Olivia is reminding us. I’ll be reporting more Olivia “Tails” in coming weeks. Today I want to talk about a new book I read over the weekend.

I mentioned Jeffyne Telson in yesterday’s post. You know that she operates RESQCATS in Santa Barbara. After 23 years rescuing cats and a lifetime of advocating for animals of all kinds, Jeffyne was chosen from over 35,000 applicants to work for 3 months on a Greek island caring for 13,000 cats. I kept hoping she’d write about her experiences and, when I met with her to pick up little Olivia, she told me that she had. I bought a book hot off the presses from the trunk of her car and read it over the weekend. What a trip—literally.

Order this book “More Cat Tails; My Journey from RESQCATS to God’s Little People in Syros, Greece” by Jeffyne Telson here: http://resqcats.org/more_cat_tails.asp

I love where the description says, “This compelling story, peppered with humor, reveals the mysterious and heart-warming bond between cats and humans.” True.

Here, Jeffyne Telson is shown with Olivia–one of over 3200 cats and kittens she has rescued and placed in loving homes.

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Mindful Monday – Meet Olivia

First let me announce that both the print and Kindle versions of  Book 45 of the Klepto Cat Mystery series, “Love at First Purr” are available at Amazon.com. Woo Hoo and a big Meow of celebration!!!

Now to Olivia! Here she is. I first met Olivia through a picture Jeffyne Telson at RESQCATS sent me June 28th. Jeffyne asked in her email if I was interested and I wrote back “YES!!” Little did I know that the 12-day wait while she was vet-checked, given appropriate inoculations and spayed would become a nearly 5-week wait before I could hold her in my arms.

It all started when Olivia walked into a humane trap in Gardena, CA with her siblings and was taken to RESQCATS in Santa Barbara. A volunteer named her Olivia, and I agree, she is an Olivia.

She was supposed to come to us around July 10th, but her caregivers discovered that the little rascals from Gardena had arrived with ringworm and needed stringent treatment for 3 weeks. Jeffyne said Olivia did beautifully through the many baths required In fact she purred most of the time. We cheered her on from Ojai, relishing the videos and photos Jeffyne sent.

We finally met Olivia July 31 already loving her and now we’re spending many hours getting to really know each other. Those of you who have cats understand that they’re full of surprises no matter their age and boy are we enjoying the journey.

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Frivolous Friday – National Paperback Book Day

I’d hoped to introduce our new fur-baby, Olivia, to you today—after a 5-week wait to meet her in purr-son. But your introduction will have to wait until Monday, as we haven’t met her yet ourselves. Today! It happens today. She’s being spayed this morning. Once that’s over we’ll get a call saying we can pick her up. Since that won’t happen until later this morning, and since I like to post the blog early, I’ve decided to honor a day that should be special to us all—National Paperback Book Day. We missed it by a day as this year it was celebrated on July 30. Is it ever too late to read a book?

Why do we honor the paperback book? Because its beginnings were every bit as revolutionary as the advent of the e-reader.

Until 1935 books of substance were still being published only in hardcover which made them heavy, cumbersome to travel with, and expensive. Paperback books were available, but evidently they were of poor quality in substance and matter. In 1935 an English man named Sir Allen Lane started Penguin Books and began publishing paperback books of quality by authors such as Ernest Hemingway and Agatha Christie. He sold three million books that first year.

In America, the craze hit four years later when Simon and Schuster published their first paperback. The Pocket Books measured 4 x 6 and sold for 25 cents (compared to the $2.50 price of a hardcover book at that time). Was the world ready for this innovation? It seems so as they sold 1.5 million Pocket Books their first year. They published such authors as Shakespeare, Agatha Christie and Emily Bronte.

If you’d like to celebrate National Paperback Book Day (albeit a day late), pick up one of the Klepto Cat Mysteries, hold it in your hands as you turn the pages and enjoy an escape into the life of the Ivey family, their friends and of course Rags, the klepto cat.

Books 1 – 45 are currently available at Amazon.com and at http://www.KleptoCatMysteries.com in paperback. Book 45 will soon also be available for your e-reader. Book 46 is in the works–I expect to turn it over to my editor within the next few weeks. Moving right along.

 

 

 

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Thoughts for Thursday – Cats Favorite Hidey Holes

Since the domestic cat still shares over 95% of their DNA with tigers, it isn’t surprising that they have a tendency to want to hide out and blend in sometimes like a big cat will do in the wilds. Where does your cat hide? Is he a climber who perches above everyone or does he shelter under the bed? When you can’t find the cat do you start opening cupboards or do you beat the bushes outside for him?

At my mother’s house, Smokey (aka Rags in the Klepto Cat Mysteries) often had Mama screeching his name for all the neighbors to hear in hopes that he’d walk out from behind a shrub or from around the side of the house or over the wall from a neighbors. However, she’d often find him napping in the rafters in the garage. He loved hanging out overhead like that.

I’ll never forget the day I discovered that Max had found his way into the lining of the box springs. Often I thought for sure he was lost to us forever when I couldn’t find him. Then he’d appear as if by magic. We finally discovered his secret.

Lily would hide under the covers. Little did she know that the lump in the bed was a dead giveaway. We’d also find her in my closet—often closed in and patiently waiting for someone to slide the door open. She eventually taught me never to close that door completely.

It seems that each cat who comes into our home finds a special place to hide where they feel safe and comfortable. Not all the time, of course, but when they hear thunder, certain visitors show up, or the vacuum cleaner is running. We know of some of Sophie’s hiding places, but there’s still at least one that we’re not aware of. It’s worrisome. What if there’s a disaster and we need to get her out of the house? Now that could be a problem.

I think the most interesting, clever, and memorable cat-hiding experience I had was when a friend of my young daughters brought a kitten to show us. When she was ready to leave, we could not find the kitten. She decided to go on home and we’d let her know when we found the little thing. It happened quite by accident as I was preparing dinner. I opened the lazy Susan cupboard and twirled it around looking for a particular can of something and there, just waking up from a nap was the kitten right next to the can of something I was looking for.

Where is the most unusual place you’ve found one of your hiding cats?

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Wild (and Sometimes Crazy) Wednesday – Find the Real Cat

I guess I’ve been isolating for too long—do ya think? (For me it’s been since mid February as I was sick in bed for almost a month. COVID? Who knows?) During isolation, I’ve been chasing cats around with the camera. Well, what do you do when you see one of your cats posing or doing something unusual or especially cute? You take pictures, right?

A couple of nights ago Sophie curled up on a chair with the blanket-throw my girls had made for me showing some of my Klepto Cat book covers and a cute pillow of a cat. How could I resist that shot? She’s not a very good subject. She looks down and often closes her eyes when you aim a camera at her. I got her to look up at me once and here’s the result. Kind of fun, right?

Here are some additional pictures I’ve taken over the years of our cats posing with cat objects and motifs.

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Newsday Tuesday – How to Help Pets in 2020

This is day two of National Feed a Rescue Pet Week. Did you send in a donation or deliver pet food to a local shelter or rescue group? Maybe you’d like to do something special and you’re not sure what the shelters need. Here’s a site that might help: https://www.rd.com/list/things-animal-shelters-desperately-need

If you still haven’t decided who to help, here’s a site with links to some of the top pet charities https://www.entirelypets.com/top-pet-charities.html

And to top off this post, I just had to share what some pets are doing for us in this pandemic. For example, dogs are being trained to detect COVID in people. Wow! Here’s the link to that story.

https://www.king5.com/article/news/health/coronavirus/dogs-are-being-trained-to-smell-covid-19-on-people/281-4fc9ce67-7d4f-4c7f-bd41-fb271a785ad6

And you’ll love and probably agree with the premise of this article. The title is, “Pandemic Blues. Our Pets Have Been Waiting for This Moment.” In fact, researchers are studying the affect our pets have on us in difficult times like never before. According to the article, “Assistant professor and researcher in Colorado State University’s School of Social Work, Jen Currin-McCulloch says the results of two large surveys show the COVID-19 pandemic is bringing us together with our pets like never before, and our pets are helping to reduce feelings of depression, anxiety, and loneliness.” Read more about this study here:   https://medicalxpress.com/news/2020-07-pandemic-blues-pets-moment.html

 

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Mindful Monday – National Feed a Rescue Pet Week

Everyone is struggling to some degree this year. While many of us are at least able and willing to shelter at home and take extra special care of our cats and dogs, this scenario isn’t universal. Thousands—dare I say millions—of pets have lost their homes due in some way to the corona virus. Pets are being surrendered. Shelters are being overwhelmed, and the breeding, either intentional or because of ignorance or neglect, continues, which greatly adds to the animal homelessness problem.

On the upside, at least in some areas, more people are coming forward to  foster cats and litters of kittens. More people are adopting a pet for companionship during these lonely times. One shelter in Nevada reports more adoptions in one two-week period in March than in all of 2019. The ASPCA says that people coming forward to foster has increased by 70% in both Los Angeles and New York. And this story is being told in other parts of the US as well. In some cases there’s a waiting list for those who want to adopt because of new restrictions and regulations due to the pandemic making it somewhat awkward to show the available animals except online.

Shelters and rescue groups are doing the best that they can in a very difficult year, but one thing in short supply for many is funding. Most animal welfare organizations rely on donations and donations this year are down. If you’re so inclined to help a favorite animal charity, National Feed a Rescue Pet Week (July 26 through August 2) may be the time to do it.

Start with one or more of your local shelters or rescue groups. If you’re not familiar with them, do an internet search using key-words: “animal rescue” or “animal shelter” and your city/county.

Here’s something fun to check out in your spare time: Some of the other pet holidays throughout the year: August 8, for example, is International Cat Day, the 17th is National Black Cat Appreciation Day, the 22nd is National Take Your Cat to the Vet Day. And September of 2020, dear cat-lovers is Happy Cat Month. Here’s a site listing all of them:

https://www.dogtipper.com/fun/pet-holidays

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