Mindful Monday – This Week in the Klepto Cat Mystery Factory

What’s happening in the office? As usual, it’s a busy place. Not busy with people in and out, unless you count visits from my grandchildren and great-grandchildren, but I’m busy creating, organizing, planning, and, of course, promoting.

Klepto Cat Mystery, Book 24—Cats in the Belfry—is available in print and for your Kindle. Read the first five reviews—ALL 5-star reviews—and place your order here: https://www.amazon.com/Cats-Belfry-Klepto-Mystery-Book ebook/dp/B0741862MT/ref=sr_1_21?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1500728038&sr=1-21&keywords=klepto+cat+mysteries  This book is a bit of a thriller. If you enjoyed Mansion of Meows, I think you’ll love Cats in the Belfry.

Books One, Two, and Three (Catnapped, Cat-Eye Witness, and Sleight of Paw) have been revised (cleaned up, refined). And Book One (Catnapped) is the first book in the series to be published (or I should say, recorded) as an audio book. Be sure to get your copy for that long road trip you’re planning this summer or fall. Order it here: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00DAHFS1G/ref=series_rw_dp_sw

Book 25 is in the works and a complex and complicated piece of work it is at this point. I’m

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enjoying the challenge of bringing you more exciting, more intriguing, more enticing stories—the kind that you can’t put down. I’m often told that my stories create cravings—readers crave more—they want the next book as soon as they finish reading the first one. And many Klepto Cat Mystery fans, when they discover this series, read the entire series one right after the other.

If you love Rags and his friends and the stories created around them, tell your friends. Show your copies to your local librarian and ask if they’d like to have them in their collection. If you have copies you want to dispose of, leave them in a senior center, doctor’s office, or other waiting room where they’ll get exposure. And I always appreciate it when you leave a review at Amazon. If you’ve never done that before? It’s easy. Just go to the particular book page at amazon.com, scroll down, and click on “Write a Customer Review.”

Thank you for your interest. I love my fans!!!

 

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Frivolous Friday – A Cat is a Cat is a Cat! NOT!

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Well, this depends on the cat, the moment, and the observer. Those who don’t know cats very well, might look at a cat and say, “That’s just a cat—an ordinary cat being catlike.” But you—someone who adores cats and who find them fascinating and fun—you’ll see the personality in the cat, his sense of curiosity, her playfulness, that impish squint of his, and her desire to be loved. Sometimes it seems your cat is revealing a pathway to her very soul through her eyes. At other times you can’t begin to decipher what’s on her mind.

In many ways, cats are complex, yet oh, so easy to read. They are a puzzle, sometimes simple to solve. Cats are contradiction at the highest levels and they are consistent. Yeah, those who look at a cat and see a form with eyes and no substance, are not seeing what you see when you look at a cat. Your cat is a blessing on paws. You’re aware of her emotions and subtle (and not so subtle) way of communication. You know cats. You know that your cat is no ordinary cat. None of them are.

 

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Thoughts for Thursday – Cats Who Make a Difference

Yesterday we talked about cats who solve crimes. While doing the research, I came across a book I want to talk about. It was first published in 2007 by Sam Stall and it’s called, 100 Cats Who Changed Civilization. Of course, I bought a copy. If you like cats (and I know you do) you’ll enjoy reading about cats who have done some amazing things. In fact it occurred to me that people who think Rags’s antics are beyond what any cat might do, should read this book.

There’s a cat who filed a lawsuit, cats who have inspired music and art, a cat who caused a riot, a cat who saved his owner by using the telephone, a cat who was slapped with a restraining order, and certainly cats who helped to solve crimes. You’ll find this book at amazon.com.

Stall certainly isn’t the first or last to write about cats doing interesting, unusual, and even

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amazing things. There are hundreds of books about and inspired by cats—picture books, fiction stories, and informational books. Why are there so many cat behavior books, cozy mysteries with cats, poetry featuring cats, true cat stories, etc? Probably because cats are so prevalent in our lives. We take them into our homes, look out for those who have no home, try to improve their lot in life and even their confirmation. We crave to know more about cats. We buy art, clothing, and useful everyday items replicating or resembling cats and trinkets for our cats. Cats are certainly common yet complex, comforting yet baffling, they please us and frustrate us. I guess a cat is a cat and it’s up to us to learn how to live in their world. And we do.

 

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Wild (and Sometimes Crazy) Wednesday – Cats Who Actually Do Solve Crimes

CATS IN THE BELFRY ready for purchase. As you know, a major premise (and one of the fun parts) of the Klepto Cat Mysteries is the fact that Rags helps solve crimes and mysteries. It’s his curiosity and creativity that is the CATalyst in most of his escapades. And you can’t help but chuckle, gasp, and shake your head while reading these stories. Yeah, he can get quite involved, can’t he? You’ll be amazed and amused at the trouble he gets into in Book 24. Cats in the Belfry is available now in print AND for your Kindle. Order it here: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0741862MT/ref=sr_1_23?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1500461221&sr=1-23&keywords=klepto+cat+mysteries

Did you hear about the cat who actually did solve a murder mystery? Those of you who read the Klepto Cat Mysteries know that Rags, the resident cat, often comes up with just the clue and just the right time to make a difference in solving a crime. But it is happening for real too. Cat DNA is being used to nail the culprit in serious crimes—well, those where cat DNA is found at the scene, for example. Here’s one true story of how a cat helped to nail a killer. http://fullyfeline.com/cat-dna-that-helped-catch-a-killer/

This may not be the only case where a cat helped to solve a crime. I read that 1/3 of criminals have a cat. Who knew? So it’s likely that cat DNA will be used to solve crimes in the future. Good thing the University of California-Davis is prepared. They have a Veterinary Genetics Laboratory and they have used animal DNA to catch criminals for more than a decade. http://www.vetmed.ucdavis.edu/whatsnew/article.cfm?id=2756

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Newsday Tuesday – Cancer in Cats

This is not a very uplifting topic, but we should be aware and informed about early cancer detection in our precious cats. Education can save lives and the life you save might be that of your beloved cat.

I’ve seen cancer in two cats over my lifetime as a cat-lady. Crystal was infected with Feline Lukemia when I bought her from a breeder. Little was known about the disease at the time and she was never actually diagnosed with it. But, looking back, I’m sure this is what she had. We treated Crystal endlessly without good results and without knowing why she was sick. There was no vaccine then and the veterinarians were not educated in this disease. I’m thrilled at the strides made in this area. A lot of cats have been saved and protected from this killer.

Years later, Winfield developed a cancer in his throat—it could have been oral squamous carcinoma—a cancer associated with vaccinations. You may notice that now veterinarians give your cat her vaccines in different spots on the body each time to help prevent this cancer from forming. One time the vaccine goes into the right shoulder area—the next time, in the left hip, etc.

Unfortunately, there is little known about cancer in cats—however, there are veterinarians who specialize. If your cat is thought to have cancer, you might consider consulting with an oncologist veterinarian.

Here’s a site responding to questions about cancer in cats: http://pets.webmd.com/cats/guide/cancer-in-cats-types-symptoms-prevention-and-treatment#1

Here’s another site that lists warning signs and other information you might find useful. http://www.petplace.com/article/cats/diseases-conditions-of-cats/features/feline-cancer-what-are-the-warning-signs

I think most of us know when to take the cat to the vet. Here are some of the warning signs of cancer and, certainly, other diseases and conditions:

  • Loss of appetite.
  • Unnatural discharge from any part of body.
  • Lump that increases in size.
  • Weight loss.
  • Difficulty breathing.
  • Stiffness or soreness.
  • A sore that doesn’t heal.
  • Changes in bladder or bowel habits.

There’s actually more cancer diagnosed in cats and that’s probably because cats are living longer. But, despite the fact that cancer research in cats is lagging a bit, there’s also more known about cancer in cats. If it’s caught in the early stages, many cancers can be treated and cured. So do yourself and your cat a favor. Follow the links provided and become informed. The cat you save may be your own.

 

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Mindful Monday – My Cat Doesn’t Come When I Call Her!!

Do you wonder why your cat ignores you when you call her? She might look at you when you bellow, but immediately go back to what she was doing. Why do dogs run to you when you call their name and cats pretty much ignore you? It could be that that your cat doesn’t know her name.

I noticed the other day that when I greet Lily, it’s often with terms of endearment. I say, “Hi, Cutie,” “There’s my little Sweetie-doodle,” “Good morning Sweet Thing,” “That’s my precious girl,” “Whatcha doin’ punkin?” etc. Have I managed to confuse our tabby?

Before continuing, I want to bring to your attention, my most recent guest blog post at Oh My Bookness. It’s about my writing career and habits. Check it out here:

http://authorsblogcorner.blogspot.com/2017/07/meet-author-who-cant-not-write-by.html?m=1

To continue with the theme, I have to ask, does your cat respond to you? What’s your secret? My mother uses few words with her cat. She refers to all of Smokey’s meals as supper. His breakfast is supper and so is his evening meal. Then there’s treat. We don’t know if he understands the word or if he associates getting a treat with visitors. When someone arrives at Mama’s house, she instructs them to, “Give Smokey a treat.” Now, Smokey has become quite the greeter. Anytime someone visits, he comes running and does his best to lead them to where they keep his treats.

Lily does actually know her name and she often responds when I call her from the kitchen. She loves to eat. She’ll often come to me when I alert her to a bird outside the window or when I’ve brought home a new toy. I don’t have to call her name when it’s meal time, however. She doesn’t miss a meal or a treat. She will ignore me if it’s time for a nail-trim or grooming, but not when food’s involved. Now there’s another cat puzzle. Why do short-hair cats love, love, love to be groomed and those who really need to be groomed hate it? I’ve learned, however, that short-haired cats need grooming as much as long-hairs. Have you ever run a fine-toothed grooming comb through your short-hair cat’s fur during summer? You’ll pull out a LOT of undercoat. I don’t know about other short-haired cats, but our tortie, Sophie, sure loves to be groomed.

Regal Sophie

Are you grooming your cats this season? It’s a good idea for all cats. It helps keep the long-haired cats’ fur from tangling and matting and it is healthy for all cats to have the winter shed combed or brushed out. You’ll be surprised how much fur you’ll get. Maybe you can come up with something interesting to do with the fur. A friend used to roll her cats’ fur into tight little fur balls. I’m not sure why. I don’t think you want your cat to play with them, tear into them, and start ingesting the fur. We have enough fur ball urps without giving them fur they might eat. Some people make jewelry and other items out of cat fur. But that’s a topic for another blog.

Back to our topic—have you figured out why your cat doesn’t come when you call her? With our older cat, Max, I figured it was because he was getting too tired and arthritic to get to his feet and come to me. He seemed to think that if it was something I really want him to have, I’d bring it to him. And he was usually right. But I think I’ll try something different with Lily and Sophie. I’ll try to eliminate the terms of endearment and use their names more often. Perhaps they’ll become more obedient and actually come to me when I call them. Obedient? Isn’t the term obedient cat kind of an oxymoron? Most likely, the thing that causes a cat to come when you call them is curiosity, certainly not obedience.

 

 

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Frivolous Friday – Is the uTube Cat Frenzy Benefitting the Cat?

Cats seem to rule the Internet, when it comes to cute, funny, clever, sad, heart-tugging, interesting videos and even blogs. Cats are portrayed in every imaginable way—driving cars, mentoring other animals, wearing wigs, climbing the walls, and just being darned cute. And just when you think you’ve seen it all—everything imaginable related to cats—something new pops up. What an exciting time for those of us who appreciate and adore cats.

But I think it’s a positive move for the cat community, as well. I mean there are people who wouldn’t give a cat a second thought until they began to really know the cat—yes, through the interesting, adorable, crazy, sweet, and telling cat videos that are viraling and spiraling throughout the Internet.

There are more people adopting cats. More of us are becoming aware of not only the pampered housecat, but the millions of feral cats across the US and beyond. And we’re stepping up to the plate to help. I wonder if, along with the education that’s available through blogs, Internet tutorials, articles, etc., there are also ill-informed people who think it would be cool to have a cat who cuddles or who is entertaining.

I believe that there are far too many people who don’t take the time to understand the characteristics and peculiarities and basic needs of a cat and they end up harming them by allowing indiscriminate breeding, not keeping them safe from the many dangers inside and outside the home, and so forth. What happens the first time the cat does a cat-like thing such as, claw the sofa, climb the drapes, scratch the baby, escape out an open window, chew on the plants, etc.?

I believe we’ve opened many eyes and hearts to cats and more are being loved than ever before. But I’m sure there’s also the Dalmatian and Chihuahua-effect, as well. Remember the breeding and buying frenzy that occurred after movies featuring these animals? When an animal is exalted–when they’re being exploited–the desire for them explodes. Breeders get busy, directors promote their shelters and people buy and adopt the pet without understanding their full responsibility—what goes on behind the scenes, so to speak.

Would love your comments on this topic.

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Thoughts for Thursday – Furry Purry Mentors

Here are a couple of cats, whose stories tugged at my heartstrings. I especially loved seeing this terminally ill feral male, who obviously hasn’t warmed up to humans, interacting with kittens who adopted him as their surrogate Papa. So snuggly cute. https://www.mnn.com/family/pets/stories/feral-terminally-ill-cat-dislikes-humans-loves-tiny-kittens

Here are some additional stories of how therapy cats help comfort people. https://www.thespruce.com/therapy-cat-overview-555621

I used to take kittens from the local humane society shelter to nursing homes to mingle with and delight the residents. I have sweet memories of some of those visits. If you think your cat might be a good candidate as a therapy cat for hospitalized children or adults or seniors in an assisted living facility, here’s a site that explains how you might get involved. http://www.catster.com/lifestyle/how-to-certified-therapy-cat

 

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Wild (and Sometimes Crazy) Wednesday – How Did I End Up With This Cat?

While I’ve written articles and posts on the most mature and logical way to choose a cat for your home, I have to admit that most often, when I enter a shelter or visit a litter of kittens, I lead with my heart.

When I’m in the market for a cat—even when I’m not—I tend to go ga-ga over the furriest varieties. There was a time when I’d choose the cat with the most fur. However, experience with caring for these fur coats has caused me to downsize my thinking in that area. But still, I love longish-haired cats and those with bright, round eyes. Many of my cats, however, I chose because of need (sometimes mine, but usually the cat’s).

Have you ever felt like a cat has chosen you? I can imagine many of you nodding. I certainly have. Sometimes it’s subtle—the cat or kitten just sits quietly and stares into your eyes. And you know. “I’m not leaving here without that cat. It isn’t the one I came for, but I can tell she is going home with me.”

Sometimes a cat will reach out through the wire cage at a shelter and snag your favorite sweater (which you shouldn’t have worn to a cat shelter, anyway). You turn and you know. “This one needs a home. I’m taking him home.”

Sometimes we choose a breed or a style of cat because he looks like a cat we loved in the past. I recommend that you avoid this emotional trap. If you want another Himalayan or ginger cat because you had such a great experience with one in the past, let enough time pass so that your choice is not completely an emotional one. In other words, don’t choose a cat that you expect to take the place of one you’ve lost. As you may have learned already, a cat cannot be replaced. When you adopt again, do so with the understanding that this is a completely different cat and you’ll have a very special, unique relationship with her.

Many of us, though, don’t go out in search of a cat, they seem to find us whether we’re ready for another cat or not, whether we want one or not. They show up on our doorstep, follow us home from a neighborhood walk, wander into the place where we work, or a friend introduces a needy cat to us.

How did you fall in love with your cats? Here’s an entertaining article displaying the cat-human relationship from several angles. https://www.quora.com/How-did-you-fall-in-love-with-your-cats

I’ve also provided a link to Ingrid King’s blog. Here, she talks about how she fell in love with some of her cats and also discusses what attracts us to the cats we choose. She says that, for most of us—and I think this is true—we are attracted to a certain type of cat. We choose according to looks. Well, it’s all we have to go on in the beginning, right? It’s a natural starting point for most relationships. But I’ve picked from a litter based on purrsonality, too. Haven’t you? You’re drawn to a shy kitten; the most playful one steals your heart; you can’t resist the snuggliest one…

Here’s a link to Ingrid’s post on choosing a cat. http://consciouscat.net/2013/09/11/how-did-you-fall-in-love-with-your-cat/

 

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Newsday Tuesday – A New Klepto Cat Mystery

Book 24, Cats in the Belfry, is available at Amazon in print form now. The Kindle book will follow in a few weeks. Sorry about that, but my formatter is traveling and I know she’ll get it ready for you just as soon as she can.

Here’s the skinny on the new story: Rags goes a paw beyond in solving this mystery. Savannah and Margaret take on a large cat colony at an abandoned seminary. With Rags’s help, they find more than cats in the belfry. Is it real or simply illusion? No one knows for sure, even after Rags is attacked by something from above, a body is discovered, and Rags and Savannah are held captive. Will an evening in the bell tower shed some light on the chilling mystery?

Order your copy here: https://www.amazon.com/dp/0998535656/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1499772362&sr=8-2&keywords=cats+in+the+belfry

Thank you Bernadette Kazmarski for the great cover art!

 

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