Meowy Monday – Will the Real Olivia Please Stand up

You’ve read at least some of the Calico Cat Mysteries and you’ve fallen in love with Olivia. You know that the fictional Olivia is based on the real Olivia, who lives right here with me. But I’m sure you wonder how closely I’ve patterned the fictional Olivia after the real Olivia. How similar are they? Let me count the ways:

The two Olivia’s look exactly alike. Yes, we use Olivia’s actual image on the book covers. Beautiful, isn’t she?

Like the fictional Olivia, our Olivia loves to snuggle, but can be aloof. She’s curious, fascinated by what goes on outdoors, but isn’t allowed to go outdoors. She’s smart. She usually comes running when you call her name and we have some routines that she happily participates in. She’s not a great eater, but, like the fictional Olivia maintains a weight of 10 pounds. She actually does leap high against a wall occasionally. Maybe practicing to fly—who knows? She has her routines and she insists that we be a part of them–like everyone is to meet-up in the living room at 3 pm sharp. If you lag, she comes to get you.

Olivia talks to me. We have some lingering conversations that neither of us knows what they’re about, but Olivia’s not all that vocal, just when she wants to get our attention or has something to say.

The differences between the two Olivia’s are numerous: Our Olivia does not wear a harness and doesn’t walk on a leash. She’s afraid of a lot of things, including a car ride. She won’t sleep in a cat bed. I’ve offered several. She wants to be on my bed or under it. She’s not a social cat. Born and adopted in 2020, she was not socialized outside of with us. We tried to introduce her to people through the window, but that didn’t go well. So obviously our Olivia is not friendly with others. Neither is she a traveler or an adventurer.

A lot of what I write about Olivia is strictly fiction and, in some cases, wishful thinking. But she’s not quite four-years-old, so maybe there’s hope that she will become social with more people. She does like her cat sitters and she’s becoming accustomed to our house cleaners, but it breaks my heart to see her fearful. Her latest fear is rain. I believe that came about after a huge clap of thunder during a rain not too long ago. Now any rain worries her.

So there you have it. The fictional Olivia is our Olivia on steroids and I have to say I love them both.

Posted in Cats and Writers, Living With Cats | 1 Comment

Feline Fun Friday – How Our View of Cats Has Changed Over Time

I’ve noticed it and, if you’ve been on this planet for any length of time, you probably have too. Our view and behavior with cats has changed. Let me count the ways.

We’ve become aware that many thousands of cats are in trouble because of overpopulation and hundreds and hundreds of people have committed their lives to reversing this trend through TNR programs. Bless them. But after years of work in this area, there are still way too many homeless cats still having kittens. And maybe that’s because we’re keeping better track of the numbers—we know where these cats are and how to help them.

People used to dump a litter of kittens or an unwanted cat someplace wild or unpopulated. Well, I’ve never done that, but I definitely know it was done (and it still is), but it was more accepted back in the day. Breaks my heart.

Pet cats were kept mostly outside. There were no (or few) litter boxes inside homes

Even pet cats didn’t live long due to lack of the vaccines we have now, few vet visits, if any, traffic and predators. They weren’t safe even in our neighborhoods—or especially in our neighborhoods.

If the cat had a wound or other medical problem, it was watched and maybe treated at home—often unsuccessfully. Or the cat was put to sleep. Cats seemed hardy then, but not hardy enough to survive some of the dangers we allowed them to be confronted by.

What was a cat’s lifespan in the 1950s and 60s? If they survived their outdoor lifestyle, they might live to the ripe old age of 15 years.

Fast forward to this century. Cats have become ultra-popular. They are coddled and adored. Many thousands of cats (let’s hope millions) live indoors only and are gracing us with their love and antics for 18 to over 20 years. Why? Because of what we’re doing for them—regular vet checks, a vet visit when warranted or suggested, safety measures for cats even indoors, regular grooming, healthy foods, and plenty of opportunity for activity and attention.

There’s not much to improve when it comes to cats, unless it is our care for them—rescue, donate to organizations that do rescue, and take care of the cats in your world.

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Paws Up for Wednesday – NEW Calico Cat AUDIO Book

There’s always something happening in the Calico Cat Mystery factory. This month we’ve taken advantage of, yet, another service offered by Amazon and we’ve created our first Calico Cat Mystery audio book. It’s available here, now. https://www.amazon.com/Oh-Olivia-Calico-Cat-Mystery-ebook/dp/B095BV39KQ/ref=sr_1_1?keywords=Oh%21+olivia&qid=1705840977&sr=8-1

Which book in the series did we choose to record? The first one, of course: Oh! Olivia. For those of you who haven’t read this book because you prefer listening, Oh! Olivia was the first in the Calico Cat series—the introduction into the series. Here’s the description for that book:

“Olivia, the sweet and sassy calico, struts her stuff in this story. She locates a lost toddler and ends up getting herself arrested. She isn’t about to take this insult lying down, however. She escapes from custody and trashes the police station. Olivia alerts her person, Parker, to trouble when they visit her aunt’s home and find that the woman has detained a burglar in a most unusual way. Olivia also finds major clues in a convoluted cat colony mystery, one that promises a glimmer of hope for a long-grieving parent.”

Order your print, kindle, or audio book here: https://www.amazon.com/Oh-Olivia-Calico-Cat-Mystery-ebook/dp/B095BV39KQ/ref=sr_1_1?keywords=Oh%21+olivia&qid=1705840977&sr=8-1

 

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Meowy Monday – National Answer Your Cat’s Questions Day

We all wonder what our cat is thinking and sometimes we don’t really want to know. Some people believe that cats might actually have questions of their own and because of that, a day has been set aside for us to ponder that concept.

What might your cat ask you? Here are a few possibilities:

Why do you take so many photos of me? (Yeah, that would be Olivia’s question and complaint.)

Where’s my favorite toy? I lost my toys. Where is it????

Why can’t I scratch the sofa?

Why can’t I eat that plant?

Actually, I don’t think our cats really want the answers to some of these questions, they simply want the privileges they believe they deserve as king/queen of the household. It’s certainly a fun premise to consider

Here’s another bit of trivia. Cat litter was discovered 70 years ago this month by Edward Lowe who was in the sand and gravel business. But it was actually a woman who instigated the concept of using clay instead of sand in the litter box. This unnamed woman came to Mr. Lowe asking for something better than sand to use in her cat’s litter box. He sent her home with a bag of clay granules and the rest is history.

There’s a side story to this: when Mr. Lowe began to market the litter he’d created he visited cat shows and was taken aback by the smell throughout the hall. That must have been when he realized a second convenience and benefit to the absorbing clay he marketed for litter boxes, the substance worked to keep the smell down.

Thank you Mr. Lowe and the unnamed woman who brought up the subject.

 

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Feline Fun Friday — NEW Calico Cat Mystery

Olivia finds double the trouble in this spirited story.

Olivia auditions for a part in a movie and ends up getting the cat-lead. At the same time she and Parker become involved in helping a commune of homeless people to manage a colony of homeless cats. Tensions run high and danger lurks near when someone sabotages their efforts to help the feral cats. Behind the scenes, Olivia rescues two helpless animals from a house fire and she disarms a gunman intent on killing Jag. Olivia is catnapped and she’s targeted by a sniper, but the show must go on and it does. This story has a surprise ending and Olivia has her paw in making it happen.

Readers Reviews

“I’ve read books from both of Patricia’s series and they are purr-fect reads.”

“Love the Olivia stories.”

“I’ve been reading both the Klepto Cat and the Calico Cat series and haven’t missed one.”

“Olivia and Archie are my favorite characters.”

 

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Paws Up for Wednesday – Who Loves Cats?

Have you ever stopped to wonder why humans are attracted to cats (or dogs or iguanas)? Is it a certain personality who falls in love with cats? There are those who believe our housecats remind us of wild cats—tigers, lions and cheetahs—and that’s the allure for some.

Well, I did some research and here’s what I learned from the experts: There can be a very strong bond between highly emotional people and cats. So maybe that’s part of what brings some people together with cats. Think about it.

Maybe curious and creative people are more attracted to cats. There is something intriguing about the unpredictability of the cat—don’t you think so?

Cats are cute. Some say even grown cats share features with human babies—those large eyes and playful-ness.

Cats are ridiculously entertaining and charming. They respond to us. Those of us who love our cats, certainly adore that part of having cats around. They give us head-butts, those long stares, comforting sounds, and cuddles.

Cats make us smile and feel good. You’ve probably read where there are actually health benefits to hanging around with cats.

Did you know that cat-people are better able to handle stress? At least one report says that people who have never been around cats are 40% more likely to die of a heart attack.

Yes, I find being around cats relaxing and soothing. They make me feel happy inside and I think they teach us how to relax. Did you know they also help us to have the capacity to receive affection?

Here’s an article I found in Psychology Today. It covers some of these points and others. Isn’t it comforting to know that something you adore—a lifestyle with cats, is so good for you in so many ways?

https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/intimacy-a-path-toward-spirituality/201507/if-you-love-cats-this-may-be-why

 

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Meowy Monday – Dress Your Pet Day

You missed it. Dress Your Pet Day was yesterday, but that doesn’t mean you can’t do it if you want to. But does your pet want to be dressed? Have you ever had a cat you could put a bonnet on or a shirt or a sun suit? Did you dress your cats as a child?

I’ve never had a willing cat, but I’ve known people who did and who took advantage of it. Why? I’m not sure, but I guess for fun. I have friends who dress their dogs and it is kind of cute. People but vests and pet coats on their animals in winter. And people strap harnesses and life jackets around their cats and dogs for safety while traveling or adventuring. I sat at a dinner table one year at the Cat Writers Association Conference across from a white rat on a harness and leash. That was one well-behaved tablemate.

So why a “dress your pet day”? You might also ask, why “an if you pet had thumbs day”. The creator of this day says it’s just for fun and she encourages people to dress their pets in safe and fun pet costumes. How do you feel about this—yay or nay? I can give you Olivia’s vote. She believes she’s already dressed up in her fur coat of many (calico) colors.

 

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Feline Fun Friday – Kiss a Ginger Cat Day

Most avid cat people have had a ginger (marmalade, orange tabby, red) cat in their lives. I know several ginger cats, and I’d sure kiss anyone of them, except for a small orange tabby named Rocket who used to live next door.

These are traditionally wonderful, sweet, calm cats, but Rocket was a menace in our neighborhood, even to the point that he’d find his way into homes through windows and attack the cats inside. He’d lure you close to pet him—acting all sweet and friendly—then bite you HARD.

He was definitely not your typical ginger cat. I mean, look at Garfield and Morris. There were three wonderful cats who played Morris in the commercials. Do you remember Spot from Star Trek and Crookshanks from Harry Potter? Here’s a site listing 17 famous ginger cats. https://thepurringjournal.com/blog/16-famous-orange-tabby-cats/

Here’s another site listing some of the most interesting facts about ginger cats. For example, did you know that 80 percent of ginger cats are male?

https://www.ovchsc.ca/news/ginger-cats-what-makes-them-unique-is-beyond-coat-deep

If you have one of these lovely cats, be sure to give him or her a kiss on the furry cheek and maybe a special treat to celebrate his/her day.

Posted in About Cats | 2 Comments

Paws Up for Wednesday – Does Your Cat Have Healing Paws?

Have you ever adopted or found a cat at just the right time in your life—a time when you needed the companionship or even physical or emotional healing? It has happened to me more than once. Maybe when we are most needy we are more aware of the neediness in a sweet animal—cat, dog, parakeet, tortoise, horse…you name it.

You bring the critter home and your world changes for the better. You may not even know you needed a change in your way of life, attitude, thoughts, until you bring home that being and find yourself smiling more, laughing more, and feeling a greater sense of well-being.

Often, a cat or kitten will make important differences in the way you feel or see the world, just by existing. Whether you bring the cat into your home fresh, or you’ve had your cat for a long time, you might find yourself being comforted by that cat when you least expect it and most need it.

Some of the cats I’ve brought home made huge or subtle differences in my world either immediately or eventually. And I’ve noticed that a cat I’ve had for a long time—enjoyed, played with, cuddled with, laughed with over many years, might one day become more than a delightful companion, but also a healer.

I hurt my upper back last year and was in terrible pain for a while. I couldn’t sleep lying down, so spent a lot of time in our recliner chair. One early morning when I was particularly uncomfortable—on-the-verge-of-tears uncomfortable—Olivia jumped up into the chair with me, climbed onto the back of the chair, then slid down so that she was draped across the area of pain. She had never been in that chair. Dennis sits in that chair and she has not chosen to sit on his lap yet, just mine. But that early morning as I tried to deal with the pain, she came to my rescue in the most intentional way.

In my stories Olivia, and also Rags, will sometimes point out the cause of a medical issue with a child or another cat or a dog. I believe at least some cats have a knowingness that we have not tapped into yet. That night as Olivia lay draped over my shoulder where the pain was, I became convinced that she does.

Does your cat hang close to you when you’re sad or troubled? Does she put a paw on you or curl up with you when you’re hurting? Don’t discount this as a fluke. It could be that she is tuning into your pain and doing her best to comfort you.

Posted in About Cats, Living With Cats | 7 Comments

Meowy Monday – Lots Happening in the KC and CC Mystery Factory

Again I am juggling three manuscripts at once—Book 18 in the Calico Cat Mystery series is on its way to be formatted for publication as we speak. Watch for this lively story to appear for download and purchase around the middle of this month.

Meanwhile, I’m doing my final edits on Book 68 of the Klepto Cat series before sending it to my editor who will work her magic. This is a fun book where I’ve combined both Rags and Olivia in a dynamic mystery—yes, together with Savannah and Parker. There’s also some horse action in this story. We should be able to bring this book out some time in February.

For your March or April reading, I’ve already started Book 19 of the Calico Cat Mysteries and I’m working on that story every chance I get.

You might wonder when I get the opportunity to work on the next book? It’s when the beta readers, editor, or formatters are busy with the current book(s).

Watch for further announcements from the Klepto Cat Mystery and Calico Cat Mystery Factory here at the Catscapades Blog and on my facebook page.

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