Meowy Monday – NEW Calico Cat Mystery

Don’t you love this cover? Bernadette Kazmarski and I are having so much fun using photos of the real Olivia on the covers of my books featuring the fictional Olivia. This is Book 7, Leave it to Olivia.

In this story, Olivia stays on top of the clues in this twisted mystery.

Parker’s spunky Aunt Sharlene needs help. She’s being threatened and is rapidly succumbing to the fear. Olivia finds the clues that might help Sharlene wake up from her nightmare, but not before the woman is arrested for murder. Meanwhile, Olivia has her own challenges. She’s almost pirated away from Parker by unscrupulous scammers, she’s stalked by an aging coyote and ultimately helps him to find peace and safety, and she paws a criminal who tried to rob a young boy of his birthday wish. This is a lively story with a lot of cat action and a surprise ending.

Just for fun here are some reader views for the Calico Cat Mysteries:

“The continuity in this series is exceptional.”

“A pleasant, wholesome, enjoyable read.”

“A really fantastic storyline with wonderful characters.”

“A phenomenal series for cat lovers.”

“I love these fast-paced stories.”

Both the print and Kindle version available now at Order the print version from me at and get an autographed and pawtographed copy (US only) If you bought the print book online, request a bookplate with my autograph and Olivia’s actual pawtograph. Order your copy here:

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Feline Fun Friday – What’s Happening in the CC and KC Factory

Last month—March of 2022—we published Book 56 of the Klepto Cat Mysteries and Book 6 of the Calico Cat Mysteries. So where are we today—in late April? It’s all good news.

We’re on the verge of publishing Book 7 of the Calico Cat series, which I also call, Olivia’s series. Watch for the announcement next week.

Book 57 of the Klepto Cat Mysteries isn’t far behind. That manuscript is with the beta reader. I’ll do one more edit and it goes to the final editor. After more proofing, editing, and story-line-consideration we start formatting both the print and kindle version. So I believe we’re looking at a publication date in mid-May.

Meanwhile, I’ve begun work on Book 8 of the Calico Cat Mysteries.

Moving right along.


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Paws Up for Wednesday –Orange Tabbies

Today we’re honoring the cat known as ginger, marmalade, tiger—the orange tabby. This, as you know, is not a breed, but a color with some interesting aspects. Did you know that 80% of orange tabbies are male? Yes, it’s rather rare to meet up with a female. Some of the most famous orange tabbies were Morris, the cat in the cat food commercials, and Garfield, who is still delighting people in the comics. There was a famous orange tabby in Alaska. He passed away maybe ten years ago, but he was the mayor of a small town called Talkeetna. Yes, he held office there for twenty years before he passed. We visited Talkeetna just before he passed and asked to have an audience with him, but he was too ill then to have company. I’ve included a photo of him here—it was on a postcard I picked up in the town.

There are orange tabbies in some breeds of cat: Maine coon, Manx, Ocicat, Turkish Angora, Egyptian Mau, Rex and others.

Have you ever seen a solid orange cat? You may think you have, but in reality, evidently, there is no such animal. If you see an orange cat, there are stripes in there somewhere. There are different shades of orange tabby—very pale shades to very deep shades called mahogany. And when you meet an orange tabby—or any color tabby—be sure to check out the pattern on his or her forehead—sometimes you’ll see a well-defined M. Often, however, the M is only partial, as it was with my sweet dilute tabby, Lily.

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Meowy Monday – National Cat Lady Day

Do you shrink away from the term “Crazy Cat Lady?” To you does this term denote a spinster with more cats than she can care for? Well, not anymore. I wear my Crazy Cat Lady tee shirt with pride. I even belong to an organization called Cat Writers Association and I will wear cat-print clothes and cat ears to the conferences. From the outside, you’d think these conferences were Crazy Cat Lady conferences, and you may be half right.

However, some of our members are men and we have veterinarians, cat behaviorists, cat rescuers, well-known authors, experts who work with cats and/or write about them in major journals and other publications, and others who take cats and their care and well-being seriously.

Tomorrow is National Cat Lady Day. If you love cats, speak to your cats, sleep with them, smile when you see a cat when you are out and about, can’t resist melting when you see a kitten, take your cat to the beach, tell your cat goodbye when you leave the house, post pictures of your cats on the Internet and/or are just an all-around cat enthusiast, you might fit the honored title of Cat Lady—or if you prefer, A-Little-Bit-Crazy-Cat-Lady. Wear the badge proudly.


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Feline Fun Friday – Do Cats Lose Their Toys on Purpose?

I swear Olivia pushes her toys under the heaviest piece of furniture in the house with the least access on purpose—then chuckles behind my back as I writhe on the floor on my stomach trying to fish them out.

Yesterday when I got up Olivia met me at the bedroom door and told me a sad story. With her usual cuteness and well-presented body language, even though I was barely awake, I began to understand that there was something under the dresser that she wanted. “Okay, Olivia, I’ll reach under there and kick it out.” When I reached under there bare-handed, though, I felt nothing. It’s one of those dressers with narrow access to what’s underneath, so I got a flashlight to see what I could see that I couldn’t touch.

“Yes, Olivia, five of your toys are under here and—oh my—two of your dried chicken treats.” (Note: She bats around her treats before attacking and eating them. We find them in closets, wrapped up in a pile of dirty clothes, and, of course, under the furniture out of paw’s reach.)

Well, as early as it was and as groggy as I was, I found the 18-inch ruler and made a few more swipes under the dresser yesterday morning and managed to retrieve the toys and the treats.

“You’re welcome, Olivia. I guess I needed that extra yoga workout before my coffee.”

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Paws Up for Wednesday – How to and Why Should You Clean Your Cat’s Teeth

I was surprised to hear from the veterinarian on Olivia’s first trip there as a kitten that Olivia had a buildup of plaque on her teeth. She was just a kitten! So I bought special food for dental health, some water formula with treatment for cats’ teeth, and dental chew sticks for cats. Since then I’ve read that it is important to clean your cats’ teeth on a regular basis. Now doesn’t that sound daunting? Brushing and combing a cat that doesn’t want to be groomed—oh and trimming their claws—are hard enough without trying to get your hands into their mouth.

In reality, however, there are ways to make teeth-cleaning doable and maybe even an almost pleasant experience for your cats. Here’s a great site with instructions and pictures to help you get started. I’d also like to hear from people who have had experience cleaning their cats’ teeth. Anyone?’s-Teeth


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Meowy Monday – When it Comes to Hiring a Cat Sitter

We’re coming upon summer. Things are opening up, and you may be eager to get out of town—you know take a trip, visit people you haven’t seen in a year or more, see the wide open spaces and the interesting small towns out there, seek new adventures. And most of us leave our beloved cats at home when we travel. Are you ready for this?

We’re among the many who may have a chance to get out of town this summer and I’m stressing about leaving Olivia and Sophie.

I’ve been consulting friends who do pet sitting—unfortunately they live in other states, but they have some great tips. I’ve thought hard about what it will take to keep things orderly around here for the cats and how to have all of their needs met. My cats, like most others these last few years, have been forced into isolation. Olivia, in particular, has very few other people-friends.

Oh, we’ve left for an overnight getaway and we’ve had family drop in and feed on schedule and do a quick check on the cats, but for a longer trip I want something more for the cats. I want them to have at least a couple of hours companionship daily. I don’t want them to feel as though they’ve been abandoned. I want eyes on them for more than just a few minutes a day and I’d like some semblance of normalcy and familiarity in their lives during the time we’re gone. PLUS, we need someone here we can trust. I think my preparation and thought for the cats will be far more stressful and intense than the preparation for myself for the trip. In fact, I wouldn’t be surprised if I drive off without packing something important—like cash for the trip or my hair dryer…

Some of you might be planning a get-away this summer and are struggling with the same issues. So I’ve located a couple of sites that might put all of us at ease.

Here’s another one:

and one more:

Safe travels and happy homecoming.

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Feline Fun Friday – What’s the Most Annoying Thing Your Cat Does?

I’ve had cats that peed outside the litter box—oh, that’s a hard one to deal with. We were pulling up carpeting all the time. We have mostly wood floors now thanks to Max, who crossed the rainbow bridge at the age of 17 several years ago.

Some cats shoot for the door every time it’s open, trying to get out. That can be annoying and frightening. Our current cats, Olivia and Sophie run the other way when a door is opened. They don’t seem to want any part of the streets again.

Our sweet tabby, Lily used to beg for food. No matter what I was eating or where I was eating it, she had a paw in my bowl or on my plate trying to grab a bite. I’d sometimes eat my meal outside on the deck or standing up just so I could eat in peace. As much as I loved her sometimes that habit of hers was annoying. She also begged us to turn on water faucets. She loved to drink the fresh flowing water from a spigot.

There are cats that dig in plants, eat the plants, knock out the window screens to get out, knock over knick knacks, run across the piano keys at night, romp around on the bed at night, bring you dead mice and other critters, and pull underwear and socks out of a partially opened drawer.

I know a cat that chewed on plastic and rubber, including computer cables. I’ve had cats that chewed on paper. I couldn’t leave money lying around. Oh, and I’ve had cats that knock small items like an earring or a pen off table, desk and dresser tops, bat them around and sometimes lose them.

Olivia loses her favorite toys, but she’ll usually show me where it is and helps me dig it out from under the frig or a dresser with the yard stick.

Probably Olivia’s most annoying activity is meowing in my ear while I’m working. She wants me to get up and play with her and she doesn’t understand the concept of “wait until I finish this paragraph or this chapter.” Yes, some cats come with annoying habits, but I suppose we annoy them sometimes too with our cutsie way of talking to them–humiliating, and our refusal to always let them have their way, and when we don’t feed them at exactly the time they want to be fed, and when we close the blinds just when they’re enjoying the view. Yeah, people can be annoying too.

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Paws Up For Wednesday – Neighborhood Cats Report

Today we saw Ash, who used to visit us until we made it possible for him to have a forever home up the street. He’s now Buddy and he was curled up on an outside table sound asleep. His new owner sat at the table with her feet on another chair and two adorable small dogs on her lap. One sweet, happy family.

I visited Rip, my grandson’s cat this week. He’s a total inside cat, who met with a horrible accident or non-accident when he was a kitten. He’s looking good, doing well.

There are a lot of neighborhood cats I miss seeing wander through our yard. Mollie and Annie are the most recent beloved cats to move with their family—all the way to St. Louis. They used to love visiting us, and posing for my camera since they were kittens. They caught an occasional rat or gopher, for which I am thankful, and they just gave our yard a warm, homey feel, besides, they are beautiful. I’ve received a few photos of them in their new home and they appear to be doing well. I wonder if they miss our yard as much as I miss seeing them out there.

Since there are currently no visiting neighborhood cats our yard is being overtaken by tree squirrels. They’re even becoming so brazen as to hang out on the deck when we’re out there.

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Meowy Monday –Throwback Monday

Note: This post appeared on this blog in April of 2010, twelve years ago. Lily was a year old then and we had Sophie and Max. Both Lily and Max have crossed the rainbow bridge.

Cat photography is a real art. Since I don’t have the artistic skill, for me it is a crap shoot. I shoot endlessly and sometimes get a decent picture. There are many crummy shots along the way, however. One of the most frustrating aspects of using a digital camera is that the cat often moves before the shutter clicks. I have more pictures of the tip of Sophie’s tail, Max’s butt, a blur of Lily’s fur… And then there is the matter of capturing the true spirit of your cat.

Do you have trouble catching the essence of your cat in photographs? I’ve been

photographing Lily for almost a year and finally, FINALLY, captured her personality in a photo. She is just about as sweet as they come, yet her photos sometimes seem to show a hint of attitude—or should we say “catitude.”

The photo of Lily that I’m sharing today represents my vision of her—my sense of her. Here, you see pure innocence and sweetness. Or is this simply my perception?

For this shot, I had to lay belly down on the living room floor and focus on Lily as she relaxes inside her blue tunnel—a delicious splash of sunlight glowing from behind her. I did not have to use the flash, so her eyes look more natural. I just love this shot. What do you think?

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