The day Johnny died, I saw on Facebook a picture of a dog with a caption that said something like: “When I die, please don’t say ‘I’ll never have another dog.’ Honour my life by saving another.” Now, replace “dog” with “cat”, and you have a principle we’ve lived by for quite some years already. So a couple of weeks ago, we betook ourselves to the SPCA, and came home with – drumroll please LOUIS!IMG_20160821_161809232

Ain’t he adorable? Of course he is; he’s a kitten – they’re the very definition of cuteness. And this one certainly lives up to the expectations placed on him.

Louis in front of his house (the first few days he liked to sleep in the upstairs bedroom)

His name was suggested by the Youngest Offspring, who coughed up the cash for the “adoption fee” (which is really the cost of having the critter neutered). He thought it would be fun to name the cat after a Canadian historical figure, and the first one that sprang to mind was Louis Riel (if you don’t know who that is, you can educate yourself here). Also, we have a long-standing custom of naming our cats after royalty, and there’s certainly plenty of King Louises to choose from. My personal favourite is Louis XIV, because, bombastic and megalomaniac, which just seems to suit a small, fuzzy ginger kitten.

IMG_20160819_095010032So a couple of days ago we took Louis (the kitten, not the king) to the vet to, umm, be turned into an It (is he a eunucat now?). When we picked him up, the vet said we should try to keep him (it) quiet for about a week, but she said it with a chuckle – she’s acquainted with kittens, after all. And sure enough, Louis didn’t get the memo – within minutes of bringing him home, he was doing his psycho-kitten act, racing around, jumping on and off furniture, attacking anything that moves or doesn’t…

We are not amused.

He’s wormed his way into our hearts quite thoroughly, this little guy. The whole family loves him – well, the whole family with the exception of Cleo, our feline lady, whose black aristocratic nose has once again been put out of joint by the presence of a little pest who keeps trying to attack her and won’t be deterred by hisses. Too-bad-so-sad for her; Louis is here to stay.

So there you have it: Life, the Universe, and Louis. Now where did the critter get to again?

Cat Taffy and Other Randomness

IMG_20151201_121726Johnny melted on the old couch in front of the fire, and pulled himself out into a long string of kittycat taffy (honestly, he’s not dead, just stretched out on his back). What is it with cats and heat? Both of ours will curl up in the warmest spot they can find (or stretch out in it, as it were), and as they don’t really like each other very much, there’s frequently a bit of “Nya nya, I got the spot by the fire first!” going on. I tell them to cut out the bickering, but they don’t listen to me.

IMG_20151201_134831Steve has been feeling a bit neglected lately, what with me having my head in NaNoWriMo and all. And, oh, yeah, I won! Meaning I got my 50,000 words written. The story isn’t quite finished yet, but it won’t take a whole lot more. Anyway, so here’s Steve guarding my new dictionaries. The Canadian Oxford one is a humdinger of a tome – the nitpicker’s self-defense weapon: “You want to disagree with me about the spelling of ‘colour’? Well, take that, you ignorant!” [Whap, bang…]

And to wrap up today’s round-up of randomness, here’s the lovely NaNoWriMo poster I won at the kick-off meeting we had back at the end of October. IMG_20151023_092957 (1)Do you know that it’s really hard to write “wrap-up randomness” without either dropping the w from “wrap” or adding a spare one on “random”? I had that problem a lot with my NaNo novel. The phrase “the arm ring on his wrist” occurs in it a lot (far too often, in fact – I’ll have to take the machete to it when it comes to editing), and almost every time, I ended up typing “the arm wring”.

Enough drivelling for today (and that’s “drivelling” with two l’s, not one, thank you very much. I’ve got ten pounds worth of dictionaries to back up that point).

Life, the Universe, Cat Taffy and Other Randomness. Tell Steve to stop glaring at me.

This & That & CAT AND MOUSE

I have things I was going to tell you about. Marmalade, and Charles Dickens, and watching the last episode of Season 1 of Once Upon a Time and what I think of it. But we’ll leave that for later, because right now the big excitement is that it’s only two more days until Cat and Mouse is available for actual sale in actual, um, virtual, um, online book stores.

Steve was complaining that he hadn’t had enough screen time recently, so I let him and Horatio model the print copy of Cat and Mouse. He was also complaining that there aren’t enough bears in my writing, and I’m sorry to say this book is no exception. Not a single bear in sight, in this or in Seventh Son. But of course, there’s cats, so that’s where Horatio comes in. Well, a tiger is a cat; so even though there are no tigers in Cat and Mouse, only domestic cats, I thought he’d be a suitable advertising model.

The picture also gives you an idea of the size of those two. Some friends who’ve met Steve in real life were surprised at how small he is. He’s a Gund, only 9″ (22cm) on his tippy-toes, 6″ (15cm) when he’s sitting – but I guess his screen persona comes across as much bigger. He’s a large bear on the inside.

So here they are. Doesn’t Cat and Mouse look lovely?

Steve, Horatio, Cat & Mouse

But there’s one more thing I had to share with you. I just got this awesome comment on my “Clean Air” post from the other day. You know the one where I rant about rude, inconsiderate, pushy salespeople with tunnel vision about their product? Here’s the comment, verbatim:

“it is great to see about air purifier . how many people know about air purifier we should know about air purifier this the mean thing so everybody should know about air purifier you can check about air purifier here [spam link]”.

I liked that comment so much, I left it up, with the guy’s name and links removed (wouldn’t want to risk even the slightest chance of giving him any business from his spam). Gotta love it when spammers make your point for you.

So, just a couple more days, and you can have Cat and Mouse in your sweaty little hands – umm, on your sweaty little Kindles and Kobos and iPhones and computer screens. The hardcopies will be a bit longer in coming; I’ll let you know when I’ve got some on hand for locals to buy from me directly, or you can order it yourself from Amazon US or Europe (Amazon Canada will take longer).

Life, the Universe, This and That and Cat and Mouse. Steve and Horatio say hello.