Meankitty Wants to Know: Marianne Arkins and Breeann

Breeann the Cat owns author Marianne Arkins, who writes romances for a variety of publishers and likes butterflies, which no doubt Breeann likes, too…in a very different way!


1) So, your human writes books. Does this mean he or she is home all day and easy to access? Elaborate if necessary.

Home? Yes. Easy to access? No. Would you believe she doesn’t let me lay on top of her computer keyboard? And sometimes she won’t even let me in her lap. I’ll paw at her and yowl to no avail. Why is she home if not to care for me, after all? Even the dog gets more attention than I do – just because it needs to go out to pee. You’d think she’d appreciate me more because I’m so low maintenance.

2) How large a proportion of her income do you have her devote to your gourmet tuna, cat beds, toys and other basic necessities?

I’m too old and lazy to play with toys, and as a matter of principle I avoid the beds she buys me (preferring to sleep on shoes, her pillow or a discarded item of clothing). But food? Oh yeah. She’s tried feeding me the cheap stuff, but I refuse to eat it. And since she puts some kind of powder stuff on my food every day that I have to eat, I get to decide what goes on my plate. Seafood only, preferably tuna, but I’ll settle for salmon (and lately she’s been giving my chicken liver as a treat … yum). It’s taken me fifteen years, but she’s finally learning who’s boss.

3) What are your techniques for distracting your human during crucial writing moments, just because it’s fun?

Attacking the dog is a favorite because the thing is so pitiful about my power (despite being six times my size). Yowling. And, when those don’t work I can sometimes manage to yak up a good hairball.

4) What indignities and neglect have you suffered because of your human’s writing career?

Aside from being ignored when she’s busy? Nothing much, really. She tried to get me to pose with her book when it came out, but I refused (though the box was a great place to hang out once it was empty). For the most part she’s careful of my dignity.

5) Tell me about the felines in your human’s fiction. How often do they appear and how big a part do they play?

Would you believe she’s yet to write a story with a cat prominently featured?? She’s had dogs, ferrets and even a rat – but NO cats. Oh, her hero in “Kitchen Matches” gave a kitten named Rose to the heroine, but it was barely a walk-on part. Maybe in the sequel Rose will have a few lines?

6) On the off-chance your human has yet to incorporate cats into a story, what are your plans for making sure she rectifies this egregious error and demonstration of poor writing skills?

She says dogs are more fun to write about. Can you imagine? I think I’ll go swat the dog here as a matter of principle. BRB.

7) What works of fiction or cinema involving cats does your human enjoy sharing with you?

Once again, the movies she loves that feature animals usually feature DOGS. “Turner and Hootch” for instance. What’s so cute about a dog that drools and destroys things? Give me a nice, calm and dignified cat any day of the week. Hey! Is that a moth? ::leaps up on the table and wildly attacks the lamp in an attempt to kill the invading insect::

8) If you could make one change to your human, what would it be?

A wider, softer lap that is available at my whim. And she would hate dogs.

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Question for pets: Are you happy with your human? If you could tell your human one thing, what would it be?

I’m mostly happy. I’m an only cat, and the dog knows her place in this household (bottom of the totem pole, of course). I do wish I could sleep with her at night, but her man doesn’t like kitties on the bed. Maybe she should make HIM sleep in the other room? I think that’s a fantastic solution.

What things does your human do that would mortify it if known? What does your human do that most annoys?

She sings. A lot. A the top of her lungs. Sometimes she dances with her child. It’s not a pretty sight.

And, I’m still annoyed that they got a new dog when the last one left. It takes a long time to train the things, and the other one was all broken in.

Questions for cats: Did your human name a character for you? Are you pleased? If not, why?

No. I think I would make a fabulous character. Stately. Proud. Hungry. I’ll have to work at rectifying that situation.

And did your human name you for a fictional character? Hate it or love it?

No. She named me after cheese, of all things. As if I like food. I’m not fat, I’m fluffy.

How do you give your writer new ideas?

By laying on her head when she’s reclining. It’s a bit like the Vulcan Mind Meld.