Meankitty Wants to Know: Cindy Spencer Pape

Today we’re interviewing a human writer type, Cindy Spencer Pape, whose life is sadly devoid of feline influence. She has a puppy called Tyr, an old dog called Grendel and some kind of reptile beast called Chewie (Which her son insists is short for El Chupacabra.) Let’s find out why this poor human is not owned by cats…


1) Why did you decide to be a writer instead of a cat sanctuary owner?

Well, my husband is horribly allergic to cats, but since he’s a good cook, I’d hate to trade him in.

2) Why do you think cats are better than dogs? (Since you call yourself a writer, I trust your answer will be eloquent.)

As a former wildlife biologist, I’d have to say that as a species, domestic cats are far less removed from their wild ancestors than domestic dogs.

3) Why do you have dogs and an iguana instead of cats, anyway? You do realize you’re deprived, right?

Yeah, I know, but the husband is a REALLY good cook.

4) Tell me about the felines in your fiction. How often do they appear and how big a part do they play in your narratives?

Well, my very latest book “Just for Jess,” out Oct. 5 from Ellora’s Cave, just had three feline shapeshifters. Totally yummy kitties for the heroine to play with. Also, Calculus the orange tabby cat plays a role in Motor City Fae, out now from Carina Press.

[Typing Slave says that one’s on her ebook reader.]

5) Have you put any dogs in your fiction? I trust you have made them accurate, aka stupid.

I have. They’re smart when the story requires it. Mostly they’re just loyal and like to be petted.

6) What about lizards? Any iguanas cropping up in your writing?

Only one. One of my very first books was Dragon in the System (which just came out in print from Cerridwen Press). It has an iguana named Q who lives in the heroine, a biology professor’s office.

7) What are your favorite works of fiction involving cats or favorite fictional cats?

I love Lora Leigh’s Feline Breeds series. Mister the cat from the Dresden Files is a favorite. Also the Cat Who mysteries by Lillian Jackson Braun. And, of course, the Cheshire cat was always cool, even before the new movie version of Alice.

8) Do you have any good dog jokes you’d like to share?

A burglar is breaking into a house. As he starts walking across the darkened living room, he hears, “Jesus is watching you.” The burglar is confused but keeps walking. He hears it again. “Jesus is watching you.” Finally, he spots a bird cage across the room with a parrot in it. As he approaches the cage, the parrot repeats again, “Jesus is watching you.”

The man goes up to the cage and says, “Hi birdie. What’s your name?”

The parrot answers, “Cornelius.”

The burglar laughs. “Who the heck would name a parrot Cornelius?”

The parrot laughs back. “The same jerk who named that Rottweiler standing behind you Jesus.”

[Well, technically we meant jokes that made FUN of dogs, but that’s pretty good too!]

9) Multiple choice 1. What is your preference and why?

A) Long hair
B) Short hair
C) No hair
— Note: I am not, of course, referring to the hirsute qualities of your most recent hero or heroine.

Short, of course. You don’t have to empty the vacuum as often, but hairless is just wrong.

10) How goes the discussion about discipline in your house?

Snort. Discipline? What’s that?

11) What one thing would you change about your pets?

I wish they had much longer lifespans.

12) Do you believe pets and humans come to resemble each other over time?

I swear I’ve seen it happen. Very weird.

[We think Cindy probably doesn’t look like the dog or the iguana.]

13) When you’re in the zone with your writing, what does your iguana have to do to get your attention? What about the dogs? What do they do?

Usually Chewie bangs on the plexiglass front of his cage, or scratches at it. He likes to come out on sunny days and sit by the window. The dogs are too dumb to bark to go out, so they usually dance around like maniacs.


We’re going to interview the puppy, Tyr, in a few days, so stay tuned!


Meankitty & Typing Slave &