Meankitty Wants to Know: Shadow and Carol Shrembek

Typing Slave belongs to a local chapter of RWA called MCRW that sometimes attracts new blood. New MCRW member Carol Shrembek is owned by Shadow the cat who agreed to do an interview with me a couple months ago that I am posting today, or, rather, Typing Slave is posting today, several months later, just to make sure everyone remembers how lame she is. Shadow, on the other hand, is not lame.

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

My human gets up before the sun rises, stares at her computer screen and mutters to herself, while I wait patiently like a good kitty to get fed and watered. If I’m lucky, she pets me. Then she goes to work all day (don’t ask me what she does … something about adjusting claims), and when she comes home she stares at the computer screen all evening. She won’t let me read her work. She thinks I can’t read. Silly human.

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

They make gourmet tuna? She opens a can, puts some on a dish, and says “Here Shadow! Here’s your tunda!” Tunda, indeed. Apparently the younger human, Nicole, who by the way left me alone last year when she went off to college – whatever that is – used to pronounce “tuna” as “tunda”, and my human thinks it’s precious. I do however drink bottled water. I have a very delicate digestive system.

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

Marking her laptop with my scent by rubbing my face on the screen is a great way to distract her, because it freaks her out. And once I walked on the keyboard but I would not recommend that. She got really upset with me.

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

Well, in her current novel, there’s a cat, but it’s white, not gray like me, and she named it Snowball. How original. NOT. And Snowball actually comes when her human calls her. PLEASE! Neglect? I once fell asleep sitting right in front of her while she wrote, and she didn’t notice for an hour.

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

I’ve already told you about Snowball. You wouldn’t believe what she puts that cat through in this novel! Snowball is driven halfway across the country, shoved into her carrier when the hero thinks the heroine’s house is on fire, then is accidentally left outside when the hero and heroine go away for the weekend. And you don’t even want to know what happens to her at the end of the novel. To have to suffer the indignity of being rescued by the hero! Someone should teach my human to write.

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 promises to put a cat in each of her novels, and you’d better believe I’ll be watching her.

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

HA! They laugh when the cat gets it! You know … those movies where you hear a cat scream, and some idiot human has kicked them or dropped them. Humans …

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

She’d sit home all day with me.

9) Are you happy with your human? If you could tell your human one thing, what would it be?

That I really, really don’t like to be picked up and held like a baby.

10) Did your human name a character for you? Are you pleased? If not, why?

I tried to talk her into naming Snowball Shadow, but she said the cat was white so that wouldn’t work. DUH. I guess changing the color of her heroine’s cat didn’t occur to her.

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

My name was given to me by my former owners. I don’t remember them. They left me outside the Cleveland Animal Protective League in a cardboard box, with a sign attached to it that said “My name is Shadow”. I was really scared. I was there for two weeks, and it smelled funny. Then my human and her husband – the tall blond guy – showed up and picked me out of all the other cats there. I was already grown, and they wanted an adult cat. They bought me for Nicole, who was young then. We loved each other on sight.

Then I almost died because I picked up some sort of virus there, and they had to take me back to the vet. I was there for ten days and when I felt better, my human and Nicole came to get me. I was very happy to see them. They saved my life.


Touching story! Shadow doesn’t seem like a meankitty per se, but even nicekitties are still better and more interesting than either dogs or humans.

Meankitty & Typing Slave *