Link fast! Author Mary Hughes, whose feline owners are being interviewed today, is giving away a free book called The Bite of Silence until January 15 for Kindle on Amazon and Nook on B&N online. You can find out more about the human at her website, http://www.maryhughesbooks.com/
But now for the important stuff. Living in the Hughes household with Mary are year-and-a-half-old brothers Aahz and Caesar II (Mary’s son’s cats, so the grandcats) and grande dame 20*-year-old Skittles. Aahz and Caesar II are tabbies, blond and brunet, and Skittles’s fur is jet black with orange highlights (all natural, dearie).
*Twenty years is anywhere from 85 to 97 in a human, depending on which calculator you use. She’s, um, age-enhanced.
1) So, your human writes books. Does this mean he or she is home all day and easy to access? Elaborate if necessary.
Aahz: Yes and no. During the day she shuts herself in the office with my sleeping chair. Sometimes she’ll even skootch me back during my morning nap, sitting her butt on a full half of my chair! I mean, what part of *my chair* doesn’t she get?
Caesar II: Hey, you’re lucky. When I’m on the chair she’ll lift me and take over the whole seat. Though she makes up for it by setting me on her warm lap and petting me. (Purrs.) Petting is good.
Skittles: She does come out of the office to bring me my 12 and 5 p.m. feedings. But I’m going to have to talk to her about the 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. meals and the 3 p.m. treats.
Aahz: Hey. We only get fed twice a day.
Skittles: Whaddya want? I’m old.
2) How large a proportion of her income do you have her devote to your gourmet tuna, cat beds, toys and other basic necessities?
Aahz: Being a writer’s pretty solitary. So we make sure she’s kept active by sending her out for special food, medicine, and treats.
Skittles: I’m old, so I need lots of small meals. And I only eat expensive pate cat food mixed with baby food. Not because of my teeth, which work just fine on crunchy treats. Because it’s expensive, so a great incentive to keep her working hard at her writing. Although I’d rather have a Mustang V8.
Caesar II: I help out by getting her to take me to the vet. That’s super-expensive. And a sacrifice on my part because the vet pokes me with needles. (Turns to his brother.) Although you could go. Why don’t you go?
Aahz: Because you’re the best-mannered of all of us. You get the human women to love you, and never shred any of them with your claws.
Caesar II: Oh yeah. Because then they pet me. (Grins.)
3) What are your techniques for distracting your human during crucial writing moments, just because it’s fun?
Caesar II: I like to sit on her lap and spread. My favorite position is my head and front paws on her forearm so she has to type one-handed. And then I demand she pet me so she doesn’t have any hands free!
Aahz: I like to practice my magic tricks. My favorite is where I tug the tablecloth off the table, you know, the table with the big cylinder sprouting green leafy stuff and red flowers on top. I give myself ten points for pulling the tablecloth all the way off. But sometimes when I pull the cloth, the cylinder comes too. It lands on the carpet and makes a big whump! and my human comes running. I give myself an extra ten points for that.
4) What indignities and neglect have you suffered because of your human’s writing career?
Aahz: The chair-sharing that she makes me do. Although she does scritch my neck to make up for it.
Skittles: I have to toddle upstairs to remind her of my two p.m. feeding, very annoying. Hey, I’m old! And she won’t even buy me a Mustang 5L V8 to make up for it. Kitty’s gotta have her playthings.
5) Tell me about the felines in your human’s fiction. How often do they appear and how big a part do they play?
Caesar II (hissing): She hasn’t had any of us in her books.
Skittles: Since she writes erotic vampire romances, that isn’t a bad thing. I mean, how would I explain that to my kids? Wait—I was fixed—oh, heck, just feed me!
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?
Caesar II: I’m using Big Kitty Eyes to convince her to write a shifter novelba romance with a handsome, dark-haired heroic big cat shifter named Caesar.
Aahz: Or Aahz.
Caesar II: That name’s been used already, in Robert Asprin’s Myth books.
Aahz (bristling): Yeah? Well Caesar’s already a Roman general.
Caesar II (claws coming out): A heroic, very handsome general I’m sure.
Skittles: Hey, you kids, stop that fighting. And get off my lawn…I mean litter box.
7) What works of fiction or cinema involving cats does your human enjoy sharing with you?
Caesar II: I like the Cat Sitter video. I’ll paw that screen for hours to catch the birds.
Aahz: When my human’s trying to wind down by doing puzzles, I like to sit on the puzzle book.
Caesar II: It’s fun to chomp her pencil too.
Skittles: Plebs. I share artistic endeavors with my human and her mate. Specifically, we watch television. I like House, M.D. even though it doesn’t have cats, because I loved Hugh Laurie in Blackadder.
Aahz: Hugh Laurie was in a show before House?
Skittles (ignoring the children): I also like Simon’s Cat videos on YouTube. And Meankitty.com. And Animaniac reruns with my role model Slappy Squirrel. Cranky old lady squirrel squealing her fire-engine-red sports car around town. Awesomeness personified.
8) If you could make one change to your human, what would it be?
Caesar II: She’d give me more pets.
Aahz: Like she doesn’t pet you all the time.
Caesar II: Exactly my point. She doesn’t pet me 24/7.
Aahz: Her hand would fall off. Then who would change our litter?
Skittles: I’m old. Feed me.
Question for pets: Are you happy with your human? If you could tell your human one thing, what would it be?
Caesar II: I’m warm, fed, and well-petted, so I’m happy.
Aahz: Me too.
Skittles: Feed me.
What things does your human do that would mortify it if known? What does your human do that most annoys?
Skittles: Mortifies? Even though she’s way older than me, she wants to buy a sexy red Mustang. Annoys? She hasn’t bought me mine!
Question for cats: Did your human name a character for you? Are you pleased? If not, why?
Caesar II: Not yet!! But I’m working on it. Mental kitty wavelength big handsome heroic cat-shifter Caesar…
And did your human name you for a fictional character? Hate it or love it?
Aahz: My human’s son named me for a main character in Robert Asprin’s Myth series. Aahz is a demon from the dimension of Perv (a Pervert). My original name was Aladdin. I think Aahz is a step up.
How do you give your writer new ideas?
Aahz: My claws make her think sharp. *snort*
Caesar II: Ha-ha.
Skittles: Feed me.