Author Mysti Parker is owned by an experience feline by the name of Poncho. Her website, where she actually reviewed one of my human’s books at some point, is located at: http://mystiparker.blogspot.com/. When the review itself evidenced a proper awareness of feline majesty, I thought the Mysti-Poncho pairing would make good interview fodder. We’ll hear from Mysti today and get the TRUTH from Poncho tomorrow!
1) Why did you decide to be a writer instead of a cat sanctuary owner?
My late mother had accumulated 20-something cats before she died. Though I admired many of her traits, I didn’t want to hear the whispers of “crazy cat lady”, plus my boss, otherwise known as the feline, Poncho, is lord of the manor and will have no other cats before him (or before he’s fed anyway).
2) Why do you think cats are better than dogs? (Since you call yourself a writer, I trust your answer will be eloquent.)
Catz iz gooder then dogz. Hee hee. Actually, I do have an outdoor dog, with a handy-dandy wireless fence. He’s really very smart, even smarter than…never mind. Cats are my preferred mammal, though since I am a mom of three, and my days already revolve around the body fluid habits of my children. I didn’t need a house dog waking me up at 3 am to go pee in the yard. Poncho has a litter box in the laundry room with a cat door to get in and out. He does his thing, and I get my sleep.
3) Tell me about the felines in your fiction. How often do they appear and how big a part do they play in your narratives?
*sigh* I’ve yet to include felines in my fiction, but I most definitely plan to do so when the opportunity arises.
4) On the off-chance you have yet to incorporate cats into your fiction, when do you plan to rectify this egregious error and demonstration of poor writing skills?
As soon as reasonably possible, I assure you Meankitty. I promise to get better, really I will.
5) What are your favorite works of fiction involving cats or favorite fictional cats?
All time favorites: “The Cat Who…” mystery series by Lillian Jackson Braun. LOVE them. I think I’ve missed a few and want to read them tout suite. Koko the crime-solving Siamese is the cat’s meow! (Nice one, huh?) His lovable “sis” Koko is the purrfect companion. There’s this guy named Qwilleran who does some stuff too. *wink*
6) 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.
Can I add choice D) A non-shedding cat? Otherwise, I’ll choose short hair—still nice to pet without the excessive grooming demands of the long-haired varieties. The hairless ones feel like you’re rubbing an old guy’s skin.
7) Multiple choice 2. You have a writing deadline but the cat who rules you wants some attention. Desperately. Do you:
A) Lock the cat in another room and keep working?
B) Pet the cat for a couple minutes and then toss her cruelly aside?
C) Pet the cat as long as she wants because you know it will inspire and refresh you?
— Note: If you answered anything besides C, we suggest you consider the fact you could have written a much better book if you had been inspired and refreshed instead of mean to the cat.
C) of course! Poncho perches in my lap, gets hair all over my clothes, and I have to type around him, but that’s OUR time. Then, he sprawls serenely atop my office chair, where his fur drifts like snow around me…how’s that?
8) How goes the discussion about discipline in your house?
9) What’s one thing would you change about your pet?
Not really anything. Poncho’s not the brightest cat I’ve owned, but in my experience, the bright ones are the most evil (present company excluded of course). He’s never hissed or growled at anyone that I’ve ever heard.
10) When you’re in the zone with your writing, what does your cat have to do to get your attention?
While I was writing A Ranger’s Tale and now Serenya’s Song, Poncho has enjoyed hours on the warmth of my lap. He prances around until he’s made his nest JUST SO, then rests his little kitty chin on my left arm. I can’t reach any of the number keys from 1-5, so I’m glad I have one of those keyboards with the number pad on the right.