Writing and editing, although I love them, are jobs. A writer can’t write all the time, so she needs hobbies. Mine are crocheting and cats! In fact, before I was a published author, I was a world famous website person with the Meankitty Gallery. This was long before social media, back when cats and the internet first started combining forces to take over the world. 1999 or thereabouts.
Since then my Meankitty website–a treasure trove of pictures and stories from real people about their real and often horrible cats–has fallen by the wayside. Nobody visits anymore, nobody sends submissions anymore, and my energy gets directed to other things.
That being said, I STILL love Meankitty and think you will, too! I have worked with my web guru to set up a new design for it and I’m testing it at www.meankitty.net. Would love to hear your thoughts!
1) Jensen kitties (of author Kelly Jensen fame), tell us about yourselves. That’s the most important thing. And include glamour shots!
I’m Jack and I’m going to appoint myself spokeskitty for the group. Shadow only knows how to produce a pathetic squeak that is completely unbecoming of her size, and someone dropped Sisi on her head when she was a kitten. She makes no sense. Ever. I, of course, am the perfect cat. If my fur were black, I’d have what you call a tuxedo pattern. I think my grey tabby coat is much more attractive than boring old black, however. I’m handsome and charming and my whites are always extremely white. I groom for hours to achieve this effect. Shadow and Sisi are both all black. Boring black. Well, Shadow has three white hairs on her chest. They’re weird. She should pluck them out.
2) I gather your human writes books. Does this mean she is home all day and easy to access? Elaborate if necessary. How does this benefit you?
Kelly is home all day and easy to access. The stalking begins early, usually before the sun has risen, when we hustle her downstairs to the treat container. Treats must be spread in a single arc across the floor so all three of us can get our faces down there at the same time. Kelly is then allowed to amuse herself until the child goes to school, which is when she heads back upstairs to begin what she calls work. I help by sitting on the corner of her desk. Sometimes I put my paw on her keyboard. Or I touch her face. Or I stand in front of the monitor so she can admire the grey stripes along my side. Ideally, Kelly will praise and kiss me while I do this. She doesn’t seem to understand that I do not want to be picked up at this point, however.
Around the time we’re finishing our first nap, Kelly runs up the driveway. I followed her once. She continued running up the street. There was no mouse, no vole, not even a chipmunk. Nothing. She just ran… and came back in an hour. She does this every morning. It’s very confusing.
Then she goes back to the computer. At lunch time she sits on the couch for half an hour to an hour. I lick her sandwich when she’s not looking, which is often as she watches the TV while eating. Then it’s back to her computer. Shadow’s on shift in the afternoon. She doesn’t get on the desk, though. She’s too lazy, or just plain uncoordinated. Sisi gets the evening shift, which is the easiest, really. That’s when Kelly returns to the couch for extended periods.
3) What are your techniques for distracting your human during crucial writing moments, just because it’s fun?
Well, there’s the aforementioned screen blocking. I enjoy that very much. Shadow likes to sit in her chair. Kelly will often kneel at the computer rather than disturb her. Sisi is very bad at interference. She never bothers Kelly while she’s working. Our dear departed sister Java was an excellent distraction. She liked to bring small mammals inside and crunch on them right beside Kelly’s desk. I dropped a snake on her foot once. It was very effective. I should try it again.
4) What indignities and neglect have you suffered because of your human’s writing career?
She doesn’t cook very interesting food when she’s writing. It’s sandwiches, sandwiches and more sandwiches. I prefer salmon, tuna—particularly the casserole she makes with corn—lasagna, shrimp and pizza. Kelly makes very good pizza. Good sauce.
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 hear there’s a new book about cat shifters.
Many of her characters keep company with cats. My favourite would be Socks, who traveled with Iain. Don’t ask me about Iain, I don’t care about Iain. Socks, however, was a great cat. He had Iain trained to carry him across his shoulders. He got to go everywhere with Iain. I’d like to go everywhere with Kelly. Except when she runs up the driveway. That just seems rather pointless.
This new book with the cat that changes into a human is very confusing. Why would a cat willingly change into a human? It makes no sense, particularly when, as I understand it, the cat in this book had the human wrapped around his forepaw. Nova lox for breakfast? Kelly could take a lesson from this.
6) What books in the future will feature cats? Oh, and a new fad soon to hit the shifter world — shifter pigs. Better get in while the getting is good.
She’s planning a sequel to Best in Show (the confusing book with the cat that can change into a human). It will feature an entire family of cats who can do the same thing. I honestly don’t think she understands her audience. Who wants to read about a lot of cats switching between human and cat form? They’re obviously very confused people. Kelly should write about cats that change into nothing.
The book she’s writing right now has four cats in it. I approve. Charlie, her main character, is a very good cat person. Well, except for the fact he also owns a dog. I’m very glad Kelly doesn’t own a dog.
Bacon comes from pigs, doesn’t it? I like bacon.
7) What works of fiction or cinema involving cats does your human enjoy sharing with you?
Kelly watches a lot of anime and cats seem to be, in general, highly regarded in these shows. In particular, I like The Cat Returns. She once read a book called I am a Cat. It wasn’t about a cat.
8) If you could make one change to your human, what would it be?
For her to understand that after I have spent half an hour grooming my fur, I do not want to be stroked. Every time she touches my fur, I have to lick it again. It’s very frustrating. The worst part is that I think she does it sometimes to tease me.
Meankitty Interviews Zombie, the main character in Dial V for Vampire
Recently a Meankitty human friend, Isabella Norse, released the first in a new paranormal romantic comedy series, Dial V for Vampire. The series feels like a cozy mixed with a sweet romance — fade to black or no sex scenes, good natured characters, light drama. After this post, if you have any other suggestions in this vein (LOL) of romance, please let us know!
But for now, the premise of this book is that our heroine, Maggie, has a snarky blog about living with a zombie, but when she comes up with the idea for the blog, she has no idea that supernatural creatures actually exist…
1) So, Zombie, how did you select the heroine of the book to be your new human?
When you find yourself living on the streets, you learn to read people quickly or you don’t survive. Maggie had a good heart – she was always stopping to check on me and to bring me food. Sometimes, she even brought me treats from the diner. Life in a sewer drain was hard on these old bones. Once I earned Maggie’s trust, I gave her the opportunity to take me home with her. How could she resist?
2) Are you really as friendly as you seem in the book or are you biding your time?
I’m a pretty chill guy, but I don’t have the patience for drama. I’m not above raising a paw to a youngster in need of a bit of an attitude adjustment. *cough* Van Helsing *cough*
3) Do you have plans for the author/heroine to write future books about your adventures? You can include your methods of brain control or inspiring the non-fictional cats in the author’s life if needed.
I’ll make appearances in future novels but I’m enjoying being out of the lime light. My biggest decisions now are deciding between napping on the window seat (great view) or on Maggie’s laptop (it’s warm and guarantees that I get attention). When I feel the need to intervene, my preferred method of mind control is to sleep on Maggie’s head. She thinks the purrs are relaxing – little does she know that the vibration allows me to transfer my thoughts directly into her mind. I just try to act surprised when she acts on the ideas I implanted.
4) I notice the “heat” level of this paranormal romance book was on the sweet side of things. How do you plan to interrupt any hanky panky the hero and heroine try to get up to in order to keep the books PG rated?
That’s almost too easy! There is always the pile of strategically-placed barf (I can barf at will) or a well-timed swipe at Noah’s dangly bits. However, my favorite is the simple sit-and-stare. It weirds the humans out every time!
5) How did you inspire the heroine to be so smart that she was able to help the hero figure out there was a plot against him?
As much as it pains me to admit, I can’t take credit for that one. Maggie is a sharp girl and she had the advantage of looking at Noah’s situation with fresh eyes. However, I will take full credit for bringing them together. *wraps fluffy tail around paws smugly*
6) Can you share a sample blog entry the heroine wrote about you, Zombie, before she found out the truth about zombies?
Gladly. Just don’t let Maggie know that I can use her laptop – she still thinks she is coming up with all of these ideas on her own!
The care and feeding of zombies:
Well y’all, nursing a zombie back to health is easier said than done. I mean, just how healthy is a zombie anyway? Let’s face it, even on their best days, most zombies could use a facial if not a full-body seaweed wrap.
It has taken some experimentation but, in the event that you also find yourself caring for a zombie and don’t have any fresh brains on hand, (in this economy, who does?) canned tuna will work in a pinch.
Hey, guys! You know how much I love cats, right? And how much I love being the pet of 6 cats? Well, I got invited to tell everyone about this upcoming anthology, Pets in Space, now that the group putting it together has a cover and a release date.
The cover features an attractive male human who I guess is the pet of various animals that appear in the stories in this book. Maybe not this particular human, but someone like him, who can open cans and scritch itchy spots and clean up barf and things that people are good for. And look at that author lineup!
Release Date: October 11 2016
Even an alien needs a pet…
Join the adventure as nine pet loving sci-fi romance authors take you out of this world and pull you into their action-packed stories filled with suspense, laughter, and romance. The alien pets have an agenda that will capture the hearts of those they touch. Follow along as they work side by side to help stop a genetically-engineered creature from destroying the Earth to finding a lost dragon; life is never the same after their pets decide to get involved. Can the animals win the day or will the stars shine just a little less brightly?
New York Times, USA TODAY, Award Winning, and Best selling authors have nine original, never-released stories that will capture your imagination and help a worthy charity. Come join us as we take you on nine amazing adventures that will change the way you look at your pet!
10% of the first month’s profits go to Hero-Dogs.org. Hero Dogs raises and trains service dogs and places them free of charge with US Veterans to improve quality of life and restore independence.
One story in this anthology really stuck out to me… Two guesses as to why 🙂
STAR CRUISE: STOWAWAY
By Veronica Scott
A ship’s cat and her alien sidekick lead a Cargo Master to a stowaway.
Cargo Master Owen Embersson is shocked when the Nebula Zephyr’s ship’s cat and her alien sidekick, Midorri, alert him to the presence of a stowaway. He has no idea of the dangerous complications to come – nor does he anticipate falling hard for the woman whose life he now holds in his hands. Life aboard the Nebula Zephyr has just become more interesting – and deadly.
I think when it comes out we’ll do a review, shall we? They created a vid for it, too —
Hi, Meankitty here. I’ve heard that bloggers and readers are looking for more ways to help authors for free, unpaid street team labor of sorts. I know it’s your dream. So I’ve compiled a helpful list! If you want to help my author (or other authors, I guess, as long as they have cats), here is what you should do.
1) Get a cat. Having a cat will increase your intelligence. If you already have a cat, get another cat. Being more intelligent will mean that you have better taste in books and read faster, maybe, so you can read more. Reading is good — means you’re sitting down and a cat can be in your lap. If she wants to.
2) Feed your cat the best food. Tuna, steamed chicken, select cuts of prime rib — none of that crappy dry stuff! If your cats are happy and well fed, it means you will be happier. Being happier means you have better taste in books etc etc sitting down etc etc petting!
3) Build your cat a play yard. Some call it a catio. It should be large, safe, and full of climbing toys, sunspots, comfy perches, mucho grass, and lots of birds. I do understand that not all cats get to go outside, so the catio safe-yard is a must.
4) Pet your cat as much as she wants to be petted. Supposedly this helps your blood pressure or something, I don’t know, but the cat will like it and that’s what’s important.
5) Let your cat eat off your plate if she wants to. What are you having? Make sure there’s a meat and something with lots of butter. Is that not healthy for you? That’s okay, it’s just for the cat. You can eat the broccoli.
6) Make sure your furniture is expensive and satisfying to use as a scratching post. Cheap, hard-to-claw furniture will NOT keep your menagerie of cats happy! They need their claws to be sharp in case they need to defend the household against encroachment or maybe just bat around a half-dead mouse. Don’t worry about what people who come to your house will think. They don’t matter; only the cats matter.
7) Have lots of cat pans and clean them twice a day! Your cats shouldn’t have to wander all over the house in search of a nice place to relieve themselves! That’s just not humane. I hear that one cat pan per cat is a good idea. Whenever your cat uses the facilities, politely wait until they are done and then clean it. That might be more than twice a day, but you aren’t doing anything else, are you? Well, I guess you can read my author’s books while you wait to clean the cat boxes.
8) What was this list supposed to be about again? Why cats are awesome? It wasn’t? Well, let me assure you, cats are awesome. Have a nice, catty day!
Today we have a special guest on the blog — SAMHAIN KITTY from author Shawna Reppert, who writes the fantasy Raven series, among others. We interviewed Shawna back in 2013, or, rather, Meankitty did. We also cattified Ravensblood, which is not to be missed!
But now, on to the interview, which is where Samhain kitty is going to tell us about the cat in Raven’s Heart.
Samhain-kitty here. Not only am I expected to fill in on my e writer-person’s regular blog, now I’m asked to do one of her guest blogs! When I raised my grievances, she muttered something about earning my keep. Clearly, she doesn’t appreciate that it’s a privilege to have a cat grace her home!
At least she’s finally taken my advice and put a cat in the Ravensblood series. Even if she does allow her protagonist to name it Nuisance.
Nuisance shows up as a scrawny stray kitten in the very first chapter of Raven’s Heart, where she finds herself locked in a battle of wills with the protagonist, a powerful former dark mage. As you might expect, the kitten wins.
The presence of a feline-American in the novel allows writer-person to mention some important social issues, like the fate of shelter animals that aren’t, as I was, cute enough to entice some human to take them home and feed them. (I came from a litter of barn cats, not a shelter, but the principle is the same. I was clearly not destined to skulk about in the hay and the dirt hiding from coyotes.)
Nuisance serves well in the role of all cat-kind, providing the humans with distractions from their larger troubles. (Honestly, humans are so protective of their furniture! Really, folks, lighten up and learn to be less attached to material goods!) She offers comfort to the humans when the situation truly demands it. And, at a crucial moment she. . .oh, wait, writer-person said she’d strangle me if I let that particular cat out of the bag, so to speak. (A horrible expression, by the way. There are very few reasons I can imagine why one would put a cat in the bag, and none of them good.)
Oh, yeah, and writer-person said I had to talk about the rest of the book, too, so here’s the blurb:
The reformed dark mage Corwyn Ravenscroft, Raven, has finally found his place in the world. He has a fiancé, friends, and meaningful work. Yet a shadow hangs over everything. His former master, the darkest and most powerful mage of their time, the man he betrayed, the man he thought he had killed, still lives. William is determined to destroy everyone and everything Raven ever loved.
Will Raven find a way to defeat him, once and for all? Or will he see the life he has built crumble around him as William rises once again to threaten the Three Communities, perhaps even the world?
If you want to hear more from me, I am frequently over on writer-person’s blog: www.Shawna-Reppert.com. And if you want to read a great book, and help ensure writer-person continues to have money to buy kitty-crunchies, Raven’s Heart and writer-person’s other works are available on Amazon.
Just released the latest newsletter with another section of my ongoing paranormal romance serial! Some day one of my lucky subscribers will win an asshole just for reading along. https://madmimi.com/signups/104974/join