Meankitty Wants to Know: Princess Penelope and Jodi Linton

Author Jodi Linton, who writes contemporary romance, is advised / owned / ruled by a royal feline named Princess Penelope. Supposedly there are things called “cowboys” in some of the human’s books. I find this troubling, especially considering what Penelope reveals below in question 4. Well, I have some suggestions, starting with, “Get rid of the cows and get some cats.”

I mean…cows? Really? Wouldn’t you be more intrigued by “catboys” in books? I know I would.

But it could be worse–could be dogboys, I guess.

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

Yes. Although, I’m starting to get annoyed by her constant attentiveness toward her *fictionalized* characters rather than giving me back rubs. Not to mention, my mid-morning naps have taken a back a burner. This really irks me.

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

I’m known to throw a crumbles fit.

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

I don’t get as many butt pats.

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

No. To tell the truth, I doubt I’ll ever be in one of Jodi’s books. Sometimes I get bent out of shape about this. And sometimes I just eat to calm my temper.

5) 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?

I have a tendency to eat any and all paper that has been left lying around the house—so my mastermind plan is to leave teeth marks all over Jodi’s printed and complete manuscript until she sees the error of her ways.

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

Oliver.

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

That she jumps at my every meow.

8) Are cats bigger in Texas like everything else supposedly is?

Not really. But my belly pouch has gotten bigger. I know. It’s sad.

9) Your human’s bio says she has a history degree. Historically speaking, tell us something awesome about cats.

I was a goddess in a previous life. Yep, that’s right—importance with a capital G! Well, at least the Egyptians seemed to believe so. They worshiped a goddess name Bast, who had a woman’s body and a head of a cat. Try topping that.

10) Your small human changed your name from Penelope to Princess. Are either of these based on books or stories? Which name do you prefer–or is there a very different name you have in mind for your next life?

Nope. She’s just bossy. It’s a problem we’re working through. What else… but *The Queen BI*&H* It’s just how I roll.

Find out more about the author here: Website ~ Twitter ~ Facebook~ Goodreads ~ Tumblr

I think the author could probably use some emails insisting that cats make some significant appearances in her future books for Penelope’s sake. It sounds like the poor, beautiful feline is being sadly neglected, doesn’t it? Her human actually does NOT jump at her every meow, and that should be rectified.

***

Sincerely,

Meankitty & Typist (Jody Wallace)
www.meankitty.com  * www.jodywallace.com

Meankitty Wants to Know: Cats of Cherie Denis

Today I am going to interview the cats who own author Cherie Denis, who is part of my Typing Human’s local RWA chapter, MCRW. The humans have known each other for years! Sounds like the cats would be good to know too.

Lily, the matriarch….
 

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

Lily: Oh, she’s home, all right, but she’s always so busy. If I rub up against her leg she calls me a good kitty, but she loves Rose best and Rose isn’t even cute like I am.

Rose: Wait just a minute. No one babies me. Well, maybe a little. When I cry really loud Mommy yells at me and then she comes to find me and cuddle me. I can do the same with Grandma and Daddy.

L: See, I told you she’s spoiled.

R: Well, if you want to be cuddled, you have to be less grown up. Leg rubs won’t get you anything other than an ear rub and a “what a good girl you are, Lily”.

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

L: Hahaha – what income? Mommy writes every day and has a bunch of books published, but I don’t see any extra money floating around.

R: Remember, Lily, she did make us new beds the other day.

L: Yeah, out of stuff she had around the house.

R: We have tons of toys.

L: Leftovers from their old cats.

R: I like the toys – you’re just picky.

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

L: Obviously, Rose is a crybaby so she gets plenty of attention by crying and distracting Mommy. Rose does it on purpose too.

R: Well, it works, doesn’t it?

L: Humph, I’m not a baby and I refuse to pretend to be one. I just walk to where she’s working and jump on her keyboard and shove until she moves her chair back so I can get some love.

R: Sticking your tongue out at me isn’t ladylike and Mommy made us promise to be nice to each other while we visit with Meankitty.

L: Big baby.

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

L: So far other than Mommy and Daddy bringing home the little black tornado, I’ve been treated really well. Daddy fills our bowls – I guess that means Mommy is too busy to fill them. Hmmmm.

R: No complaints from me. I’m really happy here. Sure beats living at the Animal Control.

L: You idiot, don’t you realize they rescued us both. You’re not special.

R: So you’re admitting we aren’t neglected?

L: I guess. Hisss. I hate it when you’re right.

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

L: Mommy puts a cat in all her stories. She even wrote a book about an alien cat. I think the book was called Kiss Me Baby.

R: Hey, no one told me she wrote about cats. Can I read the book?

L: I suppose when you grow up and learn to read. And, before you ask, no, I’m not teaching you to read.

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?

L: No problem there. Mommy and Daddy both love us. Mommy will always put cats in her stories.

R: Uh, doesn’t she write something called erotic romance?

L: Yes, but she can still put a cat in the story someplace.

R: Okay, if you say so, but Mommy said we’re too young to be reading what she writes. Except for her alien cat story.

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

L: Mommy reads sexy stories with horses and cowboys – very few have a cat in them. Sometimes there’s a stupid dog, though.

R: Mommy and Daddy don’t watch movies. They do watch TV some nights, but the shows are usually about hunting for a house, a comedy or food. Just boring stuff.

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

L: I don’t know. She’s very good to us and says we’re her babies. Maybe it would be nice if she didn’t talk baby talk to me anymore. But I put up with it.

R: I love Mommy, but I wish she’d leave my toenails alone. I don’t like having them clipped. Yuck. Daddy has to hold me tight so I won’t run away. It’s terrible.

L: You’ll get used to it, she does it to me all the time. Besides, what are you complaining about? You get a treat afterwards, don’t you?

9) Did your human name a character for you? Or did your human name you after a fictional character?

L: Mommy loves flowers, but she has a brown thumb, so she named us after her favorite flowers.

R: Yeah, I heard Mommy and Daddy almost called me Violet. I just hate that name. I like being Rose.

10) How do you give your writer human new ideas?

L: I don’t know, but I think some of the cats in her stories do play and do silly things.

R: Lily says I can’t read yet, but the way Mommy and Daddy watch me…

L: Hey, I’m here, you know.

R: Okay. They watch us both and laugh so Mommy must get some ideas from us.

****

Sincerely,

Meankitty & the Typist

www.meankitty.com * www.jodywallace.com

Meankitty Wants to Know: Djet from Warrior of the Nile

One of the human’s author friends, Veronica Scott, whose book we so delightfully cattified for her a year or so ago (Pretty Kitty of the Nile), has released another Egyptian book and this time had the good sense to put a cat in it! Obviously we had to interview this cat and get the scoop about Warrior of the Nile.

1) So, nameless cat in Warrior of the Nile (whom I’m going to call “Djet” because reasons…and because the author told me it’s your secret cat name as well as the name of an ancient Pharaoh), what do you look like?

I’m a one-eared black tomcat, proudly wearing my battle scars, won in fights up and down the Nile. No sissy harbor cat is going to beat me. I’ve got one green eye and one yellow eye, sharp teeth and claws like knives. No vermin on my ship!

2) How did you and your human lady love, Tiya, meet?

Pharaoh and the goddess Nephthys send her on a journey to a distant province, where she’s supposed to help the goddess kill some person who’s doing black magic. It’s a fancy, human plot. (Yawns, stretches, pulls his claws on the desk chair.) I could have solved it much more efficiently than with all this mumbo jumbo they were insisting on.

3) Why did you hate Khenet so much? Is it his fault you didn’t have more scenes in the story, which clearly should have been about you saving Tiya from that jerky goddess Nephthys?

Exactly, he was always taking Tiya’s attention away from me, getting her to play board games like senet when she could have been petting me. Or drawing pictures of me. Or letting me eat crumbs from her lunch. And he jumps in the Nile to save someone’s life, which made Tiya worry about him because of the crocodiles – he’s just a showoff. Cats are much more subtle and we expend less unnecessary energy. Let the crocodiles have the water. Too bad they didn’t eat him when they had the chance.

4) How long did you, Tiya and Khenet spend on that boat cruising down the Nile before they so cruelly trapped you on board and went off on adventures without you?

Tiya had to travel down the Nile on my ship, the River Horse for about ten days. Ten of the best days of one of my nine lives! Except for the sandstorm… We usually carry cargo only, not beautiful ladies who smell good and eat fancy food, so it was a treat to have Tiya as a passenger. 

5) What did they feed you while on the ship? What did they eat themselves that they refused to share?

I will say Khenet was a good fisherman. He showed Tiya how to catch Nile perch. (Cleans his whiskers reflectively.) I love fresh fish in the evening. And the morning. And at noon. They ate bread, dates, beans figs – boring human food. Khenet went hunting a few of the evenings so we ate duck, once we had roast gazelle….I definitely begged my share of those dishes. Tiya gave me anything I wanted if I just purred and rubbed her ankles.

6) When Tiya confesses all her troubles to you while you two are trapped together during the sandstorm, what advice do you give her about Khenet? Probably to ditch his butt, right?

I definitely thought she could do better than some grumpy, tattooed, musclebound brother of Pharaoh. She could have stayed on the River Horse with me, for example. I did tell her to watch out for Nephthys though. Sly and tricky, these goddesses. Except for my beautiful deity Bubastis of course.

7) How much do you hate crocodiles? More or less than dogs?

(Arches back, puffs out rather skinny tail, hisses in Egyptian) I’m not afraid of dogs or crocodiles. Let me at them, I’ll teach them a trick or two. But as I said, I don’t care what the overgrown reptiles do in the water.

8) Let’s say you had talked Tiya into ditching Khenet. How would you have miraculously saved the day so she wasn’t sacrificed to the whims of the gods?

I’d have gotten my goddess to intervene, turn Tiya into a cat so we could have spent 8 or 9 lives together, cruising the Nile. And eating fish. She’d have been a very pretty cat – we could have had gorgeous litters of kittens. But alas, it wasn’t meant to be – Khenet took her away and I never saw her again. She did leave the picture of me that she drew for the ship’s captain and he put it up in his cabin.

***

Thanks, Djet!

Sincerely,
Meankitty & the Typing Human
www.meankitty.com (from whence the cat photos came) + www.jodywallace.com

Meankitty Wants to Know: Kitties Who Own Jeffe Kennedy

Author Jeffe Kennedy is time-shared by a couple cats (Jackson and Isabel) who seem to keep her in line pretty well. How do they do it? Let’s find out!

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

Isabel: She’s home all day, but sometimes requires keyboard interference to pay proper attention to me.

Jackson: She stares at those screens too much. I have to climb on her if I want to get ham.

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

Isabel: She treats us very well. We lack for nothing.

Jackson: Plus, ham!

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

Isabel: She’s a sucker for cute noises and affectionate purring.

Jackson: I like a tail in the nose for best effect.

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

Isabel: Sometimes I have to wait minutes and minutes before she’ll let me outside. It’s excruciating.

Jackson: What does excruciating mean – is it like ham?

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

Isabel: I’m happy to say I play a role in her Covenant of Thorns books, as myself. I’m a key emotional touchstone for her heroine. It’s a nuanced performance I’m very proud of.

Jackson: What? Hey – no fair!

Isabel: Don’t worry, I hear that you have a kitten cameo in her upcoming Phantom of the Opera retelling.

Jackson: Oh. Well, that could be cool. Do I get ham?


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?

Isabel: Fortunately this is not a problem.

Jackson: Yeah! Or I’d have to go on ham strike! Oh, wait…

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

Isabel: I’m not much for books or TV. I prefer real life.

Jackson: Me too! They were watching this one movie just recently and there was a human kid in it named Jackson. He was bad and everyone kept yelling at him – Jackson no! Stop it Jackson! It was awful. I wasn’t on the kitchen counter looking for ham or anything! I hate movies.

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

Isabel: She’s practically perfect in every way.

Jackson: More ham.

***

Additionally, we cattified one of the human’s books, originally posted here: http://www.jeffekennedy.com/meankitty-shreds-the-vampire/ We are going to duplicate the post here tomorrow so it will come up when people click “cattifications” on this site.

Sincerely,

Meankitty & Jody Wallace (typist)
http://www.meankitty.com  * http://www.jodywallace.com  

Meankitty Wants to Know: Rocco the Cat

We haven’t posted an interview in a while, so here is one with Rocco the Magnificent, who’s going to give us the low-down on what it’s like to manage writer-human Toni LoTempio. Rocco also has his own blog at Cats, Books, and…More Cats!

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

– Ah, The HUMAN writes books but unfortunately she isn’t a heavy hitter like Stephen King or Nora Roberts, so must slave at a regular job from 9-5 (actually 6-3). This is good because she is away all day and leaves me lots of time to play with my brother, Maxx, torture my sisters Princess and Trixie (the old ladies – one is 12 and the other is 17), and generally get into catnip. When she comes home, she’s putty in my hands. All I have to do is look at her and “merow” and she’s right on me. Literally. Right. On. Me. (She’s a hugger)

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

– Not as much as I’d like. I make sure the HUMAN spends a good portion of her income on food for us (particularly moi) and on catnip mice and my favorite toy in the whole wide world, BALLIES. I LOVES MY BALLIES!!!!!!!!!! I’m also in the market for a jungle gym, but the HUMAN keeps coming up with excuses…she has to pay bills. What’s up with that??????

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

– Ah, my favorite past-time is torturing the HUMAN when she’s trying to write. I love to play “fetch” with my BALLIE and I will pad into the den whilst she is writing, drop the BALLIE at her feet and then dig my claws into her pants (she just LOVES that). Usually good for at least 15 minutes of “fetch”.

Then when I get tired of that, I sneak underneath the desk and start chewing on the cable wire, which more often than not results in my getting an unwelcome “bath” from the spray bottle, lifted up and put out in the living room. She tries to shut the door but HAH – of course Maxx and I have mastered the art of opening it. Evenutally we take pity on her and go for a cat-nap on the bed.

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

– It certainly cuts into playtime, I’ll tell you that! Before the HUMAN got this book contract, she’d spend time on a Sunday playing with me. Now she’s got her rear glued into the chair and her eyes glued to the screen. Of course, since MOI is the inspiration for her new series, I allow it. About damn time someone wrote a book about a primo detective cat!

5) Tell me about the felines in your human’s fiction. How often do they appear and how big a part do they play? Are the Nick/Nora stories the first appearance of cats?

– Sadly, Nick and Nora is the first time the human has focused on felines, and that was at the urging of her former boss who told her, and I quote, “write about the damn cat” (Moi) which she did. It’s no secret that the Nick in Nick and Nora refers to a sassy, debonair tuxedo cat modeled after moi. And a better role model she could not find, if I do say so myself. (And I do, constantly)

6) For cats whose writer humans have yet to obey this prime feline directive, what advice do you have to encourage humans to incorporate cats into a story with proper attention paid to their importance?

– Humans are such a sorry lot, I’m not sure such a thing is possible. I would tell other cats, hey, meow as much as you can. Knock over your foodbowls. Go in whilst your humans are writing and distract them. Charm them with your wit and intelligence. IF they can focus!

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

– I hate to say this, but the HUMAN used to sit us all down on a Saturday morning and FORCE us to watch the Dog Show on Animal Planet! Did you ever? She’s pretty good about buying books that feature cats, though. That I will say. She’s fond of Miranda James and the Magical Cats series by Sofie Kelly. And she positively LOVES the Midnight Louie series by Carole Nelson Douglas (hey, a cat who talks like Bogart – what’s not to love?????) Actually, in the original manuscript of Nick and Nora, Nick talked – yep, talked a blue streak. Sadly, he talks no longer, but that’s a whole other kettle of fish.

[[MEANKITTY’S NOTE: mmmmmmmmm, fish.]]

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

– Can the baby talk. I understand the King’s English. Calling me an “uggy-wuggy little dumpling” just makes me want to cough up a hairball or two.

User submitted questions (answer only if desired):

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

– Yes, the character of Nick in NICK and NORA is modeled after me. Of course, had she named him ROCCO the Magnificent I would have liked it far better, but NICK suits just fine.

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

– I’d like to say yes, but actually ROCCO is the name I was given at the shelter where she adopted me when I was just 8 weeks old. Because I like to sit on my haunches and box (particularly my sisters – although I have wrestled Maxx to the ground), she has told me I must be named after Rocky (Sylvester Stallone). I guess it could be worse. I could be named Sylvester (although there is a very charming cartoon cat with that name!) Nickname SLY – hmmmmmmm.

***

Sincerely,

Meankitty & her typist Jody Wallace
www.meankitty.com * www.jodywallace.com

Cattification: The Manxy Mirror and the Stupidest Dog

Today’s cattification is a repair job on a new book by author Tia Nevitt (http://www.tianevitt.com/). Originally and lamely it was called “The Magic Mirror and the Seventh Dwarf”. Take a gander at it here: http://www.tianevitt.com/the-magic-mirror-and-the-seventh-dwarf/  Or at Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00A9V2XF0. Something something something about an “Accidental Enchantments” series.

Oh. My. Meow. So sorry, author Tia Nevitt, that nobody is going to pick up a book with a title and cover like that! It has a human on it…of COURSE. But because Tia Nevitt sounds like a good cat name–so good, in fact, I’m not even suggesting a nom de plume–I have graciously repaired the cover, title, and blurb. NOW let’s see any readers resist this manxy, magical tale of good cats and evil dogs!

Seriously, humans. CATS on the cover, and between the pages, sell books. When will you learn?

The Manxy Mirror and the Stupidest Dog: An Accidental En-CAT-ments story. Ok, it’s not accidental. It’s totally on purpose. But still.

Purebred Persian Ri-Ri LeMew is cursed. Instead of spending his days earning blue ribbons at cat shows, he is enslaved to the manxy mirror and must truthfully meow for the evil Dog Queen when she uses the mirror to call on him. To keep from betraying fellow felines—revealing their locations to the Queen’s slavering dog packs—Ri-Ri wanders the countryside, oh so humiliatingly like a stray, and avoids sentient creatures. IE, cats, humans and the occasional house rabbit too big to eat, but no others.

Gritty Kitty has been teased all her life for being small. When she hears a tale of a hidden farm full of six pound or less cats like her, she sets out to find it. It sounds a lot safer than the majority of the kingdom, now overrun by flea-bitten mutts, thanks to the Dog Queen. Gritty finds this sweet farm and is welcomed by the other teeny kitty inhabitants. One teeny tom in particular, who hasn’t been neutered, baby, woos her with mouse heads, ear-licking and his quiet, dignified miaow.

But doggish danger looms when Gritty meets another stray feline, this one a purebred Persian unimaginatively named Princess, and offers her shelter at Teeny Kitty Farm, despite Princess’s hair alone weighing at least five pounds, not to mention the rest of her. I mean, Persians are pretty hefty cats when you think about it. Slinking around nearby, Ri-Ri is instantly smitten with Princess the Purebred Persian and recognizes in her the ability to launch a new generation of blue ribbon, prize winning offspring…with him as the stud. Oh, yeah.

And that’s precisely when the Dog Queen calls Ri-Ri with the manxy mirror, and he’s compelled to tell her she does NOT have the softest fur of them all. Enraged, the vain and stupid queen—because I’m so SURE dogs have nicer fur than cats—vows to find Teeny Kitty Farm and destroy it.

If either Gritty or Ri-Ri are to have any hope of a happy feline ending, they must team up to break the manxy mirror’s curse before the wild dog packs kill them all…

***

Ri-Ri is played gloriously on the cover by Turnip from http://meankitty.com/2010/08/turnip/

If Gritty Kitty were on the cover, she’d look like Smackey http://meankitty.com/2011/11/smackey/

 
And Princess would be Fanzania http://meankitty.com/2012/02/fanzania/
 
 

You’re all very welcome.

Sincerely,

Meankitty & Jody W.
www.meankitty.com * www.jodywallace.com

Meankitty Wants to Know: JL Hilton

We have a fresh victim today, author JL Hilton, who is also getting cattified on December 17 (www.jlhilton.com). Be sure to check back! For now, let’s find out how this particular author is performing her duty of worshipping cats, in particular Kaylee and Zoe, her owners…

Meankitty Wants To Know…

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

Well, Meankitty, I had a very deprived childhood in which I did not grow up around cats. My dad was allergic to them. So I never knew the joys of cat servitude until I moved out and had a place of my own. By then, I was already a writer. I’d won writing contests in school and had my first short story published in Dragon magazine by the age of 18. In college, I wrote book reviews and articles for treasure hunting magazines.

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

Cats do not roll in dead things or sniff butts. They clean themselves, don’t need to be walked twice a day, and are smart enough not to eat shoes, linoleum, used tissues, couch cushions or rocks. Cats will (true story) poop on your boyfriend’s boots when you’re mad at him and then console you with their scratchy tongue of love while you cry.

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?

I regret to inform Meankitty that there are no cats in the Stellarnet Series, so far. Part of the story takes place in an enclosed space settlement that only allows animals for food – chickens, fish and an occasional cow for milk and butter – and part of the story takes place on other planets where there are no cats. One world in particular is covered with rivers and wetlands, and it rains a lot, so kitties probably wouldn’t like it there. [[Meankitty has actually reviewed Stellarnet Prince here: http://blog.jodywallace.com/2012/11/meankitty-review-stellarnet-prince-by.html].

There is, however, a cloned dog in book two and an amusing misunderstanding where the alien heroes think he is going to be Christmas dinner.

I don’t know if this counts, but before I became a published author, I wrote a little Firefly fanfic in the form of TV episode scripts. In one called “Secrets,” Jayne steals an Egyptian cat statue (that has itself already been stolen by someone else from a museum in the Core). All four episodes can be accessed from this link ( http://www.jlhjewelry.com/2009/04/30/my-firefly-season-2/ )

4) On the off-chance you have yet to incorporate cats into your fiction, when and how do you plan to rectify this egregious error and demonstration of poor writing skills?

Maybe I could create a digital cybercat named Nyan who looks like a Pop Tart, for the Hax-sims in the Tech Center of Asteria Colony?

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

Does Spongebob’s snail Gary count?

I’ve always loved Data’s cat, Spot, in Star Trek:TNG, and of course the Cheshire Cat from Alice in Wonderland. “We’re all mad here.” I’m in the middle of playing Alice: Madness Returns on the PS3 and I like the way they’ve portrayed him in that game. ( http://www.g4tv.com/images/4061/screenshots-alice-madness-returns/67330/ )

6) Do you have any amazing, or at least humorous, real life cat stories you’d like to share?

Two of the cats who own the Hiltons can be found at:
Cat Zoe: http://meankitty.com/2012/11/zoe-hilton/
Cat Kaylee: http://meankitty.com/2012/11/kaylee/

7) 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.

Fortunately, I have two little girls who smother our cats with affection. We also homeschool, so we’re home most of the day, and the cats can be petted while the girls do their spelling and math. This is obviously the reason for my children’s brilliance. All classrooms should have cats.

8) What one thing would you change about the cats in your house?

It might be nice if they pooped little nuggets that smelled like sandalwood.

 

9) When you’re in the zone with your writing, what does your cat have to do to get your attention?

Zoe is my oldest daughter’s cat and only ever wants my attention if I happen to have ham (she lurves ham). Or if my daughter oversleeps in the mornings, Zoe will come and get me so I can wake her up and tell her she is delinquent in her petting duties. Zoe doesn’t visit me when I’m writing.

Kaylee likes to reach up and every so gently touch my thigh with her paw, stretch out her fingers, extend her claws, and then sink them into my flesh. When I jump and cry out in surprise, she uses her feline Jedi mind tricks, ie:

“You don’t need to be angry at me.”

I don’t need to be angry at you.

“I am the cutest animal who ever lived.”

You are the cutest animal who ever lived.

“You will pet me now.”

I will pet you now.

“Throw my parrot.”

I will throw the parrot.

She likes to play Parrot Fetch with a stinky little chewed up parrot toy. She will actually run after it and bring it back to be thrown again. Usually, after about five or six throws, she’ll collapse and take a nap on it. Parrot is the Best. Thing. Ever.

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Feel free to make suggestions in the comments as to how JL could incorporate cats into her science fiction romances! And to see if you can enter any of JL’s giveaways, there is a single link for that rather than spreading her thin: http://jlhilton.com/giveaways/

Sincerely,

Meankitty & Jody W.
www.meankitty.com * www.jodywallace.com

Meankitty Wants To Know: Vijaya Schartz

So, I happened to overhear (if reading someone’s emails is the same as overhearing) Typing Slave chatting with a writer human who claims to be ruled by an entire PRIDE of kitties. Naturally I had to set up an interview. This human is named Vijaya Schartz at http://www.vijayaschartz.com, and she writes romances and adventure stories set in outer space that are available at several retail outlets. Now, on to the questions!

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

It could have gone either way. I started having cats about the same time I started to write. I was six years old when I wrote my first poem, and the same age when I brought home a tom cat who happened to be a neighbor’s pet. I was crushed to learn I couldn’t keep it, and my parents were not cat people. Later, I had cats as a student, then I traveled extensively around the world and had to find homes for my babies. Now that I settled down in Arizona, I help homeless cats have a decent life in our vast backyard jungle.

[[So technically, VS IS a cat sanctuary owner. MEOW ON!]]

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

Unlike dogs, cats are independent, observing, smart, wise and patient. They don’t beg, they lay in wait, eyes half-closed, then as soon as you get up from the chair, they pounce, cut you off, trip you on the way to the kitchen, knowing you’ll feel bad and give them a saucer of cream or a bit of tuna. They’ll wait at the door until it opens, knowing it will eventually.

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

Our human writes all day. You would think she might pay us more attention. She writes about cats instead of playing with us. Typical human. Dreamers. They spend their life wishing for what’s right in front of them. Of course the cats in her books are often big cats, tigers, lionesses, jaguars, leopards. One of them, Rascal, the cat in Red Leopard, won an award as the best animal character in a novel from the Hope Chest Review. But in her new book coming out in April, Chronicles of Kassouk the Prequel, Noah’s Ark, the top cat is one of us. Hurray! It’s Viking, like the long hair yellow Viking who struts in our backyard jungle.

For V) How do you justify writing a book about a COYOTE shifter recently instead of a cat shifter? Do you think the Kassouk series excuses you?

Well, in my defense, there is also a cat in that story. It’s a semi wild Bob Cat, the hero’s pet. The bob cat is Felix, and Kal (who is a Native American shapeshifter) calls him Little Brother. The Coyote is part of the Native American legends at the heart of the story.

For Cats) What are your favorite works of fiction and/or cinema involving cats not by your human?

We love movies with animals in general, especially when we can jump at the screen to chase them. Our human watches the Animal Planet channel. She likes to read Linnea Sinclair, another sci-fi romance author who includes cats in her writing. Sentient cats, and mind-reading cats. Of course we all can read minds and perform disappearing and reappearing acts, but very few humans are smart enough to know that.

For Cats) Do you have any humorous writer-human stories you’d like to share? Barring those, what about some embarrassing stories about dogs?

Dogs stink. Even as kittens, we hissed at the neighbor’s newborn Chihuahuas because of the smell. Larger dogs from another neighbor’s yard bark at night when we strut along the top of the tall brick fence. We enjoy provoking them from above. They get reprimanded, and we win. We never lose to a dog. The dogs should be embarrassed. We are beyond shame. Except when spunky leaps gracefully upon the human’s desk, and misses the edge by an inch. We just stare at him, but he knows we are laughing at him inside. He is so graceful our human calls him ballerina. But he often misses the mark.

For V) How goes the discussion about discipline in your house? Are you obedient or what?

Obedience, right. Jasmine, the alpha female cat (pictured to the left), rules the house. The other cats know not to bug her when she is on my lap. I try to set rules in the house, of course. But why not get on the kitchen counter when all they receive in punishment is attention, a turn in my arms that makes them purr, and a gentle kiss on the head with the injunction not to do it again. Works in their favor every time. Sometimes at night the bed gets crowded. Obviously the three indoor cats own the bed, I don’t. Come to think of it, they own every room in the house, too. If I find a cat napping in my chair, I better find another place to sit. My mother in law says I’m whipped.

[[WHIPPED IS BETTER THAN BEING SNIPPED.]]

For V) Can you type with a cat stretched out across your wrists? If not, why not? Otherwise, how’s the carpal tunnel?

I’ve learned to adapt and get creative around my writing space. I have two cat beds on the desk, and still I have to deal with attention hungry kitties. I have become adept at grabbing a cat before it steps on the keyboard, mainly when I’m editing, because I hate typos. They also like to play with the mouse. But what they do the most is stand in front of the monitor, so I can’t see the screen. The place where I’m staring is obviously where they want to be.

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

Climbing on her lap, playing with her bare feet (with claws) under the desk, screaming and hissing at a big cat outside the window, or clawing at the window screen from the outside because we want in… That’s all in a day’s work. Of course, there are also desperate techniques, like running up and down the stairs, clawing the dining room chairs, or knocking down vases and things. That usually gets her attention. Once she is distracted and lost her train of thought, she might as well play with us for a while.

For V) How would you describe your daily schedule as a cat-servant and writer?

Before breakfast, I feed the cats, inside and outside (dry cat food, can food, milk, sour cream, tuna, fresh water). We live in Phoenix Arizona, and our backyard is a sanctuary for the neighboring cats left homeless by the many foreclosures. Then I have to clean all the litter boxes. I also clean up the messes the wild ones made on the patio and around the yard during an active night. Knocked down flower pots, garden tools, the occasional dead bird with feathers everywhere. After breakfast, I play with the cats, inside and outside, I pet those who want to be petted, talk to the wild ones. Some learn to trust me, others remain wild. Then I check my email, with some help from the indoor kitties. Hopefully by the time I start writing, around ten, they are ready for a nap.

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

She dares call herself a cat lover. Then she flies out of town to autograph her books at festivals, fairs, and to talk at conferences, and she leaves us for days on end in the care of her male human. Oh, he feeds us, sure, but he doesn’t play with us. And when he watches TV, he falls asleep on the couch and snores, scaring the bejeebees out of us napping on his chest. That’s not fair. We should file a complaint with the cat syndicate. Especially since her books are so popular because of us cats in them.

For Cats) How do you give your writer new ideas?

Cats are magic. Everyone knows that. So we just have to think of a good story, and lo, she gets it. Of course, she’ll never give us credit for it. She thinks she gets ideas in dreams. Guess who is on the bed when she dreams? The cats. And she dreams about stories with cats. Nuff said. Time for a nap.

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Sincerely,

Meankitty & Jody W.
www.meankitty.com  * www.jodywallace.com

Meankitty Wants to Know: Linda Andrews

To shake things up a bit, instead of asking author Linda Andrews’ a bunch of separate questions, Meankitty simply asked her to discuss how animals ruled her life and appeared in her work. Linda writes paranormal, fantasy and SF romance and her slogan is “Real characters, skewed realities.” You can find out more about her at www.lindaandrews.net. (Pictured to the left: Peaches the Head Biter. Go Peaches!)

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Shadow came to us when my husband heard a pitiful meow. He was working in a warehouse at the time and the forklift was about to move a pallet when he spied 2 kittens. He rescued both and brought them home so they wouldn’t get squished. After living with us for 13 years, she still prefers to hide under things and only comes out to sleep on my hip. I can pet her but only if it is dark. She loves my husband and snuggles with him even during the day.

Peaches was a reward for my daughter when she finished her therapy. Peaches is a Petsmart kitty and she is the ruler of the household. She takes the dog down and cleans his ears, much to his dismay. She also likes to lick lotion off of people and if you don’t comply then she bites your head.

Cyanide (black) and Fat Charlie (black and white) were found while I was walking. There were four brothers all abandoned by their mother or their mother was eaten by a coyote that occasionally roams our neighborhood.

One kitten hissed at me all the way home and they were covered with fleas. A trip to the vet confirmed that they were 1 1/2 weeks old. So I was up every few hours feeding them with a bottle and making them potty. I managed to find homes for 2 of them and we kept the other 2. They do not like me, but I’m allowed to pet them.

The dog, Bear, is scared and doesn’t like being left in the house alone. I think it is because he is the only animal allowed outside and he lords it over the others. I got him as a puppy while working at a university. His pregnant mother and his father were abandoned in the backyard while their owners moved. A student heard the dogs cries and took them in. When the puppies got old enough they were giving them away. I took the last one. He believes I am his property and chases all except Peaches away from me.

I always have animals of some kind in my stories, and my latest is no different. In Blue Maneuver, the heroine Rae is cat-sitting a rather finicky character named Oscar. Oscar drinks bottled water and designer cat food. It is Oscar that appears at Rae’s window covered in blood (his recently returned owner’s). And let’s just say the alien next door likes cats too–although as a delicacy or a pet, it’s not really clear. (No cats were eaten in the course of the book)

Here is the book’s blurb: The extraterrestrials have landed and they’re human. Rae Hemplewhite didn’t believe in aliens until a close encounter with out-of-this-world technology drags her into the extraterrestrial security program. Helping alien refugees adjust to life on Earth is difficult enough, but her first clients have a price on their heads. Plus, her new partner seems torn between the urge to kiss her or kill her. And that’s the good news. The bad news: Alliances are forming in deep space. If Rae doesn’t keep her witnesses alive long enough to transfer their top secret information to the right faction of humanity, Earth will become a battlefield.

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Sincerely,

Meankitty & Jody Wallace
www.meankitty.com  * www.jodywallace.com