What Are You Thankful For?

Like the rest of America, Harry the Wonder Cat is counting his blessings today:

  1. Food
  2. Food
  3. Food

Who says cats are single-minded?

Happy Thanksgiving,

Harry and the Gang

Why Not a Kitten for a Present

I wrote this article a few years ago,  but I feel so strongly about the subject that I post it every holiday season.

It’s that time of year again. The time for decorations, Christmas trees, Santa Claus and presents. It’s the time for parents to make their child’s’ fantasies come true. It is so tempting for ‘Santa’ to give their darling a little kitten. They are so cute and cuddly and, it is thought that, as the child grows, so can the kitten.

However, we must remember that a kitten is not a toy. They are living beings, with needs that can only be met by a true knowledge of what it takes to be a good guardian. The excitement of waking up Christmas morning to a brand new furry kitten, will soon wear off when the child is charged with caring for Fifi. Chances are, it will take no time at all before he will grow tired of feeding her and cleaning the litter box. Then it falls to the parent to take care of the needs.

A cat (as with any pet) is a full-time responsibility that can last for 20 years or more. In that time, Johnny or Janey will probably go their separate ways, leaving the cat behind. That’s all well and good for the humans, but for the cats, who have grown to depend on their people for love and attention, it can be traumatic and certainly is unfair.

In my opinion, one of the main reasons not to get a kitten as a present is that, in order to meet the demand, some pet stores, etc. receive their supply from disreputable breeders and kitten mills.

A kitten mill is a place where cats are bred in tight quarters with no medical attention, until they are no longer able to breed. When that day comes, they either are tragically killed or  sold, spreading diseases. When they are kept alive to be given away, the kitten has a higher chance of being unhealthy, costing more money and possible heartache in the long run.

So, the next time you take your child into the pet store to gaze at the cute little furry things in the window, remember, they are not toys , so look, but don’t give in to the temptation of taking one home.

What Was the Inspiration for Harry You Ask?

Monkeyface

 

When I decided to create the character for Harry the Wonder Cat, I had to look no further than my Monkeyface, the first cat I ever had.  Twenty years ago, Monkey and I met and it was love at first sight. The big Maine Coon was the gentlest creature that I’ve ever known.  He was fiercely loyal to me and protected me from the people that he considered bad. (Cats are like that…they can smell trouble a mile off.) I, in turn, protected him from everything from the rustling of a paper bag (he hated paper bags) to the loud claps of thunder in the mountain sky.

Now, I know you’ll think that Harry doesn’t sound at all like Monkeyface, and you would be right when it comes down to fears.  After all, Harry isn’t afraid of anything. You must remember, however, Monkeyface didn’t have the powers that Harry has.

Other than being fiercely protective of their person, Maine Coons are the largest domestic cat, (the biggest was a cat named Stewie,  who grew to be a whopping 48.5 inches. Harry’s 38 inches seem small next to Stewie.

While Harry grew to weigh over 30 pounds, Monkeyface weighed a mere 25 pounds. Maine Coon are known as the Gentle Giants of the cat world, but sometimes Harry uses his size to intimidate enemies.

I chose the Maine Coon breed for Harry the Wonder Cat in memory of my lovable Monkeyface who, in my mind, will always be my Wonder Cat.

 

Next week I will share with you my experiences at my first writer’s convention.  Until then, have a purrfect week, from Harry and the Gang!

Ghostly Paws (Mystic Notch Cozy Mystery Book 1) by Leighann Dobbs

Ghostly Paws by Leighann Dobbs is the first of the Mystic Notch Series and was published in 2014. This is one of my favorite Leighann Dobbs series. A reporter turned bookshop owner by the name of Willa is the main character.  She has an amazing cat, Pandora, who along with her gang of feline friends, help Willa get out of the trouble that she invariably gets into.

Willa and Pandora are visited in the shop quite frequently by ghosts of authors from centuries ago. Customers will come into the store and a ghost or two will choose that moment to cause mischief. A book may fall off a shelf or a puff of smoke materializes in the  corner of the room, signifying that ghosts are coming right in front of the customer. Pandora, being the ever-curious cat that she is, plays with the smoke until it becomes Robert Frost or someone else from days gone by.

In the first book of the series, Ghostly Paws, Willa finds the town’s librarian, Livinia dead at the bottom of the library’s basement stairs. Augusta who, besides being Willa’s sister, is the town’s sheriff that warns the curious Willa to stay away from the case. Willa would be happy to stay away, but the ghost of Livinia comes to visit her and pleads with Willa to find her killer. Mystic Notch isn’t that big so you’d think that it would be easy to find a killer, wouldn’t you? Not so.
Ghostly Paws is a fast read and thoroughly enjoyable. I give it five stars and would suggest it to anyone who likes cozy mysteries and cats.