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Monday Mentions: Absinthe of Malice & Ghostly Muses

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Kitten

My colleague and mystery author Pat Browning has had great success recently with Kindle. The reviews of her latest mystery, ABSINTHE OF MALICE have been glowing. You should check out her blogs because she’s a poster child for being a chameleon and reinventing your career. 

I submit it has a lot to do with once living with a gorgeous orange tabby cat. Nope, the above is a kitty stand-in, but Pat shared with me how “George” the cat inspires her work even today.

Pat writes, “This is a true story. I don’t have a picture of my big orange striped cat because he’s long gone , but he lives in my fondest memories and in my book, ABSINTHE OF MALICE, a study in small town secrets.

In my book, under the fictitious name of Homer, he doesn’t solve crimes or do tricks, he just does cat things. He stalks birds in the back yard and when it’s time to eat he comes into the kitchen through the cat door. He’s a great judge of people though. He doesn’t like one of my main characters, a chief of police, and he leaves the room when that character shows up. When the man manages to redeem himself, Homer cozies up to him and goes to sleep on his new friend’s feet.

This cat’s real name was George and I loved him dearly from the day he was born. The time came when he could no longer manage and it was time to take him to the vet and put an end to his misery. I cried my eyes out until finally my best friend took him to the vet for me and then buried him on the old home place where George spent so many good years.

A few days later I was sitting at my kitchen counter, drinking coffee, feeling down and  staring out the window at my little patio when suddenly George walked onto the deck. He stopped in the middle of the deck, did a long, leisurely stretch and walked on.

I dashed outside, calling him, looking everywhere, but he was nowhere to be found. He had simply disappeared and I never saw him again. Of course, he had never been there at all except for that brief moment when he stepped through whatever veil separates us from another world. I got his message. He was fit and fine, the same old George. I wanted to hug him, but the need was mine, not his, and this time it was a little easier to let him go. Pat Browning”

So, do you have a furry muse–ghostly or otherwise–who inspires you each day? Please share!

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About amyshojai

Amy Shojai, CABC is a certified animal behavior consultant, award winning author, and spokesperson to the pet industry.

10 responses »

  1. I don’t have a cat story to share but I do have one about my dog “Easy’. Easy was born on Easter morning, a beautiful chocolate brown miniature poodle. From the first moment I knew she was special – she could read my thoughts. I won’t relate all the stories of her short life-time, Easy was born with a rare canine disease, but I will tell you that she has never left me – not completely. There are times, especially when I am sick or anxious, I can feel her lay down beside me. I can almost see her. I take comfort from her presence.

    Reply
    • Allene, Easy sounds like a very special dog. They never do really leave us. My first “Furry Muse” started me on my writing path and he’s still in my heart. When he died, our tiny apartment suddenly seemed huge without a German shepherd boy to step over . . . and I felt him jump onto the bed. Amazing thing and made me weep because in life, he couldn’t/wouldn’t do it because of bad hips. But he was finally able to in “spirit” form. Thanks so much for sharing, Allene.

      Reply
      • Thank you, for checking out my blog and adding a comment. I too am glad we virtually ‘met’. I have your book Absinthe of Malice on my TBR list. Looking forward to it. Allene

        Reply
  2. I’m sorry – I meant Pat Browning’s book.

    Reply
    • LOL! Quite all right. Someday my fiction will be available, too (with appropriate fur-persons, of course!). Meanwhile, writing lots and lots of nonfiction.

      Allene, feel free to send me (amy @ shojai.com) a short blurb about your book, blog, and pets that appear in your work–or that inspire your work. Happy to profile fellow writers on the Monday Mentions. *s*

      Reply
  3. I loved this story about George. Years ago I had a Siamese named Fletcher, and I still miss him. Wish he’d stroll across my porch…

    Pat, loved ABSINTHE OF MALICE!

    Jackie King

    Reply
  4. Nice story. So glad you got the visit from George. I have not had any ghostly visits from pets, but did get a visit from a dear friend that basically did the same for me as George’s visit did for you, Pat.

    Reply
  5. Billy Boy and Twigs. I grew up with these two cats. They moved from California to Tennessee to Maryland to Georgia to NC with us. I’m featuring them in a short story I’m working on.

    Reply
  6. Neat, Angela! Love the name “Twigs” that’s inspired.

    Reply

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