Archives for posts with tag: Cats

On July 2, 2015, I drove to Santa Cruz to adopt a nine-month-old Siamese-Angora kitten from Kitty Hill. Husband Tom Robinson and I had been catless since the death of our beloved Angora cat, Alana, in 2007. July 2015 was a life-changing experience in many ways, great and small. My decades-long relationship with a reclusive neighbor, for example, has forever changed for the better.

We now live with Athena, who is so beautiful, loving, super-smart, and funny, so much a part of our lives, that I can’t imagine not adopting her. But three years ago, I seriously questioned whether I wanted a cat again.

On Facebook, I set out the true-life experience of searching for a kitten, encountering several false starts and roadblocks, going to adopt her, my experience at Kitty Hill (a real boarding facility for cats in Santa Cruz), and the harrowing journey to and from Santa Cruz.

I was even influenced by Facebook friends who share my love of cats to make the decision to adopt a cat again..

My Friends on Facebook responded to the true-life story. As I set out the twists and turns of the true-life story, people were concerned. When I reached the story’s conclusion, people responded with, “Wow, what a story!” “What a beautiful story!” “I’m so glad things ended well, I was worried.” It was one of the most popular posts, in terms of people responding and commenting, I’ve ever had on Facebook.

With a genuine response like that, I was inspired to write the experience as a short fiction, notched a gentle fantasy level up. I wanted to expand on some issues.

Such as the decision to adopt a kitten (or a puppy) when you yourself are forty or older. Cats often live to be twenty years old these days. Will you be there for your beloved pet when he or she dies twenty years from now? Or will you die first? What then? Will your pet be put in a pound and euthanized because no one is there to take care of him or her?

For me, in true life, that was a heartfelt and heartrending question.

Next, I wanted to expand on the naming of our cat. Husband Tom, as an artist, and I, as a writer, are deeply interested in symbolism. We researched and discussed the naming of our kitten, and I covered that, too, in the short fiction.

Then there was the amazing experience I had at Kitty Hill and the amazing people who work there. I’ve never seen anything like it. There was the freeway drive. And my neighbor.

Life-changing.

I wrote the story and sent it around to half a dozen magazine markets that accept a piece of this length. But, though I’ve sold four stories so far in 2017, this story just didn’t connect with the editors, even though several are avowed cat lovers. One editor scolded me that nothing “horrific” happened and, worse, that the ending was a Happily Ever After.

The story is on submission to yet another magazine, but you know what? I’m weary of waiting.

So please accept this, my Thanksgiving gift to you. I’m pleased to present “Crazy Chimera Lady” by Lisa Mason. I hope you enjoy the story and welcome your comments. The story will be included in my forthcoming second story collection, Oddities.

No, nothing horrific happens. Yes, there is a Happily Ever After ending. There has to be. It’s Athena’s Story.

From the author of Summer Of Love, A Time Travel (a Philip K. Dick Award Finalist and San Francisco Chronicle Recommended Book). On BarnesandNoble, US Kindle, Canada Kindle, UK Kindle, Smashwords, Apple, and Kobo. On Kindle in Australia, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, India, Mexico, and Netherlands. BACK IN PRINT at https://www.createspace.com/7257603 or on Amazon at https://www.amazon.com/Summer-Love-Travel-Lisa-Mason/dp/1548106119/

The Gilded Age, A Time Travel (a New York Times Notable Book and New York Public Library Recommended Book). On BarnesandNoble, US Kindle, Canada Kindle, UK Kindle, Apple, Kobo, and Smashwords. On Kindle in Australia, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, India, Mexico, and Netherlands. BACK IN PRINT at https://www.createspace.com/7511748 or on Amazon at https://www.amazon.com/Gilded-Age-Time-Travel/dp/1975853172/

One Day in the Life of Alexa. On BarnesandNoble, US Kindle, Canada Kindle, UK Kindle, Smashwords, Apple, and Kobo. On Kindle in Australia, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, India, Mexico, and Netherlands. NOW IN PRINT! Order on Amazon at https://www.amazon.com/One-Life-Alexa-Lisa-Mason/dp/1546783091 or direct from the Printer: https://www.createspace.com/7181096

The Garden of Abracadabra (So refreshing….Stephanie Plum in the world of Harry Potter.” “Fun and enjoyable urban fantasy . . . I want to read more!) On BarnesandNoble, US Kindle, Canada Kindle, UK Kindle, Apple, Kobo, and Smashwords. On Kindle in Australia, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, India, Mexico, and Netherlands. NOW IN PRINT at https://www.createspace.com/title/7675783 and on Amazon at https://www.amazon.com/dp/1978148291/.

Strange Ladies: 7 Stories (“A must-read collection—The San Francisco Review of Books). On Nook, US Kindle, Canada Kindle, UK Kindle, Smashwords, Apple, and Kobo. On Kindle in Australia, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, India, Mexico, and Netherlands. SOON IN PRINT!

Arachne (a Locus Bestseller). On US Kindle, UK Kindle, Canada Kindle, Australia Kindle, Barnes and Noble, Apple, Kobo, and Smashwords. On Kindle in France Kindle, Germany Kindle, Italy Kindle, Netherlands Kindle, Spain Kindle, Mexico Kindle, Brazil Kindle, India Kindle, and Japan Kindle. SOON BACK IN PRINT!

Cyberweb (sequel to Arachne). is on US Kindle, BarnesandNoble, Apple, Kobo, and Smashwords. Also on UK Kindle, Canada Kindle, Australia Kindle, Brazil Kindle, France Kindle, Germany Kindle, India Kindle, Italy Kindle, Japan Kindle, Mexico Kindle, Netherlands Kindle, and Spain Kindle. SOON BACK IN PRINT!

Celestial Girl, A Lily Modjeska Mystery (Five stars) On Nook, US Kindle, Canada Kindle, UK Kindle, Smashwords, Apple, and Kobo. On Kindle in Australia, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, India, Mexico, and Netherlands.

Shaken On BarnesandNoble, US Kindle, Canada Kindle, UK Kindle, Apple, Kobo, and Smashwords. Also on Kindle in Australia, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, India, Mexico, and Netherlands.

Hummers On BarnesandNoble, US Kindle, Canada Kindle, UK Kindle, Apple, Kobo, and Smashwords. Also on Kindle in Australia, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, Mexico, Netherlands, and India.

Daughter of the Tao On US Kindle, Canada Kindle, UK Kindle, BarnesandNoble, Apple, Kobo, and Smashwords. Also on Kindle in AustraliaFrance, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, India, Mexico, and Netherlands.

Every Mystery Unexplained On BarnesandNoble, US Kindle, Canada Kindle, UK Kindle, Apple, Kobo, and Smashwords. Also on Kindle in Australia, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, Mexico, Netherlands, and India.

Tomorrow’s Child On BarnesandNoble, US Kindle, Canada Kindle, UK Kindle, Apple, Kobo, and Smashwords. Also on Kindle in Australia, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, India, Mexico, and Netherlands.

The Sixty-third Anniversary of Hysteria On BarnesandNoble, US Kindle, Canada Kindle, UK Kindle, Apple, Kobo, and Smashwords. Also on Kindle in Australia, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, Mexico, Netherlands, and India.

U F uh-O On BarnesandNoble, US Kindle, Canada Kindle, UK Kindle, Apple, Kobo, and Smashwords. Also on Kindle in Australia, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, Mexico, Netherlands, and India.

Tesla, A Screenplay On US Kindle, Canada Kindle, UK Kindle, BarnesandNoble, Apple, Kobo, and Smashwords. Also on Kindle in Australia, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, Mexico, Netherlands, and India. SOON IN PRINT!

My Charlotte: Patty’s Story On Barnes and Noble, US Kindle, UK Kindle, Canada Kindle, Australia Kindle, Smashwords, Apple, and Kobo. On Kindle in France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, Netherlands, and Mexico.

“Illyria, My Love” is on US Kindle, Barnes and Noble, Apple, Kobo, and Smashwords. Also on UK Kindle, Canada Kindle, Australia Kindle, Germany Kindle, France Kindle, Spain Kindle, Italy Kindle, Netherlands Kindle, Japan Kindle, Brazil Kindle, Mexico Kindle, and India Kindle.

Please visit me at Lisa Mason’s Official Website for all my books, ebooks, stories, and screenplays, reviews, interviews, and blogs, adorable cat pictures, forthcoming works, fine art and bespoke jewelry by my husband Tom Robinson, worldwide links, and more!

And on Lisa Mason’s Blog, on my Facebook Author Page, on my Facebook Profile Page, on Amazon, on Goodreads, on LinkedIn, on Twitter at @lisaSmason, at Smashwords, at Apple, at Kobo, and at Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America.

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10.18.17.3.ATHENA.IN.BOX_NEW

I bake fresh ground turkey thigh for Athena and prepare little dishes of that, topped or mixed with Whole Paws canned meat (the turkey and the chicken and white fish flavors). Cats are obligate carnivores; they need meat.

I don’t leave out a bowl of dry food. She had a bad reaction to dry food when she first came to live with us so I just don’t feed her that anymore. The Whole Paws canned meat has no grain whatsoever, not even brown rice, but the dry food, even the best dry food I could find with a low ash content, has rice. Plus, it’s not true that dry food helps clean a cat’s teeth. My research says dry food has no beneficial effect on a cat’s dental health. Instead, we “brush” her teeth with dental sponges at least once a week.

As a result of this feeding regimen, Athena is very trim and muscular. What this means, though, is that when I set out a little dish of meat, she has to finish it all or back into the fridge the dish goes, covered by a little white cap. (To prevent food poisoning just like you should put leftovers from your Thanksgiving feast in the fridge no later than two hours after the food is cooked). A local pet food store gave Tom a dozen of these caps, which you use to cover uneaten portions of canned food. Note that the cans say not to do this, to store uneaten meat in another container. Which I do. I’ve got a glass container with a top in which I store uneaten canned meat.

What this also means is Athena, a nocturnal predator, prefers to eat late at night or in the early morning. When I’m sleeping. She often has to wake me up, and she’s devised a strategy. She jumps up on the bed (she’s strictly an in-door cat, so she’s very clean) by my head and snuffles in my ear. She gives my cheek little kitty kisses, and then she seizes the edge of my ear in her fangs and PULLS just as hard as she can. Sometimes she pulls my head off the pillow (she’s very strong). Sometimes she draws blood. I say “Ouch ouch ouch,” in a pitiable voice, but I also laugh so she knows I don’t mind it too  much. This morning Tom watched as she yanked my right ear, then circled over my head and yanked on my left.

This generally gets me out of bed and into the kitchen to set out one of her little bowls of meat. She left particularly bloody wounds on my right ear. I asked Tom to photograph the ear; he refused. Oh, well, it IS pretty weird. #ivegotcatbitesonmyears

 

6.27.16.ATHENA.AND.LISA - Copy_NEW

Today, July 2, is the day I took a harrowing seventy-five mile drive to Santa Cruz to adopt a nine-month-old breeder’s cage kitten, a lilac-point-Angora mix with blue eyes. She was a sad, scared little person who was terrified of what was going to happen to her next.

When we let her out of the carrying case to explore her new home, she was totally thrilled. She immediately bonded to me and to Tom, learned the rules of where she was allowed to go and where not, and has blossomed as a wonderful member of our household.

But when Tom or I went to pick her up back then, she would thrash and writhe, kick and claw and bite. Apparently, she’d come to associate a human picking her up with Something Bad about to happen to her—vaccination needles, deworming, defleaing, surgery for spaying, and generally being shuttled around in a cage.

In past year, we each have made a point of picking her up and, gripping those strong hind legs and sharp claws, carrying her to someplace enjoyable, fun, and safe. To her food bowl in the kitchen, to her water bowl on the fireplace surround, to her cat tree, to her perch on my editor’s desk in my office, and especially to the bed, which she loves.

Now, one year later, she’s quite a handful as you can see and still strangely camera-shy—I had to hold her face up for this photo. Maybe having her picture taken reminds her of the pound, too. But she’s become comfortable with the human embrace. You can just catch a glimpse of her baby blue eyes.

Happy One Year Anniversary to Athena!