Cat People” Blog Post by Mia Kerick
We are cat people. Well, I’m not completely sure if my husband is a cat man, but he really hasn’t had much choice in the matter. The numbers in our family are stacked against him. There is the small matter that all four of our kids begged for a dog on numerous occasions while growing up, but since we always already had multiple cats I wasn’t interested in stirring the pot. And yes, I get teased a lot about becoming the “crazy cat lady”, to which I just shrug. As long as there is kitty litter and Fancy Feast at Walmart, I can handle the CCL (crazy cat lady) job title.
So, let me first introduce to you the old timer, Pepper.
We aren’t really date-specific kind of people, so we gauge his age by how old the kids were (roughly) when we got each cat. In Pepper’s case, Demi was about four, just old enough to be allowed into the house of the pet owner who gave us our little black kitten. “I don’t want no babies in here!” she’d informed me bluntly, so I left my two-year-old and newborn behind with Dad. I put Ali and Demi in their car seats and off we went to get our pet. In any case, Demi is eighteen now, so we figure Peppie (nickname—sounds something like Papi from the Red Sox in my opinion) is about fourteen years old.
Pepper is our most good-natured cat. He is the kind of cat you could dress up in doll clothes, put in a miniature baby carriage, and wheel around the driveway. How do I know this? Hehehe. It may have happened to him a time or ten. Peppie has, however, developed specific methods to manipulate me into doing just what he wants. He jumps on my paperwork when he wants food. He climbs on the screens outside when he wants to be let in the house. He actually knows how to open the slider and the screen door when he wants to go out, and will start doing this, and in the process letting out the indoor cats, if I don’t stand up fast enough to let him out the door. He’s smart, I guess.
And he loves something about my husband’s feet. I will not go into detail on that for fear of TMI.
We also have cat siblings. Yes, I know, all of our cats are siblings, as pet adoption puts them all on the same sibling playing field. But these cats are from the same litter so they are related by blood. Let’s take a look at Lester first.
I got my way with Lester’s name.
You’d think I would have learned my lesson with my former pets Johnny Damon and J.D. Drew. When the players leave Boston, their names remain in our household. And so we named our male tiger Jon Lester, and yes, now his namesake is with the Cubs. Ugh. In any case, Ali was a freshman in high school when we got the cat-twins, so that puts them at almost seven. Lester is skittish. He rarely wants to be touched, except by my seventeen-year-old daughter Sisi, who we all think Lester believes is his mother or his girlfriend. He actually stalks her and smiles when she holds him. He is also a talker. If you say, “Hi Lessie”, he meows. And if you say it ten times, he will meow at you ten times.
And his sister, Madeline. Maddie. No, not a Red Sox player. I pushed for Fenway, but I couldn’t sell it to the kids.
She is the kind of cat who gives cats a bad reputation. Maddie is beyond skittish. Nobody can even approach her unless she is “in the mood” and then she initiates a patting frenzy. You cannot keep up with her petting needs.
Cookie is the queen of our cats.
She is a Himilayan with a rather matted (through no fault of her own) tortoiseshell coat. The cat lady we got her from told us that she was “damaged goods”, as the family who originally purchased her returned her, demanding their money back, and insisting she didn’t act like a normal cat. And they were right, she doesn’t. But that is what we like best about Cookie. She rules all of the other cats (and humans) with an iron paw. In particular, she is the boss of Pepper, who just so happens to be the heaviest cat, more than twice her size. She literally chases him out of the Red Sox room on a nightly basis. He is certainly big enough to hold his ground, but he doesn’t seem to be aware of that fact. Cookie also fetches toys like a dog and brings them to us. It is truly a heartwarming sight. She is likely to bounce three feet in the air when she comes upon a sock. And she gets serious knots in her fur if she isn’t brushed, which doesn’t happen as often as it should.
The baby is Mochi.
She is an exotic short-haired calico. And God, she is cute. But we really do not know her personality yet, as we only had her home for one day when she got her shots and she hasn’t rebounded from them fully. For years, my husband and I had been saying “NO NEW CATS!” with the same firmness as Bush had said “NO NEW TAXES!” And just as we ended up with new taxes we also ended up with a new kitten. This one was a birthday/Christmas from Demi to Sisi (that I will incidentally take care of for the next twenty years). But like I said, Mochi is eye candy so that will make the job a little easier.
In Come To My Window, Justine’s family has a cat named Big Papi. It is a minor detail in the story, but hey, this is a blog post to advertise the release of my new YA lesbian romance novel…so I just thought I’d toss that incidental fact out there to tie it all together like a writer should.
Title: Come to My Window by Mia Kerick
Publisher: Mia Kerick
Genre: Contemporary, Young Adult, F/F, Romance
Length: 182 pages/Word Count: 41,700
Justine Laraby and Kemina Lopez are intimate acquaintances yet they have never exchanged so much as a single word. For months, high school senior Justine, and famed model, “Kemina, the Baby Vixen” of Nightingale Lingerie, have been peering at each other across a narrow alley between brownstones in the Upper West Side of Manhattan. This mutual observation soon turns into the exchange of handwritten messages on signs they hold up whenever they come to their bedroom windows. Via this “sign language,” a friendship grows, and Justine learns that Kemina is, like her, a high school senior, but with a controlling mother and a modeling career that requires her to maintain an unnaturally thin physique. And through the window, she also witnesses her new friend exercising fanatically, hoarding food, and being physically and emotionally abused by her ambitious mother.
Window messages evolve into clandestine meetings and soon a tentative romance blooms. But Justine must come to terms with her own “mommy issues,” as well as accept her gender identity and sexual orientation, before she can provide Kemina with the support she needs to survive a family life that resembles a ruthless business transaction.
Will Justine be strong enough to throw open the window so Kemina can escape society’s suffocating expectations?
Purchase Links: Amazon * ARe * Paperback * B&N
But it’s not until the screen fills with the image of this baby seal, all white and fluffy with dark vulnerable eyes that we both gasp a little bit and then turn to look at each other. I can feel her breath on my lips and my nose is nearly touching hers, and, well, I don’t know about Kemina, but I’m all kinds of spellbound by this moment. She reaches up and touches my jaw, just below my ear, with this soft brush of her fingertips, and I have no choice but to lean down and kiss her. Not that I was looking too hard for another option. Cuz I wasn’t.
I kind of thought that my first kiss would be like an electric shock or the sharp poke of cupid’s dart or fireworks exploding in a dark night sky, but it’s not like any of those things. The way it feels when my lips touch Kemina’s is soft and gentle and tender. It’s a yielding of her mouth to mine, and then mine to hers. It’s an intimate moment that’s breathy and warm and sweet and just ours.
“Ummmm….” She lets out this sound that makes me think of how it feels to sink into a hot bath after a long afternoon of ice skating in frigid temperatures. “That was my first real kiss.”
“Real kiss?” I ask. Our lips are only about an inch apart. I have a strong feeling that her second real kiss is only a moment away.
Mia Kerick is the mother of four exceptional children—all named after saints—and five nonpedigreed cats—all named after the next best thing to saints, Boston Red Sox players. Her husband of twenty-two years has been told by many that he has the patience of Job, but don’t ask Mia about that, as it is a sensitive subject.
Mia focuses her stories on the emotional growth of troubled young people and their relationships, and she believes that physical intimacy has a place in a love story, but not until it is firmly established as a love story. As a teen, Mia filled spiral-bound notebooks with romantic tales of tortured heroes (most of whom happened to strongly resemble lead vocalists of 1980s big-hair bands) and stuffed them under her mattress for safekeeping. She is thankful to Dreamspinner Press, Harmony Ink Press, and CreateSpace for providing her with alternate places to stash her stories.
Mia is a social liberal and cheers for each and every victory made in the name of human rights, especially marital equality. Her only major regret: never having taken typing or computer class in school, destining her to a life consumed with two-fingered pecking and constant prayer to the Gods of Technology.
Author Links: Website * Facebook * Twitter * Goodreads * Dreamspinner Author Arcade
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