Cat on the Keyboard

Author Christine Church's Musings, Books and Stuff…

Cat in the Book and the Birth of a Novel

Written By: chriscat65 - Mar• 22•14

If your cats are as much family to you as my cats are to me, and you’re writing a book, even a fiction novel, you can put your cats into your book as characters. Anne Rice put her dog Mojo in several of her vampire books as her character Lestat’s companion. George R.R. Martin (Game of Thrones) even wrote his turtles into one of his books. It’s not strange, nor is it corny. So, if you’re thinking about adding your favorite feline into a novel, go right ahead. I actually placed several of my cats, a dog who passed on and my horse into my latest novel, Beyond Every Mirror.

When I wrote the story (which began as a short story) in 1980 (yes, 1980)… I was a young teen in school. I sat in the back of the class and wrote many short stories. This one in particular, however, remained within my heart and was very special. It never left me, so 16 years later, I turned it into a novel. In the novel version, I wrote in my cat Sammy, my favorite cat at the time. I love all my cats, but sometimes one cat in particular holds a bit of a special place just above the others. For me this was my Sammy.


Sammy was the first of my own cats to put into a novel









I also placed my Doberman at the time, Dillinger. I loved horses, so I added a horse, though back then I did not own a horse yet, so I made one up. I took one of my favorite breeds, an Andalusian (black rather than the typical white), and named him Camelot.

Unfortunately, the first few drafts of my novel went nowhere and the book ended up in a drawer (so to speak). I had pitched the novel at conferences I attended in the 1990’s and early 2000’s but the cross-genre (fantasy-romance) did not yet exist, and no one was willing to put their money on a newbie author in a genre that was not there.

Finally, after quite a few years, not only did the genre finally come into the marketplace, but it was growing by leaps and bounds. It was time to “dust off” Beyond Every Mirror and do a re-write, then try again. I attended a writer’s conference and spoke with an agent and an editor, who both showed quite a bit of interest in the book. But I wanted to re-work it first. It was so old and outdated and I needed to bring up to the times.

Enter Phase Three of this book’s life. I pretty much rewrote the entire book! My writing skills had grown massively during this time and I knew what I wanted to do to change the book around. By this time, both Sammy and Dillinger had long passed on, and I wanted to put my present kitties into the book, the last Doberman I had (who was extraordinarily unique) and of course, my horse!

I placed many cats, not just one, into the book. Sammy was still there, of course, but my kitten Lucy and several of my other precious felines made their way into the pages of this novel. Though I still kept Camelot in the book, I knew by this time that keeping one horse is almost an impossibility (and to a herd animal, cruel in some ways), so I gave Camelot an elder horse friend… My elder Paint, Kobeejo!


My registered Paint horse, Kobeejo, was added to the book, as a companion to an imaginary horse that made it into the first drafts.











The book is finally complete, all animals accounted for, and I am doing a once-more read-over, then printing a B&W draft to send to friends, media and others in order to get blurbs and opinions before I send the manuscript off to the agent and editor who had asked for it originally. You can sometimes find adventures of the animals within the main character’s blog, Dane’s Dark Myst.

So, don’t be afraid to “write what you know” and add your pets to your books. It may help keep them immortalized.

LIKE the Facebook Page for this novel: Facebook

Read the Blog: Dane’s Dark Myst

Want to join my newsletter for updates, freebies and contests? CLICK HERE

House Cat has a new Publisher

Written By: chriscat65 - Dec• 22•13

I received a letter in the mail recently stating that Howell Book House, the publishing company that bought and published my book, House Cat How to Keep Your Indoor Cat Sane & Sound, sold off over a thousand of their titles. They sold them to Turner Publishing Company, and House Cat was one of those books. I am not sure yet what this means for the future of the book. Amazon no longer carries the Kindle edition, so I’m not sure if it will be re-released or not. I will keep updates here.

Cool Cats

Written By: chriscat65 - Nov• 29•13

Check out these cats that got famous for their unusual markings. Have a cat with unique markings or look? Let me know.


Cat with Eyebrows:


Kitten with Heart:

Kitten with heart

Kitten with heart


Split Face:

Cat with split color face

Cat with split color face

Another cat with heart:

Heart on chin

Heart on chin

This cat has a monkey on its back:

This cat has a monkey on her back.

This cat has a monkey on her back.

Cat on cat:

This cat dons fantastic art work of another cat on its back.

This cat dons fantastic art work of another cat on its back.

More photos of cat on cat back

More photos of cat on cat back

Holiday Photo Shoots!

Written By: chriscat65 - Nov• 21•13

Now doing Christmas Photo Shoots in Connecticut and southern MA! I also will make your personalized Christmas cards! I will come to you for a personalized Christmas Photo session with your pet, kids, horse, whatever. All photos are fully edited for optimal quality. No extra charge unless you want something special, such as a different backdrop, etc. (want your horse to be one of Santa’s Reindeer? I can do that!). Photos, portraits, etc. I will come to you. Northeastern/Northcentral CT and southern MA.

Orphaned Kittens

Written By: chriscat65 - Jul• 06•13

A couple weeks ago, I was asked to care for 5 orphaned kittens that were left in a box on the steps of a church in a nearby town. Most of my experience is with adult and feral cats, but I am okay with hand feeding for a few days. My time caring for the kittens got longer until, starting last Monday, July 1st, I ended up with them full time.

Within a day or two, one of the kittens stopped taking the bottle. Because they are right about 4 weeks old, I offered her canned food, which she gobbled up. After that, she refused the bottle altogether. This was well and good, as she was eating well, until I ran out of the canned food she loved so much. The shelter I volunteer for provides the food, and replaced the food with a completely different brand and flavor. She refused that as well. A day later, I managed to get cans of the original food she had loved (which is going out little by little and getting hard to find), but she refused it as well.

The next thing I knew, this little tiny life that was in my hands was in danger. And I did not have the experience to save her.

I contacted the shelter owner, and she came over with Lactated Ringers (bag of fluids, like what you see hanging on IV hooks in the hospital) and needles. We gave her some fluids subcutaneously (this I am familiar with, as I have done it a million times with adult cats). The difference was, this little thing was much harder to get some loose skin on and way too small for a line running down; hence we used a needle and syringe and gave the fluids like a shot.

Two days and she was not getting any better. She had diarrhea severely, refused any food other than a tiny bit of human meat flavored baby food (chicken flavor to be exact), and I was force feeding her formula. Even with the formula, the fluids several times a day and some baby food, plus some appetite stimulants and tummy settling meds, she was just not getting better!

At this point, I knew I needed extra help. The shelter owner had provided me with all the information she could, so I contacted a friend whom I know is an expert at caring for kittens. She came over and took a look at the kitten. She said she has seen worse. She brought with her all sorts of “weapons” to cure whatever might be ailing this little cutie, including dewormers, anti-diarrheals, Nutri-Cal and special prescription foods. She explained that first we need to get rid of her diarrhea and that this kitten was not too bad off… her gums were still pink and I had given her fluids so she was hydrated.

I talked to her, asking if she could maybe take the kitten for a day to get her “jump started.” I knew she could do more for her than I could, and I was moving my horse to a new barn (third barn in a week… long story) and was stressed enough and was not going to be home. Since it was weekend, she would be home, so she agreed.

This is where we stand now. I will get the kitten back tomorrow night, hopefully in a better state and on her way to eating once again.

Binx came home

Written By: chriscat65 - Jul• 06•13

After two and a half weeks of major stress and worry, I was finally able to trap Binx. He was injured slightly above his left eye, but a vet visit and time have healed all. We are so grateful to have him home! I bought him a huge cat tree with multiple platforms and all of the cats absolutely love it. But, the top “bunk” is for Binx. He sleeps up there often where he can still see out despite the air conditioner in that window. Binx has definitely decided he prefers to look out, rather than to be out!

My Indoor Cat is Missing; Diary of Binx

Written By: chriscat65 - May• 23•13


Binx is missing

Binx is missing.

Day One, Friday, May 17th 2013: I woke up late because I had to drive a long distance and spend three days doing a horse show photo shoot. When I awoke, my mother came in my room and told me she “saw a cat who looks just like Binx” on the porch and then up by the fireplace in the back yard. It was then she informed me she couldn’t find Binx in the house. I got up and we searched. The back door would, if not closed properly, not latch all the way. The cat she saw was Binx, not a cat who looked like him.

Now we had a major problem. Not only was Binx an indoor-only cat his entire adult life (three and a half years), he was born a feral kitten who had had no contact with humans in the first 8 weeks of his life. A cat who has not had that contact never fully accepts humans. Binx accepted us, as he lived in our house and let us pet him, slept on my bed and would even rub against my leg. However, if even I–the person he most trusted–made a move he found suspicious, he would always run. “Can I really trust you?” lived forever in his eyes, as it does with all cats born feral.

I searched the woods behind our house, the neighbor’s yards, up trees, everywhere I could. No sign of him. As a volunteer for a cat shelter, I was able to borrow a cat trap, which I baited and set on the porch in case Binx came home during the night looking for food. I also brushed Binx’s best cat friend, Jake, and placed his fur around the parameter of the yard.

I slept on the sofa on the porch, hoping my scent would help, or at least I would spot him.

Day Two, Saturday, May 18th: Had to do the photo shoot, so I spent most of the day away. Caught nothing in the trap. I borrowed a second trap to put up in the back near the woods. I needed to expand my search. I also made up a bunch of flyers and went door to door in the areas that surrounded the woods, talking to people and asking if they would contact me if they saw Binx. Everyone was very nice. But no one had seen him.

Binx’s un-trusting nature towards humans, I knew, would make this much more difficult than a trusting house pet. I slept on the porch again. At the very least it helped keep the raccoons away from my trap.

Day Three, Sunday, May 19th: Expanded my search area and tried to spread my scent to lead Binx back home. He had to be getting hungry. Still nothing in the traps. I made more flyers, including a large one for telephone poles, and brought the files to be professionally printed at Staples. I had the large ones laminated so they would be waterproof. It rained, which made me wonder how Binx was handling this, as he had not seen rain in his entire adult life. The rain did not frighten me, however, the thunder did. It would scare Binx. Would he run farther away?

Day Four, Monday, May 20th: Caught a raccoon in the trap nearest the house, but no cat. I reset the trap. The rain just didn’t want to stop! Thunderstorms, heat and humidity every day. Ninety one degrees!

I am still having trouble eating, my stomach is in so many knots. I walked all around the woods within a mile of my house. But the woods are dense and vast. He could be anywhere. I passed out more flyers. I tacked a bunch of the big laminated flyers on telephone poles at every intersection within a two mile radius.

Day Five, Tuesday, May 21st: More of the same today. Cooler temperatures, but still rainy and thunderstorms. As I had done daily, I walked the woods when it wasn’t raining, talked to people, passed out flyers and put lost cat ads on the internet and in papers.

Day Six, Wednesday, May 22nd: Continued looking through the woods and adding flyers to my search area. It was rainy today so I didn’t get as much searching done through the woods, but I did walk up back and look under a few porches and sheds of neighboring properties. By now, people are pretty used to seeing me searching through their yards.

Both traps were tripped, food was gone from one, yet nothing was inside. The neighbor’s cat (Tigger) is a tiny little girl, so I am assuming it was her. Later in the day, I was proven correct when I came home and a neighbor drove by with his ATV to tell me there was a grey cat in the trap behind his house. I asked him “Dark grey or light grey?” When he said light grey, I knew it was Tigger. She was scared, I let her go.

Got a call from a lady who lives about 5 miles away, swearing she saw Binx. She said she would try to feed and lure the cat in. I have big doubts Binx would be that far in the opposite direction that he had gone, plus he would have had to cross a highway and several roads to get there. Not that I am dismissing any lead. I told her to call me if she sees the cat again.

Click on the following to find cute products such as a dog security vest for your dog and various other accessories for other pets which can make them look adorably cute.

I started a Facebook page to raise awareness of Binx in hopes more people will keep their eyes open for him, regardless where they live. I just want my Binx home!

Day Seven, Thursday, May 23rd: 7am, my mother wakes me to tell me there’s a raccoon in the trap closest to the woods. She can’t climb the fence to get out there, so I went out, in the rain, in my PJs, climbed the fence, and had to pick up the trap and dump the frightened raccoon out. He scrambled up a tree.

Seriously thinking about hiring a pet detective to help me find Binx. The problem is that I am poor and not sure I can afford one. I looked up quite a few online today. I just want my baby home. I don’t know how long I can handle this stress, fear and anguish.

Five Tips for a Happy New Kitten

Written By: chriscat65 - May• 08•13
Kittens need friends


When you adopt or acquire a new kitten, you become responsible for an innocent life that fully relies on you for its utmost and thorough care, for the animals’ ENTIRE life, however long that may be. Use the guidelines below to make your kitten’s life a good one and so he/she will grow to be a happy and healthy cat.

  1. Introductions: Whether or not you have other pets in your home, introduce your new kitten(s) to your home or pets slowly. Keep the little tyke confined to one room if possible, for the first day. Make sure he/she has fresh, cool water and plenty of kitten food. Know what your kitten was eating before you acquired it, so you can match the diet, at least temporarily. If you will be switching foods, mix the old with the new over time until the kitten’s digestive system is accustomed to the new food. (generally, with kittens, you will feed 3 times a day up until 6 months of age and then down to twice a day). You can keep dry food down at all times as a snack and feed small amounts of canned food if you wish. This is recommended, as kittens have enough energy to burn fat fast and one or the other can cause a skinny kitten. Though, like any of us, each kitten’s metabolism varies, so keep an eye on your kitten’s weight. Introduce everything very slowly and be patient. Make sure you pet knows where the litter box, food and water is located at all times. And make sure your kitten has LOTS of love and attention. He/she will be very frightened in this new environment, especially is adopted alone. It is fine to carry your kitten around the house in your arms to see the sights, making sure other animals do not come into direct contact, not right away. Acclimate slowly using scent, as cats are very scent oriented. Give your new kitten a cozy fleece blanket or a soft towel to sleep on and get his/her scent all over. Do the same with your resident pet(s). Switch after a day or two. Get them used to one another’s scent. Please take your time. It will be worth it in the long run and could prevent bad experiences that might lead a lifetime of trouble. You can try feeding them near one another when you are ready, providing your resident pet is not food dominant!! A dog, particularly, might snap at a cat that is near its food. So, please use utmost caution. Even a small dog can cause a little kitten harm….


Cat Products in Live Auction

Written By: chriscat65 - Nov• 30•12

Fantastic Live Online Auction… Have fun while finishing your holiday shopping. Great deals…

Cyber Cat Monday

Written By: chriscat65 - Nov• 24•12

Join your cat online for a great online auction every Monday and Friday nights featuring animal gifts and products at low prices

It’s Black Friday Weekend (and Cyber Monday) and I still don’t know why it’s called Black Friday! Perhaps because the stores “wake up” in the middle of the night so people can shop in the dark?

In any event, Black Friday is the start of the holiday shopping season… ie, hectic! So, save your gas and save time. Shop online. For your cat!

Cyber Monday is also Cyber Cat Day! This is the day you can go to an online auction (yep, a LIVE online auction), bid on extremely nice products at super low prices and get all your shopping done for your animal loving friends and pets at the Animal Lovers 6 Auction, Monday night at 9PM EST.

Some of the great items you will find there? Hand made cat toys, as well as great interactive toys like the original Cat Dancer (activity helps keep cats from becoming obese). You will find fantastic gift items for your animal loving people too. Items so unique you will not find them in a store. Fantastic for that hard-to-buy-for person! Such items include dancing cat picture frames, kids animal winter accessories, beautiful jewelry depicting animals of every kind, pet t-shirts and so much more!

You will also find the one-of-a-kind art of extremely talented wildlife artist Lucie Theroux from Quebec, who will be offering a gift of a custom painting! Imagine the glee on an animal lover’s face when they see a painting custom made by hand in water color from one of the most talented artists on this planet!

So, mark your calendars for EVERY Monday and Friday nights at 9PM for the Animal Lovers auctions!