I have my very first guest poster today! Give a warm welcome to Jody Wallace, author of Pack and Coven from Carina Press, and owned by the one and only MeanKitty. Jody is well known in writer circles for “cattifying” covers and excerpts — taking what exists and putting, well, a CAT spin on it. =^..^= Since I’m owned by two kitties myself, it seemed only fitting…
Ready? Put down the tea and the coffee…Jody and Jodie aren’t responsible for spewed-on keyboards.
So here, without further delay….Feline Fantasies!
God, she hated conflict, especially the kind when Alex refused to worship her sufficiently. And really, if this whole hairball-causing, nerve-twitching situation was anyone’s fault, it was his. Stupid human. After all, he’d been the one to give her the stuffed kitty she’d used as a chew toy. And the second. And the third. Having to tear all three of them up had made her wish she had someone with whom to share the burden of destruction and rule.
Javanese Meyers hacked disgustedly as she tested the softness of the clean laundry pile. Yep, this was totally Alex’s doing. It was definitely not hers, but since Alex was a human with several traits that reminded her of dogs, she was going to have to find a way to fix it. Soon, before the confused frustration she saw in her person’s eyes turned into something irreparable. And she was getting plumb worn out. She wasn’t a kitten anymore.
It was late, but she needed to unwind. The small humans were sound asleep, and Alex, a Maryland State Trooper, was still at work. He probably would be all night, unless the MSP caught a break on the case that had been all over the nightly news. It was quiet for once, and maybe now she could figure out what the meow she was going to do to make things right again.
She knocked over some aromatherapy candles that smelled like inedible crap, disappeared some single socks, and shoved the TV remote way behind the couch cushions. Then she turned off the overhead light in that clever way that always freaked the humans out because they didn’t realize she could do it and climbed into the unfolded clothing, sighing as the soft material did its thing on her muscles. She turned around several times and scratched a bit before settling down. She breathed deeply, letting the soothing aroma of a household that contained no dogs seep into her nose. Her nictitating membranes drifted idly over her brilliant, blue eyes, and her tail tip flicked back and forth across the side of the basket.
Alex. She gave that human so much slack, even more than the day she’d said Take me to your house during their meet-cute-cat in the parking lot of the donut shop. They’d been through a lot together these past fifteen years, but never once had she been sorry she’d adopted Alex when she’d been only eight weeks old. She still wasn’t sorry. She couldn’t imagine ever being sorry. She had these humans totally whipped. And yet, as much as she loved bossing Alex and the small humans around and the way they waited on her paw and foot, she was restless and itchy, and it had all started with that stuffed kitty.
It had been another Friday night, and she’d been alone in the house. Girl human Kara had been sleeping at her unpleasantly screechy best friend’s house, and boy Ben had gone on a camping trip. Java had planned a much-needed snooze on Alex’s belly as he watched a TV program, but then Alex called the answering machine to say he’d caught a case and would be working late.
“Sorry, kitty kitty,” he said over the phone in a hushed voice. “Mew mew mew Daddy loves you!” She knew he was being quiet because he didn’t want his fellow cops to know he reported in to a cat, as they were very dumb, jealous humans who had dogs.
Java was frustrated, but she’d been a cop’s owner long enough to plan her revenge patiently and find ways to blame Alex for things out of his control. Rather than sit home alone, she escaped out the back door and hightailed it to the catnip patch in Frederick, looking for something new and fun and distracting to eat and then puke up.
She nibbled on leaf after leaf, batting the stems and licking the flowers, but nothing caught her attention. She was crouched on the ground, surrounded by possible choices, when she found it under a bush.
The cover of the crinkly magazine drew her attention first. It showcased a hazy photograph of a series of cat beds with plush white bed linens, rumpled as if a kitty had just woken and stepped out of the room. A silky black scarf, shredded in several spots, lay at the foot of one bed. Catnip mice that had been demolished were scattered across the floor, and there were multicolored kitty hair tufts on the linens.
Her mouth went milk-bone dry, her mind whirling with images of how all those different hair clumps had gotten into all those beds. She flipped the magazine over to read the title: MUCH, Multiple Cat Household Magazine. Multiple…cats? There could be more than one cat in a household–and she could be in charge of both humans AND cats? Not to mention have feline companions with whom to complain about the humans’ disobedience and brainstorm ideas on how to keep them in line?
The exciting promise in those words flowed over her like tuna scent, and she turned to the first page. Exactly what she’d been looking for. She had a good scratch on the fabulously rustly paper, lay down on it awhile to absorb the words in that magical way only cats read, and headed home.
And if you’d like to see how Jody cattified the cover, click here!