Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Guest blogger Carolyn Hart - For Love of Cats

Ed here: This is reprinted from Dear Reader

Today's author is Carolyn Hart. Carolyn loves cat, old mysteries, the verdant South Carolina Lowcountry, hot and dusty Oklahoma, and dark chocolate. She's written 44 books. GHOST IN TROUBLE will be debuting this coming October. Carolyn would love to hear from you and she's giving away 10 signed copies of LAUGHED 'TIL HE DIED. Email her at:

Thank you Carolyn...


One of my earliest memories is of Baby Face, a gray tabby with a round face and huge green eyes. She was the first of many cats I have known and loved through the years.

Little Cat, another gray tabby, was a skilled huntress. She developed diabetes when older and patiently permitted me to give her injections twice daily. As an aged cat, she tottered slowly into the front yard, enticing blue jays to attack. Pretending to cower, she dropped to the ground. When a blue jay dived, she turned on her back and reached up to grab her tormentor.

Blackie, with all black, silky fur, was an engineer. In winter, she watched as I turned on a space heater. When the heater was off, she touched the control knob with her paw. I'm sure she was puzzled to see the coils light when I turned the knob and must have wondered why it didn't work for her.

Dainty black-furred Sophie with four white paws was small, almost fragile, but she dominated her world. She was my cherished companion for seventeen years. Now we have brown tabby brother and sister, Bro and Sis, and new this past year an abandoned huge orange tabby, Rockingham. Bro is reclusive, our professorial cat. Sis is eager, interested, and communicative. Rockingham needed reassurance that he was loved and has slowly lost his defensive, don't-hurt-me wariness.

We have loved them all. They are intelligent, interesting, and affectionate. Cats are sometimes described as aloof, cold, and remote. In fact, the cats we have known are loving and keenly attuned to us. Admittedly, they are not dogs, who look to humans as leaders. Instead, cats lead and their humans follow. But they are always looking over their shoulders to be sure we are with them.

My love affair with cats has permeated both my life and my work. In my view, there is nothing lonelier than a house without a cat or dog. In one series, the protagonists have two cats, an imperious black bookstore cat and a fluffy white homebody cat. This tells readers that Annie and Max Darling are settled members of a community. They may travel, but they will be coming home.

Several years ago, I bought a number of cat books, thinking I might start another series with cats in a major role. I have enjoyed the books, and the knowledge gained from them afforded a fun exercise in a book which will be out next spring. The protagonist's mother-in-law, who approaches life with a flair, creates Cat Truth posters with captions beneath photographs of various exotic breeds. I am especially fond of one Cat Truth poster: An American Short Hair Snow Shoe with intent blue eyes and the tell-tale four white feet was perched on a brick wall, oblivious to pelting rain, fur plastered down, drenched to the skin. He peered at a svelte Siberian Forest Cat, elegant and unattainable behind a window pane. The caption reads: Hey, Babe, come on out, the weather's fine and I'm a heckuva a guy.

And yes, one long ago winter night, a tom cat came calling at our house despite the sleet and inside was a gorgeous black cat...

I've learned a lot from cats: Enjoy the moment. Move fast or don't move at all. Love and be loved.

Carolyn Hart
You can email Carolyn at
Visit Carolyn on the web at

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