Tell me a little bit about your background, both as a writer and a cat lover.
To me, all animals are precious and I think they are really the first special skill I ever acquired. My parents taught me to love and respect them and to care for them from a very young age. As a writer, I started telling stories when I was in grade school and someone told me I was good at it. That gave me enough courage to keep going. It seemed natural at some point to combine both. Before I was writing for local and national magazines, I wrote two books about my rat Basil (as of yet unpublished). My blog (http://www.catinthefridge.com) came much later but has been a really fulfilling way to combine two things I am passionate about and, better yet, has turned into a way to help animals who need it and I am so thankful for that.
What inspired you to submit to this anthology?
I was a fan of Janiss Garza’s work with her blog Sparkle the Designer Cat. When she announced the call for submissions, the thought of finally being published in print was an exciting prospect and since, because of my blog, I was already used to writing in my cat’s voice, it didn’t take much for me to get working on my submission immediately.
Tell me a little bit about your relationship with the cat in your story — from your own (human) perspective.
Crepes, the cat in my story, is the first cat my husband and I adopted together just before we got engaged. He had never had pets and, although I already had four at my own home, I wanted him to experience caring for needy animals first hand. Crepes arrived with a brother and sister through the foster program at Tree House. Out of the three, she was the most difficult case with severe breathing problems and a missing leg that she kept injuring. After six weeks, it was hard to say goodbye to the other two, but we knew that that we could not say goodbye at all to Crepes, so we made the decision to add her to our family. It took a lot of thought — she needed a lot of extra care and I was afraid that she would pass on her own respiratory issues to my older cats — but, after much discussion with our veterinarians and a lot of research, we decided it was the best choice and she stayed. Since then, she has inspired a blog, starred in many of our short films, and just been a general joy in our lives.
Why did you choose to support Tree House Humane Society?
I chose to support Tree House because that’s where Crepes came from! They do wonderful work with TNR, bottle baby kittens, and special needs cats, and they’re a really special organization that’s doing so much good for homeless cats.
If you had written the story from your own perspective, how would it have been different?
It probably wouldn’t have been as funny. (Crepes made me say that.) Actually, I think it would have been less imaginative. It’s hard to be creative when you’re thinking factually from your perspective, but it’s much easier when you’re thinking the truth through another creature’s eyes.
What’s your next writing project that you’re working on?
I am up to my eyeballs in script work for the CATastrophes Web Series. I would also like to write more in my “Harry Sheets Mystery Series” when I am able to find some time. I also have several picture books scripted out that I need to draw. Can I have an extra day a week?
How did you feel when your story was chosen to be included in the anthology?
Oh my, I was so excited, I started pumping my stump in the air like I just didn’t care! To be a published author at the age of three, I mean, do you know anyone else that has achieved that? I sure don’t, and even if I did, I’d still be proud of myself.
Tell me about your relationship with the human who submitted your story and helped you write it.
The human that submitted my story is my editor, better known as MomFOD (she is the mother portion of the Gods of Food, hence the name.) She really helps put the shine on my blog. Of course, sometimes she tries to reign in my creativity, but we’ve come to some terms in the last few years that allow us to work well together. Outside of work, our relationship is solid. She knows exactly where to scratch, she cares for my stump when it hurts, and she’s a pretty decent cook, as far as cooking raw food goes. My only real beef with her is that she didn’t tell me right upfront that I was adopted out of wedlock, but I’ve come to terms.
Is there an event or anecdote that was left out of the story that, looking back, you wish you had put in?
I wish I’d been able to mention all my roles in the CATastrophes Web Series, but it didn’t exist then! So, alas, it has been omitted.
What do you think of the other cats in the book? Which one do you admire or look up to the most?
Oh, I can’t answer that. That’s like trying to say which parent you love the best – it only gets you in trouble.
There are so many famous cats, in the news, in movies, and on the internet. Which one is your favorite, and why?
I like Cole and Marmalade a lot. Their hearts are really in the right place. Marm has gone through some great struggles recently with his health, but his dad has used it as a platform to spread the word about adoption, special needs, and FIV, and that’s great! I’m also friends with Joe the Cat. The poor little fellow was shot in the head numerous times and lived. And now he campaigns for justice for him and all cats. It’s the cats that do the most good for adoption that I most admire. It’s not about the money for these cats, and that’s what I love the most.
If a movie were made of your life, which actor do you think should be cast to play you? (Using the latest CGI techniques, of course!)
ME! I would play me! And no one is taking that away! There wouldn’t even be auditions, do you hear me? That role of me is MINE! Also, I really like Meryl Streep. She would be great.