Fun with Cat Pictures! (A Matter of Purr-spective)

Here are Gatsby and Yoshi:

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Here’s how they see themselves:

Cat Superheroes!

Cat Superheroes!

Here’s Yoshi and Gatsby’s housemate Sparky Jones:

Hi everybody!

Hi everybody!

 

And here’s how Sparky sees Gatsby and Yoshi:

Yay! Chew toys!

Yay! Chew toys!

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My dog ate my Girl Scout cookies!

As you may know Yoshi and Gatsby are my cats and they star in the “Petectives” mysteries as cat detectives. In real life they live with a dog named Sparky Jones:

Introducing...Sparky Jones!

Introducing…Sparky Jones!

The other day I came home to find the tattered remnants of what had been full Girl Scout cookie boxes on the living room floor. Apparently putting them in a cardboard box on top of a counter wasn’t enough to keep them away from Sparky:
IMG_0038 (2)

So he got a sign to wear:
IMG_0042 (2)

Later I asked him if he felt bad about what had happened. His answer:

wink, wink!

wink, wink!

Sparky was able to smooth everything over by making sure that I saw him reading one of my books:

When am I going to be in these books?

When am I going to be in these books?

Note: They say that chocolate is poisonous to dogs but whatever they use in Girl Scout cookies didn’t seem to harm Sparky whatsoever.

Cat Interview!

yoshi-and-gatsby-21.png

Cat detectives Yoshi and Gatsby were recently interviewed by Rocco the Tuxedo Cat from the “Cats, Books and … More Cats!” blog. If you’ve ever wanted to see two cats interviewed by another cat, check it out:
http://catsbooksmorecats.blogspot.com/2015/01/rocco-interviews-petectives-yoshi-and.html

This actually wasn’t the boys first interview. Last year they sat down with Truffles the Tortie blogger over at Melissa’s Mochas, Mysteries and Meows:
http://www.mochasmysteriesmeows.com/2014/02/truffles-interviewsyoshi-gatsby-from.html

Book reviews with Yoshi the Cat

yoshi reading
Hello people! Yoshi here with another cat-related book review. Today we take a look at “Somerset the Cat’s Belgrade Mysteries: The Case of old Mrs Popovich.” http://www.amazon.com/Somerset-Cats-Belgrade-Mysteries-Popovic-ebook/dp/B008ZNQU80/ref=asap_B00QJW4R8E?ie=UTF8. Before I get into the book review I should mention that I happen to be a strictly indoor cat. I’ve seen Michigan and Ohio and that’s all I’m ever likely to see, so I do most of my travelling through reading. I love visiting modern day Botswana in the No 1 Ladies Detective Agency books or Victorian London in a Sherlock Holmes story so a book that takes me to Belgrade, Yugoslavia is a treat. And Belgrade is prominently featured in this tale of a cat who decides to investigate a murder. Somerset the cat is an overweight orange cat whose person has decided that he needs to go on a diet (Sidenote: Is there some kind of stereotype about food obsessed, obese orange cats? The previous book I reviewed featured a sausage crazed ginger cat and then of course, there’s Garfield. As a black cat, I consider myself sensitive to cat related tropes but I’ve never heard of this one. The only orange cat I know certainly doesn’t fit this stereotype. My partner Gatsby is lean, fast moving and only eats enough to keep him going.) Anyway Somerset comes across a human crime and decides to investigate. As a fellow feline detective, I have to say that Somerset’s investigative technique was flawless.

The Case of Old Mrs. Popovich

The Case of Old Mrs. Popovich

Somerset’s second adventure is titled The Vagabond. http://www.amazon.com/Somerset-Cats-Belgrade-Mysteries-Vagabond-ebook/dp/B00PKN85YK/ref=asap_B00QJW4R8E?ie=UTF8 In this one Somerset’s owner places him on a strict diet and the only relief he gets is the food given to him by a local vagrant. When Somerset finds the man murdered, he sets out to find the killer. This is a longer tale than the first adventure and goes a bit deeper into the local flavor of Belgrade while also exploring Somerset’s relationship with his owner. There’s also a well done action sequence towards the end of the story.

The Vagabond

The Vagabond

These stories aren’t so much mysteries as they’re cat detective procedurals as we follow Somerset investigating human crimes in ways that only a cat could. Both books get my recommendation.

Petectives: Under Fire playlist

Gatsby with his favorite book

Gatsby with his favorite book

A list of songs that I listened to while writing my cat mystery novel, Petectives: Under Fire. Some of the songs have a strong thematic link to the story, while others helped me set a scene or get into the heads of the characters. The story takes place on the Fourth of July during a heat wave so there’s lots of music related to the summertime and hot weather.

Heat Wave – Martha Reeves and the Vandellas

Hot Fun in the Summertime – Sly and the Family Stone

Stoned Soul Picnic – Swing Out Sister

Summer in the City – Lovin’ Spoonful: When you hear this song it immediately evokes the feel of a sweltering hot summer day.

Little Willy – The Sweet: According to Wikipedia, this song is about a stray cat that hung around the garage where the band members practiced.

New Age Girl – Deadeye Dick: I was listening to this song when I wrote the chapter featuring the character, Sunshine the hippie tortoiseshell cat.

Fire – Ohio Players

Lies – Jonathan Butler

Gimme Some Lovin’ – Sam and Dave: Somehow I’ve always heard this song as “Gimme Summer Lovin’”.

Why Can’t We Be Friends? – War

In the Summertime – Shaagy featuring Rayvon: Reggae/Rap reworking of the Mungo Jerry classic.

Summertime Blues – Eddie Cochran

I’ll Take You There – BeBe and CeCe Winans

Love Rollercoaster – Ohio Players: That’s right, there’s two Ohio Players songs on this playlist!

Will It Go Round In Circles? – Billy Preston

Summertime – Billy Stewart

Walk Us Uptown – Elvis Costello and the Roots

Summer Breeze – Isley Brothers

Bang Bang – David Sanborn

Cats in the News with Yoshi Smith

Yoshi
Hello people! Yoshi here with my monthly look at the latest cat news.

-Last week was April Fools Day and for some reason you humans love to include cats in your annual foolishness. Here’s an article about a couple of cat-related pranks:http://www.cnet.com/news/cats-all-the-rage-for-april-fools-day-jokes/
Hmm. I actually like the Google keyboard for cats.

-I came across this article about the depiction of cats with flaming backpacks in 16th century German Manuscripts: http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2014/03/140310-rocket-cats-animals-manuscript-artillery-history/
At first I thought that the cats in these drawings were wearing jetpacks. The truth is far less cool.

-Here’s a story from the UK about a cat who decided to stow away in a sofa: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2595128/Armchair-man-MEOW-Cat-stowed-away-owners-sofa-donated-charity-shop-discovered-five-days-later-heard-meowing.html
Wait, this couple named this cat Crockett and their other cat Tubbs? There are people in England who name their cats after thirty year old television shows from other countries? Weird.

-In Portland, OR a 22 pound cat attacked a baby and then trapped the adults in their bedroom: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/03/10/pet-cat-attacks-baby-traps-owners_n_4937904.html I don’t know what that baby said to that cat to set him off but it must have been particularly insulting.

Cats in the News with Yoshi the cat

Yoshi

Hello people! Yoshi here. As a cat who keeps up with current affairs, I thought that I would take this opportunity to share a few of the interesting cat related news stories that I’ve come across.

-Here’s a report from TIME magazine about cats ability to forecast the weather:
http://newsfeed.time.com/2014/02/17/heres-how-to-predict-the-weather-using-your-cat/?iid=obnetwork
I’d bet a can of tuna that cats have a higher accuracy rate that your local tv weatherman.

-If you’re diabetic you may want to skip this next story. Its about a program in Pennslyvania where kids volunteer to read to cats at an animal shelter:
http://www.today.com/pets/purrs-not-frowns-kids-feel-comfortable-reading-aloud-shelter-cats-2D12103268
This is for a great cause but I’m not sure that it qualifies as news. Now if the cats were reading to the kids, then you would have a Pulitzer Prize winning story.

-And finally here’s a serious story about a couple of sisters that were held hostage and how a cat helped them survive the ordeal:
http://www.denverpost.com/breakingnews/ci_25197656/filipino-sisters-freed-from-8-months-captivity?source=rss
After reading that I’m not going to make any sort of flippant comment. I just marvel at the capacity of my fellow cats to help humans through even the most stressful situations. You people are so lucky to have us.

That’s the feline news for this week.

Coming soon:

The latest book in the Petectives series:

Petectives: Under Fire – It’s the 4th of July and the Petectives are feeling the heat! In the midst of a sweltering heat wave, feline detectives Yoshi and Gatsby get word that an old enemy is back and running a protection racket in their neighborhood. When an attack lands Gatsby’s girlfriend in the veterinary hospital, he gets hot under the collar but it may take Yoshi’s cool logic to shut down a gang of animal criminals and clear a dog from a horrible accusation. The Petectives are back and there’s going to be fireworks!