Guest post by Lucy Burdette
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I’ve had a cat in my life ever since the year I turned 13. I wanted two things for my birthday that year–Mickey Dolenz of the Monkees, and a kitten. My mother was wise enough to agree to the kitten. It was January, though, and not the kitten season. She found one who’d been returned to the pound by his adoptive family. We called him Tigger, and I still have the receipt stamped “No Refund.”
Both of our furry family members died this past summer and I have missed them terribly. I worried I’d never find animal friends so wonderful. And I needed time to grieve, and negotiate what would be next with my husband.
But in January my birthday came around again (a frightening number of years past 13) and I decided, with much encouragement, to go take a look at the Florida Keys animal shelter.
The old shelter was located out on Stock Island, and it was tiny and bursting with animals. (The volunteers and workers were thrilled to get to the new building in February.) This was the office and waiting room–on the other end was a gray cat in a cage named “Saucy,” a gila monster, hamsters, an enormous snake, and many birds. And this being Key West, there was a rooster behind a gate.
My friend Stan went with me–I can’t begin to describe how overwhelming it was to see 60 cats in four tiny rooms…How to choose? I was thinking of a tiger, either yellow like Tigger, or gray like Evinrude in the Key West mysteries.
We met T-bone, who’d been spotted by a friend from the gym…
And then along came Ramp, a very frisky kitten who launched himself onto my chest and clung there purring…
I said to Stan, “I guess I’ve been chosen.” So we went back to the office and told them I’d sign on for Ramp.
“Oh,” said Del, the administrative assistant, “Ramp has a lot of heat around him.” (Cat-shelter speak for he’s hot.) “We’ve got four applications already on him.”
“Ok, what about T-bone?”
“He has a hold application on him, too.”
So I went back home, disappointed and unable to choose another. Two days later, my gym friend emailed again with photos of T-bone:
He greeted me at the door
Played and purred
Followed me to the other rooms
The people with the hold are not ‘this cat specific’
Go adopt him
And so I did. He spent the first couple hours in the laundry room while I read in the hall and chatted with him.
At the end of his first day…(gotta love the two-toned paw…)
And here’s the next morning…
I admit to being completely besotted. And I’m figuring out how he’ll figure in the new mystery, coming in 2020. Meanwhile, all the usual cast of feline characters play their role in A Deadly Feast, the ninth Key West food critic mystery published this week by Crooked Lane Books!
About A Deadly Feast
Before Key Zest food critic Hayley Snow’s family descends on the island for Thanksgiving and her wedding to heart throb Detective Nathan Bransford, she has one last assignment–a review of a seafood tasting tour conducted by her friend Analise Smith. But when one of the tourists collapses on the last stop, Analise begs her to investigate before the police destroy her business and shut down the local Key West eateries on her tour. Pressure mounts when Analise calls a second time to request that Hayley meet with Chef Martha Hubbard, who prepared key lime pies for the tasting tour and is terrified that someone poisoned her pies to ruin her reputation. Chefs all around town are preparing their versions of a Thanksgiving feast, but with a murderer on the loose, will Hayley and her friends have anything left to be thankful for?
About Lucy Burdette
Clinical psychologist Lucy Burdette (aka Roberta Isleib) has published 17 mysteries, including the latest in the Key West food critic series, A Deadly Feast (Crooked Lane Books, May 2018.) Her books and stories have been short-listed for Agatha, Anthony, and Macavity awards. She’s a member of Mystery Writers of America and a past president of Sisters in Crime. She blogs at JungleRedWriters.com and shares her love for food with the culinary writers at MysteryLoversKitchen.com. She lives in Madison CT and Key West FL. Read more at http://www.lucyburdette.com. You can also find Lucy on Facebook and Instagram.
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