Written by Phoebe and Hawkeye Banks, as told to T.J. Banks
(Phoebe and Hawkeye have had their own little office romance going for a few years now. And, despite a bumpy beginning, they’ve managed to make it work. One morning, they shared their story with me. –TJB)
Hawkeye: For the longest time, the office here was all mine. Well, I shared it with the Older Human, of course. I went over her manuscripts, tended her plants for her (plants have to be cropped back periodically, you know), and studied the birds at the feeders outside the window. She writes about the oddest stuff sometimes, and I figured she might need to know about birds. I got a paw on her routine very quickly: within a few weeks, I was able to set up shop in the mail basket on the table…right next to her desk so that I was available for consulting. A lot of the papers had been there a long time, and I felt pretty sure that the Older Human had forgotten all about them. The basket was just the right size for a cat of my inches.Continue Reading
I don’t mean the birds. Those little twittering things are amusing, in their way: hopping about, oblivious to the fact that certain death – in the form of a sleek feline killer – lurks just inside this glass door. I mean my humans. My mother, in particular. Instead of writing, or whatever it is she calls it when she sits at her desk, she has taken to lingering here, by the porch doors, with me. And while I appreciate the strokes I get, especially when I begin my morning commentary on the yard activity, it’s her frankly pointless fascination that I simply do not understand.
When my person first began feeding the creatures in our yard, I thought her motivations were obvious. She was fattening them up, clearly, Continue Reading
Written by Fred, owner of
New York Times bestselling author Lorna Barrett
Hello, my name is Fred. I’m a Tuxedo. That means I’m black and white. And very handsome. I know, because my author told me so.
Yes, I own an author. She wasn’t always an author, but when I came to live with her, her luck changed. Who says black cats are unlucky! She started selling lots of books. She has lots of author names: Lorna Barrett, Lorraine Bartlett, and L.L. Bartlett.
Why do people think black cats are unlucky? Okay, I do have some white fur, too, but I’m mostly a black cat. (Unless I lie on my back, and then my mapmaker—that’s the husband of my author—says I’m mostly white. Go figure!)
As an author-owner, I lead a pretty busy life. My day often starts at 3 or 4 in the morning. Sometimes I get restless and like to walk around the house talking to the cupboard. It holds lots of cans of cat food and kitty treats. I tell it to feed me, but it doesn’t listen well. So I walk around the house and talk to the furniture and the walls. Sometimes I talk (and scratch on) the bedroom closet door. For some reason when that happens, water comes squirting off of the mapmaker’s bedside table. Go figure!
I like to go back to bed about half an hour before everybody else gets up. Then I like to have a lie-in while my author and mapmaker play on their computers before breakfast.
I show up for breakfast every morning, but sometimes I don’t like what’s on the menu. I refuse to sit up and then I walk away. (But I sneak back when no one is looking. Hey, I gotta eat ya know.)
After breakfast, I like to jump on my author’s lap to take make sure she is correctly answering her email. Then I take a long nap on my mapmaker’s extra office chair. Sometimes I go sit under his 200 watt light bulb in my kitty bed. It’s too small for me, so sometimes I have to hang over the edges.
At lunchtime, I like to go see what my author is having. Sometimes she cuts up onions and celery and that means tuna will happen, and I get to drink the tuna water. I like that. (Doesn’t happen enough, though.)
After lunch, it’s nap time. I need to stay well rested because, like I said, I get up at 3 or 4 in the morning to talk to the walls and furniture. It’s a tough job, but someone has to do it.
My favorite part of the day is Happy Hour. My author and mapmaker like to read (and my author often edits her work in progress at this time of day). Sometimes cheese happens. Yum! Chester (their other black cat) is good about telling them that WE NEED CAT TREATS NOW! Sometimes Betsy (one of the two sisters that live here—I like to chase or LOOK AT HER and make her SCREAM) leaves her treats. I’m fast. I clean up her leftovers.
During happy hour, I like to run around the house and pretend I’m a bullet train. (Only I can jump over chairs and knock over tables. It’s fun!) I have kitty OCD which makes my skin ripple and makes me run fast. The only thing that calms me down is my author petting me and telling me I’m a good and handsome boy. (I am!)
In the evening, I like to walk around the house and let everybody know that I’m in charge. (Chester doesn’t believe it.) I like to jump on the back of my author’s office chair and purr in her ear. She seems to like it.
If my author stays up too late, I have to remind her that it’s my bedtime. I start talking to the walls and furniture in her office until she says, “Alright already! Bedtime!” I sleep at the bottom of my author’s bed. I have an afghan my people-grandma made me and I have a little pillow, too. I like to rest my head on the pillow.
When I’m not doing all these things, I bring my author lots of luck to sell her books. That’s why she calls me her little prince (and her tiny son). She loves me a lot.
That’s my happy life. I hope your life is happy, too!
Fred’s author is New York Times Bestselling author Lorna Barrett of the Booktown Mystery series. Sentenced To Death, #5 in the series, was relesed June 7th. Lorna also writes the Victoria Square Mysteries under the name Lorraine Bartlett and the Jeff Resnick Mysteries under the name L.L. Bartlett.