Friday, March 8, 2013

Cat Stories, by Tim Rowland/Creature Features Giveaway

For two years I didn’t get any sleep. This was maybe 10 or 15 years ago when I had a kitten named Emma, who somehow grew up to be a boy. I was never very good at kitten sexing. 
So Emma got a name-change operation and became Bubba. I was never very good at naming cats, either. 
Early on, it became clear that this hidden-gender issue wouldn’t be the last joke Bubba would play. The animal was an artist, and like many artists I know, he preferred the night to the day. His favorite medium was early American catbox and he would spend—and this is not a lie—between 30 and 45 minutes every night sculpting and arranging, and tearing up unsatisfactory efforts and starting over. Loudly. 
I had a studio apartment at the time, and the furthest distance I could locate the catbox from my bed was maybe 20 feet. This proximity, along with the natural amplification of anything that happens at 1 in the morning, along with the enthusiasm Bubba afforded his craft, ruled out sleep for the first half of the night. 
The second half of the night was worse. Bubba would take a light supper and then hop to the foot of the bed—and wait. He was waiting for me to make even the slightest movement of a toe, at which point he would pounce and sink all 16 into my foot, down to the bone. 
This was bad enough, but the anticipation was worse than the actual attack. I could feel out him there in the blackness, pupils dilated at the thought of the kill. He was a tireless cat, and I, after lying there wide awake for two hours, legs rigid, cramping and tingling, would think to myself, oh he has to be asleep by now, and effect only the slightest shift and WHAM. He never missed. It wasn’t until I got myself one of those lead aprons like the tech wears in the X-ray room that I was able to protect my feed enough for get some rest. 
I bring this us, because toward the end of Creature Features the cat named Geena makes an appearance, and I have the uneasy feeling that she might be channeling Bubba. She was feral (and pregnant, but that’s another tale—well, four tails as it turned out) and it took my wife Beth about three months before she could be even remotely handled. 
In the year that has passed since then, she has gotten over her shyness. 
We call her the night shift kitty, because the Siamese named Juliet (the two Do Not Get Along) has run of the house during the daylight hours. At dusk, Geena will come up from the basement much like a bat and, yes, sadly, entertain herself by trampling my lower extremities as if she were stomping grapes. 
She hasn’t taken to a full-blown attack as yet, but I can only think back to Bubba and assume it is only a matter of time.  
That’s the downside of naughty kitties. 
The up side is that, for a writer, they always provide a surplus of entertaining material.

Leave a comment for a chance to win a copy of this fun book; it is available in print or ebook (Kindle or PDF). Winners must be in the U.S. or Canada to receive the book in print, but they have their choice of which format, print or ebook. International winners will receive the ebook version of the book.

When Tim Rowland’s earlier book of his animal essays, ALL PETS ARE OFF, was published, readers immediately clamored for more. Their preference for animal stories over the political columns Tim’s also known for is understandable: animals are way more fun to read about than politicians. Especially now. So here’s a new volume of over 75 columns, from the introduction to the farm of bovines Cleopatra and Heifertiti, the Belted Galloway beauties, to the further antics of Hannah the English Bulldog and Juliet the tiny Siamese---and of course, more of the joyful bouvier des Flandres named Opie---that’s sure to provide loads of smiles and even outright guffaws.


Acemommy said...

would love to win! sounds awesome!

Katreader said...

LOL. I have a houseful of entertaining critters (dog, cats, and rats) as well as a horse I board. My newest addition is a kitten named Licorice. He was sickly, now he's well. Now he's also known as demon spawn. He loves to tackle the older cats. He'll hold on to Seneca as she screams and drags him along as she tries to run away. Licorice also loves q-tips. He'll get them out of the trash can in the bathroom and carry them around, leaving them all over the house. The latest thing-he'll drop them in the toilet and then go fishing for them!

Katreader (at) hotmail (dot) com.

Teddy Rose said...

Thanks so much for taking part in the tour today and hosting Tim!, said...

I think this would be a fun book to win, and my grown kids all have animals. Please enter me. Maxie mac262(at)me(dot)com

Sue said...

I love all animals---well, all animals except spiders---so I know I'd enjoy this book. Please enter me in your drawing.

Kimberly @ Caffeinated Reviewer said...

Too funny we have some strange pets, an eight year old turtle who keeps out growing his aquariums. We may need to use a bathtub soon! A lion-headed a bunny and a fat guinea pig who thinks my hubby is is mom and cried whenever he hears his voice!

Karen said...

I'd love to win a kindle version!

kpuleski at gmail dot com

Unknown said...

Cat attacks! Yup Been there Had that done
(The site won't let me sign in by name