THE FLIGHT OF FARAWAY NIGHT

 

Faraway Night rises up from the ponderous earth into the singing stars and flies. Beneath her cat-wings, the world is going through metamorphosis. Cities unfurl into hills and dells. Their electric chaos winks out like candle flames. A steeple from a vintage Christmas card appears before her. She alights upon the bell tower with a thump.

As the kitten gazes out over the cobblestone roads and lamp-lit window of the village, she feels peace, a peace she had never found in the places she knew.

But in the street below she spies a shape, dark as oil, slinking through the shadows. Perhaps the serenity is not what it seems.

Catch up with the Faraway Night Saga.

Part 1: The Journey Of Faraway Night

Part 2: The Wonder of Faraway Night

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Lynley Cannon’s FRIDAY FELINE FACTS & FANCIES, Lost Cat

 

 

Lynley Cannon, star of the Crazy Cat Lady cozy mystery series, is often referred to as a crazy cat lady herself, but when it comes to the feline species, this sixty-something cat shelter volunteer knows her stuff. Check here each Friday for instructive and intriguing information on our favorite subject: cats!

In a study conducted by the ASPCA, fifteen percent of pet guardians have reported a lost cat in the past five years. Seventy-four percent were returned safely, fifty-nine percent of which returned home on their own.

~Cat Call, chapter 1

Check out more of Lynley’s kitty tips, tricks, and facts preceding each chapter in CATS’ EYES, COPY CATS, CAT’S PAW, and CAT CALL.

 

 

 

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EVENING, a Cat Poem

Poet Vargus Pike told me that a person who has written a poem is a poet. As I’m pulled more and more into writing (thinking, humming, singing) cat poetry, I have to wonder if that’s true. When I think of a poet, I think of someone with the arcane ability to set words perfectly, supra-perfectly, in such a way that a picture emerges, all senses engaged. I have no illusion that my rough-hewn cat poetry falls into that class . Still to me, they are poems, so perhaps I am a poet after all.

 

EVENING

Quiet now.

The grooming done.

The running done.

The m’rowing done.

The racing and chasing,

done.

 

I cannot resist

the whiskered cheek,

the striped fur.

I touch;

he wakes, stirs, purrs,

then settles again

into the landscape of

kitty dreams.

 

 

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Lynley Cannon’s FRIDAY FELINE FACTS & FANCIES, Pet Partners

 

Lynley Cannon, star of the Crazy Cat Lady cozy mystery series, is often referred to as a crazy cat lady herself, but when it comes to the feline species, this sixty-something cat shelter volunteer knows her stuff. Check here each Friday for instructive and intriguing information on our favorite subject: cats!

I can’t say enough about the Pet Partners Program (formerly the Delta Society). Through their unflagging efforts, cats, dogs, bunnies, alpacas, miniature horses and other animals bring joy, comfort and compassion to hospitals, nursing homes, hospice patients, schools, libraries and more.

~Copy Cats, chapter 14

Check out more of Lynley’s kitty tips, tricks, and facts preceding each chapter in CATS’ EYES, COPY CATS, CAT’S PAW, and CAT CALL.

 

 

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CAT MAN

I was recently selling and signing my books at a large cat show. I was happily surprised by the diverse attendance and enjoyed speaking to people about books, cats, and anything else they had on their minds. The most memorable was a man who stopped by my table with his son. I asked if he was having a good time. He said yes, but

“Why is all the merchandise here for women?” he asked. “Don’t they realize there are crazy cat men too?”

Good question.

I immediately thought of Jackson Galaxy, the Cat Daddy, and then of our local cat rapper, iAmMoshow, who had just performed there at the show. I thought of the author Bill Crider and his VBK’s (short for Very Bad Kittens) of internet fame. I thought of Lilian Jackson Braun, the queen of the cozy cat mystery, whose hero, Qwilleran, is a man. All good examples of men, both real and fictional, who loved cats; none explaining why this poor guy couldn’t buy a man-sized tee shirt at a cat show.

The man wasn’t angry, more surprised and disappointed. Since this was my first experience at an event with product vendors, I had no perspective, but it seemed like the “crazy cat lady” cliché was turning out to be more insidious than ever.

I couldn’t answer the man’s question, nor could I resolve it since I sell books, not tee shirts, but his comment got me thinking. I’d already chosen the storyline for Crazy Cat Lady cozy mystery #7:

“Animal Cop Denny Paris has a new partner, a sleuthing stray who won’t go away.”

I had tentatively entitled it “Cat Cop”, but upon reconsideration, it seems only fitting to call it “Cat Man” instead.

So if, in 2019, that cat man finds his way back to my booth at the cat show, I will thank him for a new perspective and happily give him a free book.

What Cat Man stories do you have to tell?

 

 

 

 

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LUX NEWS FROM TWO SOURCES

 

Though I haven’t seen Lux, Portland’s famous 911 cat, for over two years, I’ve been keeping up with his progress as best I can. The news about Lux comes rarely, his location and condition still a guarded secret.

But there was news last week. Jackson Galaxy came to Portland on a tour for his new book, Total Cat Mojo,  and he must have known our first question would be: What about Lux? Following is a snip from an interview by Kristi Turnquist of OregonLive:

Galaxy has been to Portland several times before, including trips here working with Lux, the so-called “911 cat.” Lux, a long-haired black-and-white cat, made national news in 2014, when his owners hid in the bedroom of their home and called 911, because they were frightened by the cat’s aggressive behavior.

In a 2014 episode of “My Cat From Hell,” Galaxy took on the case of Lux, recommending the couple give up the cat.  Galaxy brought Lux to a veterinary hospital for an exam and tests. Another Portland couple tried to provide a home for Lux, but the cat’s unpredictable bursts of violent behavior ultimately proved too difficult to deal with.

“He’s a mentally ill cat,” says Galaxy of Lux. “He really has problems that are organic, and behavior problems on top of that.” It was tough to watch Lux struggle, Galaxy recalls. “It still sticks with me, and that’s why I’m still involved with his life. Lux, for his own good, shouldn’t be living in a home, so I have him placed in a great sanctuary. He’s got a great life, and he’s a very happy guy. He just needs to be in a place where he can’t damage anybody.”

The saga of Lux caught the attention of all sorts of people, Galaxy says. “The Portland community was so incredibly supportive. The folks at the Oregon Humane Society went out of their way to help. The show is called ‘My Cat From Hell,’ but people cared about the outcome of Lux’s story. People cared about what happened to him.”

And they still care. That’s why you are reading this, and that’s why I wrote it.

A few things stand out in Jackson’s interview, firstly, his statement that he believes Lux has a mental illness. In 2014, a full battery of medical tests revealed nothing that could account for Lux’s violent outbursts. By process of elimination, he was thought to have a form of feline hyperesthesia syndrome known to cause crazy behavior in cats, but when he didn’t react to the medications used for FHS, the doctors needed to look elsewhere. Off medication completely, he worked with veterinarian behaviorists who were trained specifically to diagnose and treat psychological disorders. They discovered some of the triggers that set him off, such as noise, clutter, and even walking away from him, and worked on neutralizing those. Though he went for longer and longer periods between outbursts, one terrible day, out of the blue, it would always happen again.

Jackson’s point that Lux is not a good candidate for home adoption comes as a surprise but not a big one. It’s been optimistically assumed up until now that with the “right” family, he could someday go home, but there are so many contingencies. It would have to be someone who can center their entire life around him and his idiosyncrasies, someone who could be ever vigilant and without fear. Often people think they can face a raging cat, but how many have actually done it? Of those who have, how many could live with that every day? I couldn’t. I knew that back in 2014. I thought it was my own failing, but now I understand it’s a rare person who can live under that pressure without it taking toll.

Lux is great right where he is. He is as loved as he would be in anyone’s home. He is expertly cared for every day of his life. He gets to do pretty much what he wants, safely and without danger to himself or others*.

*Remember that when Lux has an outburst, he not only flays anyone around him but goes into a personal period of shock. I can’t imagine what goes on behind those saucer-like eyes, that piloerected fur, but if I had to use one word, it would be terror. Absolute terror.

My second bit of Lux news comes from one of his current caregivers. I can’t quote our lengthy conversation, but I can tell you how much she loves Lux. He is spoiled and happy. He is cherished every day of his life. This person, unlike Jackson, speculates there maybe an adoption somewhere in Lux’s future. Nothing is impossible when it comes to an anomaly like Lux.

This one cat, who would have been cast aside three years ago if not for the help of Jackson Galaxy, the Multnomah County Animal Shelter, the Oregon Humane Society, the Cat Hospital of Portland, the Chico Veterinary Hospital, as well as his current shelter sanctuary and all the people like you and me who care, will live a long and happy life.

He still has a lot more story to tell.

 

 

 

 

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Lynley Cannon’s FRIDAY FELINE FACTS & FANCIES, the Bath

 

Lynley Cannon, star of the Crazy Cat Lady cozy mystery series, is often referred to as a crazy cat lady herself, but when it comes to the feline species, this sixty-something cat shelter volunteer knows her stuff. Check here each Friday for instructive and intriguing information on our favorite subject: cats!

“Grooming cat” by Agnes Bodor

Thirty percent of the average cat’s waking time is spent grooming.   ~Copy Cats, chapter 16

Check out more of Lynley’s kitty tips, tricks, and facts preceding each chapter in Cats’ Eyes, Copy Cats, Cat’s Paw, and Cat Call.

 

 

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Lynley Cannon’s FRIDAY FELINE FACTS & FANCIES, Cat-Speak

 

Lynley Cannon, star of the Crazy Cat Lady cozy mystery series, is often referred to as a crazy cat lady herself, but when it comes to the feline species, this sixty-something cat shelter volunteer knows her stuff. Check here each Friday for instructive and intriguing information on our favorite subject: cats!

Talking Cat by White Moon Studio

“If, like most of us, you’re not a cat psychic, you may still be able to understand what your cat is thinking. Body language – eyes, ears, whiskers and tail – convey many messages of their own.”  ~Copy Cats, chapter 3

How do you communicate with yout cats?

Check out more of Lynley’s kitty tips, tricks, and facts preceding each chapter in Cats’ Eyes, Copy Cats, Cat’s Paw, and Cat Call.

 

 

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Lynley Cannon’s FRIDAY FELINE FACTS & FANCIES, Animals and the Law

 

Lynley Cannon, star of the Crazy Cat Lady cozy mystery series, is often referred to as a crazy cat lady herself, but when it comes to the feline species, this sixty-something cat shelter volunteer knows her stuff. Check here each Friday for instructive and intriguing information on our favorite subject: cats!

“Abuse of an animal is a serious offence. Every state in the US has laws prohibiting cruelty to animals, and 41 states plus the District of Columbia have felony provisions for animal cruelty which include heavy fines and even jail time. Yay! ”   ~Cats’ Eyes, chapter 10

More states are adding significant laws concerning the treatment of animals. Is your state stepping up?

Check out more of Lynley’s kitty tips, tricks, and facts preceding each chapter in Cats’ Eyes, Copy Cats, Cat’s Paw, and Cat Call.

 

 

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Review of WORLD ENOUGH by Clea Simon

Everybody has a past. Some are more memorable than others; some we would prefer to forget. My own past was rooted in the hippie movement and the music scene that went with it. Though WORLD ENOUGH’s Tara Wilton hit her crazy prime a few decades later in the clubs of the ‘80s, I can identify. I understand those push-pull relationships with once-upon-a-time friends. I get the compulsion to both renounce the past and embrace it. The dichotomy that runs throughout this story is eerily my own.

In this multi-layered work, Tara, a one-time newshound now bored by her current job, finds herself pulled back through doors she thought were closed forever. A story about the old scene leads her to new information and the possibility that events of the past were not as she had imagined them at the time. The death of one of the old tribe raises questions—was it accidental, suicide, or murder?— and brings doubts about another death back in the day.

Clea leads us slowly, purposefully, sometimes almost painfully through Tara’s thought process as she is drawn to uncover the facts, however grotesque. What happened? Where did it all go wrong? The world is dangerous when we begin to peel back the layers of its darkest secrets and reveal the raw, bleeding truth.

WORLD ENOUGH by Clea Simon launches November 8, 2017. You can catch the latest news on the World Enough Book Launch Facebook page.

Clea Simon is a member of the Cat Writers’ Association. Though there are really no cats in this book, she has several other cat-centric series to check out.

 

 

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