IAMMOSHOW, THE CAT RAPPER meets ARM & HAMMER SLIDE

He’s the Cat Rapper, and he lives in my town!

A few weeks ago I had the privilege of interviewing Cat Rapper Moshow for the Katzenworld Cat Blogsite. We talked about his life, his passion for music, and his new collaboration with Arm & Hammer cat litter. It was great fun, and here it is!

 

Source: IAMMOSHOW, THE CAT RAPPER meets ARM & HAMMER SLIDE

 

 

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The Cat Café Book Launch Blog Hop

I can’t believe the week is nearly over! It’s been quite a ride. On Saturday, I had a Cat Café pre-launch party at Another Read Through independent bookstore here in Portland, and all this week, my friends from CWA have been hosting a Cat Café Book Launch Blog Hop. I got to do character interviews with Lynley’s cats, answer interesting questions about Lynley, my books, and my process of writing, as well as tell a bit about my adventures at some real cat cafés.

Here is the blog hop lineup:

Oct. 29th- National Cat Day.
The 1st day of the hop starts with Dusty Rainbolt’s Jeffy Jeffy Bad Boy interviewing Lynley’s oldest cat, Dirty Harry. Old cats have all the secrets!
Dusty Rainbolt’s Universe
http://dustycatwriter.com/nv_dusty/2018/10/29/an-interview-with-the-cat-cafe-senior-dirty-harry/

Oct. 30th: Melissa Lapierre’s cat Mudpie interviews Lynley’s kitties, all 8 of them! (Little, Lynley’s favorite feline sleuth, is the spokes-cat)
Blogger, Mochas, Mysteries and Meows
https://www.mochasmysteriesmeows.com/2018/10/mudpie-interviewslittle-from-mollie.html

Oct 31: Why Cat Café? Patricia Fry wants to know.
Catscapades
https://www.matilijapress.com/catscapades/?p=3043

Nov. 1: Fun Questions with Amy Shojai, CABC
Amy Shojai, CABC
https://amyshojai.com
https://amyshojai.com/mollie-hunt-crazy-cat-lady/

Nov. 2: Kathleen S. Mueller reviews Cat Café, and we chat about writing, muses, and old photographs from secret boxes in the attic.
Traveling Dog Lady
www.travelingdoglady.blogspot.com

There may be only one day of the hop to go, but the blogposts will be around forever because such is the nature of the internet, and you’ll be sure to find other cool stuff on these cat bloggers’ sites.

It’s so exciting to put out a new book! Find out more or buy Cat Café here:

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THERE’S MORE TO CAT CAFÉ: The Fabulous 1950s: Pony Tails and Poodle Skirts

Most of us think of the Fifties with nostalgia, as a simpler time defined by “I Love Lucy” fun and “Leave it to Beaver” innocence. The air was clearer; the sky was bluer; the cities, smaller. Crime was nothing like it is now, though the oldsters still thought the world was going to the dogs back in those days.

Coming out of World War II, many US residents were high on prosperity and hope. Charles M. Schulz began his comic strip, Peanuts. The Tournament of Roses Parade was televised in color. The first credit card was introduced, changing the financial lives of Americans for generations to come.

Movies, though leaning toward Westerns, were all over the map, from Sunset Boulevard to Cinderella.

Women still wore dresses and men wore suits, with hats! The teenage fashion of peddle-pushers for girls was just beginning, but skirts were more common, and the famous “poodle skirt” came into being. (Not all poodle skirts displayed dogs! Yay to the kitty skirt!)

When Lynley attends the opening of the newly remodeled Blue Cat café, she discovers a vintage photo from that era hanging in the foyer, starkly at odds with the ultramodern decor:

…The foyer, which currently housed a lavish buffet and open bar, was packed full. As we worked our way through, holding to the wall opposite the food and drink, I paused to look at a framed vintage photograph hung in a small alcove evidently designed with it in mind. The faded sepia tones seemed out of place in Arthur’s ultra-modern chrome and Plexiglas environs—he must have deemed it significant to have given it such a prominent spot.

The eight-by-ten matte-finish photo showed a group of youths gathered around an old pickup truck, six teens and a child, circa 1950. I peered closer, and from out of the unfocused monotone, a familiar face began to emerge. The teens had autographed the sky above their heads, and I had to check that I wasn’t seeing things, but sure enough, the name in the faded scrawl read Carol MacKay.

“That’s my mother!” I exclaimed to Frannie, pointing at a wavy-haired girl in bobby socks and a poodle skirt.

She leaned in to study the photograph. “But isn’t MacKay her married name? She wasn’t married at that age, was she?”

“No. She couldn’t be much more than sixteen here. It’s a funny story. Carol MacKay married Collin Mackey and became Carol MacKay Mackey. A double clan whammy. That’s one reason she’s so obsessed with her Scottish ancestry.”

“And she passed that torch on to you.”

“Yes, but it’s a good torch. I’ve traced our family back to the fourteen-hundreds.”

I scanned the other names and gave a little start when I picked out a girl in a ponytail and pedal pushers. “There’s Bea, Bea White back then.”

“Oh, just look at her sweater!” Frannie ogled the cardigan with a big sequined cat on the front. “She was a cat lady even then. Do you recognize anyone else?”

The signatures were hard to decipher, but above a lanky boy who slumped against the truck with cigarette hanging from full, youthful lips, was the moniker James John Melvin. “I can’t be sure, but that might be Melv, the FCC volunteer who helps with the TNR work. He’s the right age, and he mentioned he and Bea had been old friends.”

“This would certainly qualify as old,” Frannie agreed.

I gave one last glance at the photograph and noticed a detail about the truck that I’d missed before. The Dodge must have been a company vehicle because on the door was a big disk with the name ‘Copeland Lumber’ curving across the top. I remembered the logo from when I was a kid. I’d loved it because within that bright orange circle was a depiction of a cat. A black cat.

Cat Café, chapter 16

Rag Mop by the Ames Brothers, White Christmas by Bing Crosby, and All My Love (Bolero) by Patti Page were on the top ten charts, along with Vaughn Monroe’s original incarnation of (Ghost) Riders in the Sky. Lynley’s mom Carol is reminded of that song  as she studies the old photo, which has a much darker meaning to her than to her daughter:

“The day that picture was taken, something terrible happened,” Carol began softly, as if, even after all this time, she was afraid someone might overhear. “It hadn’t happened yet when a friend snapped that shot. We had no idea, couldn’t have guessed. You’d think a thing so awful would be foreshadowed, wouldn’t you? But that’s not how it works. We were blissfully ignorant, terribly naive. We didn’t have the slightest clue that our lives were about to be changed forever.”

I squirmed in my chair, wishing she would get on with it, get to the good part, but it was her saga and she needed to tell it in her own time.

“I mentioned before about the black cat emblem, how we chose it because we considered ourselves to be rebels. It was really the boys’ idea. We girls, Bea, Olivia, and I, couldn’t care less about anarchy or rebellion, but like anyone else that age, we enjoyed breaking a few rules. And we fancied the boys—she had a crush on Melv and I rather liked Terrance, though it never came to anything. None of us were nearly as fractious as we pretended to be. For the most part, we had fun driving around listening to music on the truck radio.” She hummed a few tuneless bars of Vaughn Monroe’s Riders in the Sky. “Not all that much different from teenagers these days, I suspect.”

“How old were you then?”

“Seventeen. Nearly eighteen. We were all around that age. Rorie was twenty, Olivia only sixteen.”

“And the child?”

Cat Café, chapter 22

Yikes! What child? Find out in Cat Café.

Launch date for Cat Café, the 5th Crazy Cat Lady cozy mystery is October 29th, National Cat Day. Pre-order your copy now!

I grew up in the fifties, before they were fabulous, and so did Lynley Cannon. Let’s just say, there is both good and bad in any time. Carol remembers…

    

 

 

 

 

 

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THERE’S MORE TO CAT CAFÉ: Cat Ears, Cat Socks, and Feline Fashion Statements

Coming soon! Cat Café, a new Crazy Cat Lady cozy mystery by Mollie Hunt

If you went into your closet right now, how many cat-themed articles of clothing and accessories would you find there? Cat tee shirts? Cat dresses? Cat print skirts? How about cat leggings? Cat scarves? Cat hats? Yes, yes, yes, and yes. If this search includes animal print as well, I personally have a leopard spot vest, blouse, shirt, and just recently, bathrobe. Jewelry is another matter. How easy is it to collect cat pins necklaces, and earrings? I have ceramic art cats, Laurel Burch cats, fine jewelry cats, bead cats, and that’s just the beginning.

But let’s talk about one article of clothing in particular: socks.

No, not that kind of Socks! Socks that we put on our feet!

As Lynley, the sixty-something cat shelter volunteer hero of Cat Café, zips through town on her way to a TNR outing with Special Agent Denny Paris, she goes by a sock shop:

…We passed a shop that sold novelty socks. Briefly I wondered if they carried any cat socks I didn’t already own.

Cat café, chapter 13

That brings to my mind images of a sock drawer filled to the brim with cute and colorful kitty print.

Cat-themed socks come in many flavors, from Hello Kitty to le Char Noir. Cats in space, cats in glasses, cats on books, cats with tails like a mermaid. You can even get your own cat’s face on a pair of custom-made socks for around $24. There are cat footies, ankle socks , and over the knee socks with pointed ears at the hem.

But why? What makes it important for us to display our feline affinity on our feet? I don’t know about anyone else, but I can tell you why Lynley Cannon likes them: because they are both impressive and subtle at the same time. You can be wearing cat socks and no one has to know. Or conversely, everyone will know— it all depends on the length of your skirt or pants. You can cover them, up or flash them discriminately (or indiscriminately!) You have the capability of showing off your feline affinity with mere a flick of the foot.

If we were cats, we would have our coat determined by our genes, but since we’re human and society dictates we wear clothes over our furlessness, we might as well have fun at it. What is your favorite piece of cat-themed clothing?

 

Launch date for Cat Café, the 5th Crazy Cat Lady cozy mystery is October 29th, National Cat Day. Pre-order your copy now!

 

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THERE’S MORE TO CAT CAFÉ: The Amazing Acro-cats!

Coming soon! Cat Café, a new Crazy Cat Lady cozy mystery by Mollie Hunt 

A body is discovered on the floor of the cat café, and all the black cats are missing! 

The 5th Crazy Cat Lady cozy mystery finds sixty-something cat shelter volunteer Lynley Cannon confronted by the murders of some very senior citizens, including Bea Landrew, the elderly owner of the Blue Cat café, a schoolmate and friend of her mom Carol. Could Carol could be next on this deviant killer’s list?

Cat Café has lots of twists and turns before the killer is finally revealed. The story also highlights many exciting subjects along the way. They all fit somewhere— can you guess where?

A cat circus? But cats don’t do tricks…

Oh, yes they do! Ask anyone who has seen Samantha Martin and her amazing Acro-cats. I got to attend their show when they came to Portland, and even helped with some of the backstage cat handling.  The cats are amazing; Samantha is amazing! I suppose that’s why they are called the amazing Acro-Cats!

What’s even more amazing is that all Samantha’s cats are rescues, and all her training is done through positive reinforcement (kitty treats). If a cat doesn’t feel like doing a trick, so be it. If kitty wants to leave the stage and visit with the audience— it happens! They are, after all, cats, and Samantha expects nothing less from them.

 

I wanted to reproduce that sense of amazement and wonder in Cat Café, so I introduced the Fantasti-cats, who are loosely based on the Acro-cats feline troupe and their cat lady extraordinaire. It’s the grand opening of the Blue Cat café, and the new owner intends to begin with a bang. Lynley and her shelter friend Frannie look on,  wowed by the performance:

…In honor of the occasion, I’ve arranged for some novel entertainment…”

“You mean that smack-down with the hippie wasn’t the show?” someone called jovially.

His face reddened ever so slightly, but he didn’t miss a beat. “What kind of cat café entertainment would it be without cats?” he cracked, skewering the heckler with a green-eyed stare before returning to his audience. “And cats are what we have for you today. If everyone will move away from the center of the room, we can get ready for our show…” He smiled out toward the rabble rouser. “Our genuine show. May I present to you, Gretchel and her famous Fantasti-cats!”

With an expansive gesture, he welcomed a tall lady wearing a treasure trove of pink circus spangles into the spotlight.

While Gretchel gave a brief history of her act—how she got started; how all her cats were rescues; how she trained them to do the amazing things they did—a crew of costumed helpers quickly exchanged the café cats for her own clowder. A young girl in an angel outfit came and relieved us of Romeo, promising she would return him at the end of the performance.

As they began setting up hoops, ladders, and even a tiny bandstand, the audience murmured in anticipation.

“I’ve heard of the Fantasti-cats before but never seen them perform,” Frannie whispered with a giggle of delight. “This is so exciting.”

* * *

The Fantasti-cats were, well, nothing short of fantastic. As someone who has barely mastered teaching her cats to come when called, I more than respected what Gretchel had done with her clowder. In a tattoo of clicks, a flurry of wands, and a shower of yummy treats, she and her assistants had the cats jumping, climbing, and even walking a high wire. For the finale, four of them played a racket of instruments: a set of drums, a small guitar, a tambourine, and a bell on a stick to which the audience delightfully echoed Gretchel’s cry of More cowbell! As she left the room to a rousing ovation, her cats scampered after like a flock of ducklings behind mom.

Cat Café, Chapter 16- 17

About the Acro-cats: Rock Cats Rescue, and their human staff, are devoted to promoting the mental and physical health benefits of cat training through the use of clicker training…a positive reinforcement based training method.

 We also encourage and support feline fostering, rescue and adoption as we travel across the country performing our entertaining and educational show, with our own troupe of former orphans, rescues and strays…The Acro Cats!

 The purr-forming purr-sonalities have as much fun as their audience with obvious content with their lime-light status as they demonstrate astounding feats of agility so synonymous with their species. On Samantha’s cue, they perform tricks with various hoops, tumblers, skateboards, hoisting flags, reading signs, even rolling balls over parallel ropes! This amazing spectacle also includes performing mice, rats and even a cat vs chicken bowling show-down!

—The Amazing Acro-cats website

Samantha is currently undergoing treatment and recovery for Cancer. More information about this can be found on her go fund me pagehttp://www.circuscats.com/

Launch date for Cat Café, the 5th Crazy Cat Lady cozy mystery is October 29th, National Cat Day. Pre-order your copy now!

 

 

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CAT AMAZING – MORE AMAZING THAN EVER!

Do you remember a while ago when I ran a product review on the Cat Amazing treat puzzle toy? Well, to this day, every morning Tyler sits in the living room and mrows until I give him his Cat Amazing! And in spite of months of constant use by a very aggressive kitty, it still looks like new. What could top that?

Cat Amazing EPIC! That’s what! The guys (and cats) at Cat Amazing have been hard at work taking all our feedback, feline and human, and rolling it into a new model of food puzzle toy called EPIC! Here’s the official press release:

“October 7, 2018 – New Jersey-based pet startup Cat Amazing announces the Kickstarter crowdfunding campaign for its newest feline enrichment product – Cat Amazing EPIC! – the puzzle feeder designed to bring the stimulation of natural hunting behaviors to indoor cats.”*

*You can read the full press release below.

 

As you may know, I rarely run endorsements or product reviews on my blog, because I am a cat mystery writer, and that doesn’t leave much time for anything else. The Cat Amazing company is an exception. Not only is it ecologically-minded, cat-health-oriented, and run by cats; Cat Amazing gives back to the community. Their Shelter & Rescue Enrichment Program provides puzzles to shelter cats awaiting adoption, with the aim of giving them a way to release energy in a healthy way.

Mooky: Innovation Architect

The inspiration & brains behind Cat Amazing. Mooky’s attire is always formal, but the air of superiority is quite casual. An enlightened and entrepreneurial cat.

Zeke: Head of QA

Professional shredder with seven years’ experience, Zeke leads the Quality Assurance department. If it survives Zeke, it will survive anything.

The Cat Amazing EPIC! Kickstarter campaign launches today, October 16th! Hop on over to www.catamazingepic.com to check out this new cat food puzzle toy for yourself.

#catamazingepic!

 

Disclosure: If the Kickstarter campaign is successful, we will receive our very own Cat Amazing EPIC! (Tyler can’t wait!) as well as an EPIC! sent to a shelter or rescue of our choice as a thank you for posting this honest promotion. I was offered a portion of any Kickstarter proceeds produced through my sites but turned it down because my blog is strictly not for profit.

 

*PRESS RELEASE

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Oct 7, 2018

Source: Cat Amazing

Cat Amazing Brings the Hunt Indoors with EPIC! – the Ultimate Puzzle Feeder for Cats

Cat Amazing introduces the ultimate boredom-buster for indoor cats by bringing the stimulation & activity of the hunt indoors — with the interactive puzzle feeder treat maze, Cat Amazing EPIC! — Crowdfunding begins October 16th on Kickstarter.com

October 7, 2018 – New Jersey-based pet startup Cat Amazing announces the Kickstarter crowdfunding campaign for its newest feline enrichment product – Cat Amazing EPIC! – the puzzle feeder designed to bring the stimulation of natural hunting behaviors to indoor cats.

In the wild, cats use all their mental and physical abilities to procure their food by hunting – but indoors cats trade the stimulation of the hunt for the ease of the food-bowl. Chronic boredom is a detrimental condition afflicting indoor cats, resulting in behavioral problems like aggression and destructiveness, and stress-related behaviors like excessive grooming, crying and listlessness. Unlimited access to the food bowl also results in overeating and eating too quickly. Cat Amazing EPIC! seeks to address both these problems by bringing the challenge of the hunt indoors!

“By bringing the challenge of the hunt indoors, Cat Amazing EPIC! provides the stimulation and enrichment cats often lack in the home.” says Cat Amazing Founder & CEO, Andrey Grigoryev, who’s own two rescue cats’ need for enrichment in a tiny studio apartment inspired the creation of the company. “EPIC! stimulates natural feline behaviors to explore, scratch, sniff and retrieve hidden rewards.”

Behind its stunning modern design, Cat Amazing EPIC! is meticulously crafted to the last detail. EPIC! easily assembles into three levels and seven compartments where treats and dry kibble are be hidden. The heavy-duty double-layer cardboard outer shell contains openings of various shapes and sizes, strategically positioned to provide access to the treats inside, compelling kitty to work their paws and brains for their tasty rewards. The internal compartments can be rearranged to adjust the difficulty level to match kitty’s abilities – from Easier to Harder – and the setting is shown on the Level Indicator. Keeping to Cat Amazing’s eco-conscious promise, the EPIC! Is 100% biodegradable without sacrificing durability or longevity, and is printed with plant-based, cat-safe inks.

Cat Amazing EPIC! has been nearly a year in the making, and has been a hit with countless cat beta-testers. It launches on Kickstarter on the 16th of October, 2018. Cat parents have a great chance to back the project and benefit from a 30% discounted price, and to provide their cats a happy and enrichment-filled life.

A portion of all Cat Amazing proceeds toward funding the company’s Shelter & Rescue Enrichment Program, which provides enrichment products to cats awaiting adoption, as well as educational materials to new cat parents. Aggressive and destructive behaviors in the home are a top reason why cats are tragically returned to shelters (ASPCA Rehoming Survey). The Cat Amazing Shelter & Rescue Enrichment program aims to address this problem with toys that help shelter cats socialize in advance of adoption and learn to release their energy in healthy ways.

All information about the features of the product and consumer feedback are available at the product launch website at www.catamazingepic.com

————————

Media Contact: 

Andrey Grigoryev

CEO and Founder

catamazingtoy@gmail.com

 

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THERE’S MORE TO CAT CAFÉ: Feral cats and the FCCO

Coming soon! Cat Café, a new Crazy Cat Lady cozy mystery by Mollie Hunt 

A body is discovered on the floor of the cat café, and all the black cats are missing! 

The 5th Crazy Cat Lady cozy mystery finds sixty-something cat shelter volunteer Lynley Cannon confronted by the murders of some very senior citizens, including Bea Landrew, the elderly owner of the Blue Cat café, a schoolmate and friend of her mom Carol. Could Carol could be next on this deviant killer’s list?

Cat Café has lots of twists and turns before the killer is finally revealed. The story also highlights many exciting subjects along the way. They all fit somewhere— can you guess where?

Feral cats and the FCCO (Feral Cat Coalition of Oregon*) 

There are of course, many cats in this story, and not just Lynley’s own clowder of eight. There are feral cats and acrobatic cats, black cats and cat café cats.  I thought it would be fun to look a little closer at some of these supporting roles.

In Cat Café, Lynley goes on her first feral trapping adventure. Though Lynley’s all about cats, she has never been on a feral cat outing, and now she gets her chance. Her friend Special Agent Denny Paris takes her to a feral colony in Molalla where she learns the process of Trap-Neuter-Return* from the colony’s FCC (Feral Cat Coalition) caretakers.  To her surprise, one of the long-time volunteers, old Melv who helped found the coalition, went to school with Bea and Lynley’s mom back in the 1950’s. Could he be in danger too?

Though my FCC is fictitious, the Feral Cat Coalition of Oregon is not. FCCO does tremendous good for the lives of feral cats by altering them and returning them to cared-for colonies where they can live out their wild lives in peace.

You may not know that FCCO is partnered with the Audubon Society of Portland, Multnomah County Animal Services, and Washington County Animal Services. “We are working together to make our communities more safe for cats and wildlife. Our message is: Cats Safe at Home™.”

*About FCCO:  The mission of the Feral Cat Coalition of Oregon is to improve the welfare and reduce the population of feral and stray cats through spay/neuter programs and education.  “We are a non-profit spay/neuter program that was founded in 1995. We have helped more than 90,000 cats and remain the only organization in the area dedicated to providing the level of services that we do for feral and stray cats.”

*About TNR (Trap-neuter-return): Trap–neuter–return is a type of program through which free-roaming cats are trapped, spayed and neutered, then returned to the outdoor locations where they were found.

—Wikipedia

Trap-Neuter-Return is the humane and effective approach for stray and feral cats. Now in practice for decades in the US after being proven in Europe, scientific studies show that Trap-Neuter-Return improves the lives of feral cats, improves their relationships with the people who live near them, and decreases the size of colonies over time.

Trap-Neuter-Return is successfully practiced in hundreds of communities and in every landscape and setting. It is exactly what it sounds like: Cats are humanely trapped and taken to a veterinarian to be neutered and vaccinated. After recovery, the cats are returned to their home—their colony—outdoors. Kittens and cats who are friendly and socialized to people may be adopted into homes.

Grounded in science, TNR stops the breeding cycle of cats and therefore improves their lives while preventing reproduction. It is a fact that the removal and killing of outdoor cats that animal control has been pursuing for decades is never ending and futile. Since feral cats are not adoptable, they are killed in pounds and shelters. With a successful program like Trap-Neuter-Return to turn to, it’s hard to believe that animal control agencies continue to kill cats, even though that approach has shown zero results.

It is time to put an end to catch and kill. Trap-Neuter-Return provides a life-saving, effective solution for these beautiful, independent cats.

Alley Cat Allies

Tomorrow is October 16th, National Feral Cat Day!

 

Launch date for Cat Café, the 5th Crazy Cat Lady cozy mystery is October 29th, National Cat Day. Pre-order your copy now!

 

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CAT WRITER JEFFYNE TELSON – You Won’t Believe This Update!

It isn’t often that someone I’ve interviewed suddenly becomes more famous than they were to begin with, but that’s the case with Jeffyne Telson, founder of RESQCATS, Inc, a non-profit organization dedicated to the rescue, care and adoption of stray and abandoned cats and kittens. Anyone with an interest in cats probably saw the Facebook post soliciting applications for a modestly paid job managing a cat shelter on a Greek island. The job was described as: “…scooping poop, cleaning vomit, and making heartbreaking decisions about gravely wounded or sick cats.”

40,000 people applied.

Jeffyne was selected.

Jeffyne won because she is truly amazing! Not only does she run her own cat sanctuary; not only has she written a book of wonderful, true stories of her cats; not only is she now going to another country to do hard work for cats; she is donating the salary she will receive back to the cats at God’s Little People Cat Rescue and paying for her own flights to and from Greece.

In the spirit of this fantastic, selfless adventure, I’m posting a link to my interview with Jeffyne, so those who missed it the first time around can get to know this remarkable person a little better.

Best of luck, Jeffyne! Send pictures!

 

 

 

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THERE’S MORE TO CAT CAFÉ: Copeland Cat and the Concatenated Order of Hoo-Hoo

Coming soon! Cat Café, a new Crazy Cat Lady cozy mystery by Mollie Hunt

 A body is discovered on the floor of the cat café, and all the black cats are missing! 

The 5th Crazy Cat Lady cozy mystery finds sixty-something cat shelter volunteer Lynley Cannon confronted by the murders of some very senior citizens, including the elderly owner of the Blue Cat café, a schoolmate and friend of her mom Carol. Could Carol could be next on this deviant killer’s list?

Cat Café has lots of twists and turns before the killer is finally revealed. The story also highlights many exciting subjects along the way. They all fit somewhere— can you guess where?

When I was a kid, my family would drive the old Chrysler out to our place in the country. One of my favorite parts was going by a big Halloween-orange building with a black cat insignia on its front. I loved cats and thought this depiction of the cat had been painted just for me.

The building was Copeland Lumber, and their cat, the symbol of the Concatenated Order of Hoo-Hoo. Hoo-hoo who, you say? We will get to that in a minute.

Current Copeland’s in Florence, Oregon. The building’s not orange anymore but the sign still is.

Turns out that Carol Mackey, mother of Lynley Cannon, the hero of my Crazy Cat Lady cozy mysteries, liked it too. In Cat Café, the most recent installment of the series, Carol recalls how, back in 1950 when she was seventeen, her little group of friends was quite taken by the symbol. They even referred to themselves as the Black Cat Gang, and though they may have been a bit rebellious, they were wholesome compared to what we consider a gang these days. They enjoyed innocent pastimes like taking the truck out to the lake and listening to records on a battery-run record player. Here is what Carol told Lynley about her exploits way back when:

“Sometimes we’d drive off into the boonies and drink beer. We thought of ourselves as a sort of a club, or a gang. We even had a name. Can you guess what we were called?”

She looked at me mischievously and tapped her finger on the Copeland logo again. “I’ll give you a hint.”

“Does it have to do with that cat? That black cat?”

She laughed. “Terrance was the know-it-all of the group, what you might today call a geek—or is it a nerd? I get the two mixed up. He would have loved the internet if they’d had it back then. As it was, he practically lived at the library, the Google of the olden days.”

Carol set the photo down and leaned back into the brocade cushions.

“Terrance had read that Copeland Lumber’s black cat logo was derived from the mascot of the IWW, Industrial Workers’ of the World. The mascot cat, sometimes referred to as the ‘sabo-tabby’, had originally been code for sabotage, wildcat strikes, anarchy, disorder, and chaos among the labor force. We, being a batch of precocious kids who considered ourselves somewhat on the rebellious side, liked the idea that Rorie’s dad’s work truck was a secret symbol of anarchy, so we began calling ourselves the Black Cats. Of course later on I found out that the Copeland logo had nothing to do with anarchy—it was the emblem of the Concatenated Order of Hoo-Hoo, a fraternal organization whose members were involved with the forest products industry. The anarchists did have a black cat logo, but it was slightly different. The anarchist tail is fluffed out and the Hoo-Hoo’s tail is curled. I can see how one might make the error.”

  

“You never told me you were a rebel.”

“And let you think you could get away with being one yourself?” Carol exclaimed. “You were enough of a free-thinker as it was without any influence from me.”

“Well, it sounds like good fun in any case.”

Carol gave a short laugh, then her face hardened. “I don’t remember how it started, but I remember how it ended…”

So now you know all about the Copeland Cat and the Concatenated Order of Hoo-Hoo. You’ll need to read Cat Café to find out what Carol means by “…how it ended.”

Hint: It didn’t end well.

Launch date for Cat Café, the 5th Crazy Cat Lady cozy mystery is October 29th, National Cat Day. Pre-order your copy now!

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CRAZY CAT LADY SALE – BOOKS 1-4!

With a new Crazy Cat Lady cozy mystery just around the corner, now is a great time to catch up on the previous books in the series. Kindle editions of books #1, #2, #3, and #4 are on sale from now through the end of October!

Follow the adventures of sixty-something cat shelter volunteer Lynley Cannon as she finds more trouble than a cat in catnip.

Cats’ Eyes, Crazy Cat Lady cozy mystery #1:

Look what the cat dragged in? When Lynley’s old kitty Fluffo discovers a stolen uncut diamond, Lynley finds herself accused of murdering the thieves.

Copy Cats, Crazy Cat Lady cozy mystery #2:

Lynley exposes a breed cat counterfeiting ring and becomes the target of a serial killer who murders with a grisly cat-like claw.

Cat’s Paw, Crazy Cat Lady cozy mystery #3:

Two suspicious deaths at an elite art retreat send Lynley running back to Portland, but murder follows in her wake.

 

Cat Call, Crazy Cat Lady cozy mystery #4:

Lynley takes over as cat handler for a TV pilot only to find the show is hexed and murder is waiting in the wings.

 

And don’t forget the launch date for Cat Café, the 5th Crazy Cat Lady cozy mystery is October 29th, National Cat Day. Pre-order your copy now!

I want to give a shout out to my wonderful cat artist, Leslie Cobb. Please visit her website to see her original paintings of these pieces and many more.

 

 

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