Tinkerbelle fans! Announcing COPY CATS, a Crazy Cat Lady mystery, starring the beautiful Tinkerbelle! Tink plays herself in this new cozy mystery book written by her mom, Mollie Hunt. Though the story is fictional, Tinkerbelle is so purrfect, Mollie didn’t need to change a thing.
ABOUT COPY CATS: What do cats think? Cat lady Lynley Cannon wants to know, but when a pet psychic uncovers a plot of abuse and brutal murder, crazy finds a whole new level in Mollie Hunt’s 2nd Crazy Cat Lady mystery.
Check it out at http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00TUVJ2V8
And for a look at chapter one: https://www.createspace.com/Preview/1164649
Here is a Tinkerbelle passage from COPY CATS:
Tinkerbelle was a round, fluffy pixie of a cat. She only weighed eight pounds, but added to the bulk of the carrier, it was a good, shoulder-wrenching load. Thankful she wasn’t Big Red at seventeen pounds or, Heaven forbid, Violet, at twenty two, I went into the building and down the brightly lit hallway to Lenore’s room. Her door was ajar so after a token knock, I let myself in, closing it softly behind me.
Lenore was sitting up in her hospital bed reading. Per protocol, I gave her a once-over to see how she was doing. With a sigh of relief, I noted she seemed no worse than the last time I was there.
The eighty-seven year old was rail-thin with the yellowish complexion that accompanies liver difficulties, but her brown eyes sparkled every time she saw me. She always wore a colorful silk turban – I didn’t know whether she was bald underneath or if it were a fashion statement. She had the largest collection of silk bed jackets and robes of anyone I’d ever known, and since I had run with an antiques crowd in my younger day, that was saying a lot.
Today she sported a voluminous paisley print in rust and mocha that complimented her eyes. She looked a little like a butterfly – tiny body and huge, beautiful, showy wings.
“Good morning, Lenore,” I said, putting Tinkerbelle’s carrier on the floor. I try not to ask the banal, How are you, of hospice patients; as long as they were alive, that was all that mattered.
Lenore marked her place with a satin bookmark and put the book aside. “Good morning, Lynley. How’s my kitten?”
“She’s good.” I opened the carrier to let Tinkerbelle out. First a cautious black nose, then a paw appeared. She stood poised for a moment, then deciding she was in friendly climes, strode from the box like the queen of all she surveyed. I clipped the leash onto her harness, scooped her up, and placed her on the bed beside Lenore. She sniffed the old woman’s proffered hand then smoothed her sideburn against it, claiming it for her own.
Tinkerbelle circled and found just the right spot to lie down. I had learned long ago that when it came to pet visits, I was merely the chauffeur, so I sat by the bed and let Tink do her thing.
Usually for the first few minutes, Lenore was so wrapped up in the cat that she basically ignored me, but this time after only a cursory stroke or two, she said in her soft cultured tones, “I have some news, Lynley, that I think you will appreciate.”
“Oh? What’s that?”
“My nephew has bought another cat,” she said with obvious satisfaction.
“Well, congratulations.” I smiled, trying not to let my preference for shelter animals over the purchased kind affect my reaction.
“Yes, it is very good. The boy is nearly sixty and had never had a cat until this year. Now he has two. Can you believe it?”
“That’s amazing. Was he a dog person?”
“Not really. He traveled a lot. He was an airline pilot, you see. He figured he didn’t have time for a pet. But when he retired, I made it my business to convince him to consider a cat.” She beamed conspiratorially. “And being a smart boy who listens to his wise old auntie, he did just that.”
“Good for you.”
“Well, you know I adopted all my cats from shelters – either that or they adopted me.” She snickered as the visions of cats-gone-by danced in her rheumy eyes. “But Bill had his heart set on a certain breed. I told him to wait until one showed up at your Friends for Felines – they always do eventually.”
“People don’t realize how many purebred cats end up in shelters,” I agreed.
“And there are breed rescue groups too. But once Bill decided he wanted a cat, he had to have it right now. No patience, that boy. Still, I can empathize with his enthusiasm. Why wait when you never know what tomorrow may bring. And once he had the one, he concluded he needed another as a companion. He still spends a lot of time away from home and was concerned that Bonnie might get lonely.”
“So he got a second kitty?”
“Yes, a male. He picked him up last week. Very expensive, I take it. Even more expensive than the first which he bought at a cat show.” She harrumphed. “But he has all his papers and apparently comes from a long, important line.”
“Have you met him yet?”
“Not yet. Bill is still acclimatizing him to his new home. He doesn’t want to do anything out of the ordinary at this time. And though I can tell you I am a little disappointed, I do agree with him.”
“It’s a good idea to let them settle. A week isn’t very long for a new cat to get used to such a big change. I’m sure he’ll bring him soon.”
“I’m sure he will.” She stroked Tinkerbelle’s silken fur and gazed out the window. I knew she was wondering if she would still be around by then.
“What did he get?”
Lenore turned wide eyes to me. “Pardon?”
“You said he was a breed cat. What breed?”
“Oh yes.” She waved a bantam hand. “There are photographs. Look on top the chest of drawers.”
I rose and crossed to the antique waterfall dresser, keeping hold of Tinkerbelle’s leash per Pet Partners protocol, though by the looks of her, all curled up in the crook of Lenore’s arm, she wasn’t going anywhere. Spread out on a Battenburg lace runner was a handful of color glossies. Smiling, I gazed at the professional quality pictures.
My smile faded. With a prickle of alarm, I stared at them dumbly.
“Pick them up, dear, and bring them over.”
Robotically I did as I was told. My hand trembled as I handed them to Lenore.
“Siamese!” she exclaimed. “I don’t know why perfectly common words escape me sometimes. Siamese, obviously, silly me. He has a long, fancy show cat name, but Bill calls him something for short – oh, I should remember this. Yes, I know, it’s…”
“Meow?” I finished for her.
Her keen eyes flicked from the photos to me. “Meow? No, that’s not it at all. Let me think. Ah, yes! Bill calls him Zoom. You know, after the cat in the sweet children’s series.”
I took back one of the pictures and held it up close. I studied every satin hair, every sable whisker, the familiar blue-on-blue eyes gazing at me through the celluloid. I paid special attention to what I could see of his ears and tail; they were fully furred and perfectly tinted as a seal point Siamese should be. The last time I’d seen Meow, those parts had been shaved, the noxious colorant removed and cleansed by the FOF doctors, but that was two months previous and the fur would have grown back by now. The crooks could easily have re-applied the dye.
I looked again. Yes, if the smiling Siamese wasn’t Meow, it could have been his twin brother.
“Where did your nephew get this cat?” I asked a little too abruptly.
Lenore stared at me quizzically. Not much gets by her. “Why, Lynley, is something wrong?”
I pushed myself to relax and glanced once more at the image. Was I so absolutely sure this was my Meow? “No, it’s nothing.” I forced a smile. “He looks like a perfectly wonderful cat. Maybe I can meet him sometime when he visits.”
“Do you think Tinkerbelle would appreciate that? Does she like other kitties?” Lenore petted the wide black back, and Tink purred in ecstasy.
I had to laugh. “It depends on her mood. She’ll either play prima donna or give him a bath.”
“Well, we will see.” She handed me the pictures. “Please put them back on the dresser for me, dear.”
I flipped through the images once more and pulled out a full body shot with a good close up of the face and head. “Do you think I could get a copy of this one, Lenore?”
She hesitated, then gave a little wave. “Take it. Bill will bring me more. Lots more!”
I stuffed the photo in my bag, took a deep breath, and turned back to Lenore. “And what’s been happening since I saw you last?”