Saturday, June 15, 2013

Pets and Their Authors - Kate Walker and Charlie

Lady and the Tramp – or The Princess and the Scamp

  Aka if one Maine Coon is fun - two are even better.

It was all Flora’s fault. If you read my post on Pets and Their Authors last month, you’ll know that Flora came into my life when I had cat shaped spaces in my world and she more than filled those. But after she had been with us for a year or so, there were some more losses – and big cat, big personality as she is, she couldn’t quite fill the holes left by Dylan and The Cat – Sir Sidney, A Cat of Superior Breeding.

Besides, once we had realised how much fun it is to live with one Maine Coon, we couldn’t help but think there would be twice as much fun with two. Actually, it’s more than twice the fun - but then these are twice the size of ordinary cats. We hadn’t quite decided that we wanted a second Tail with A Cat Attached but one day I noticed the a local breeder had kittens – and one of them was a red and white boy, whose litter name was Rumpuss.

If you read the first instalment of my Pets posts, I mention The Cat, the first one who came into my
married life. He was special (aren’t they all) and he was a red and white boy called Rumpuss (OK – he was actually called Alexander JB Hopkins Rumpusscat because my husband tried to put the names of all his heroes into one cat name.) Up until 2011 we had always had a red and white cat but currently we were lacking in the red and white department – until we saw this Rumpuss. A couple of phone calls later and we were out kitten visiting and when a small bundle of red and white fur came out of its bed to greet us we knew we’d been chosen. The empty red and white space had been filled.
And another special Christmas Present came into my life.

We couldn’t keep the name Rumpuss though – that had been for one cat only so, because of the story of Flora Macdonald and Bonnie Prince Charlie, this kitten became Charlie to match with Flora. Charlie Rumpusscat when he gets his full name – or Chaz as Anne McAllister calls him. He recognises her voice and that name – he’s ‘talked’ with her on Facetime so they know each other quite well. He wasn’t too sure about the two big dogs in the background, but as they were thousands of miles away, he coped.

Charlie is a coper. He takes things in his stride and doesn’t let too much bother him. He knows where his values lie – and that’s usually in his stomach. On the day I went to fetch him home, he kept me waiting for ages as he ploughed his way through a bowl of crunchies that had just been filled up. He might have been going to his forever home, but he wasn’t too sure where his next meal was coming from – so he stoked up while he could.

He’s continued to stoke up whenever he possibly can. You see, Charlie is  a cat who has priorities. And his priorities are  perfectly in order:
1. Food
2. Food
3. More food
4. Sleeping off food
5. Treats

That's probably why he's reached the size he has - and he's still not yet 3.   

He thinks he rules the house - he checks all the books we read to make sure they're good reading material. He supervises any work being done in the house or the  garden. When we had  the kitchen renovated and an extension built, the builders very soon learned that Charlie was the Clerk of Works
and he would check everything they'd done at every stage of the process.  He even checked out the roof - when there wasn't actually any roof there, just huge plastic sheets and he ended up dangling from the rafters.

He likes climbing - the first month he was with us,  he was stunned to find that we had provided him with his own personal indoor tree just to climb on. It was even better when we decorated  the tree with baubles and stars.  Christmas has always been his favourite time of the year. Trees. A coal fire.
And of course Food.

He's considered hunting for his own food, but really, although it's rather fun it's also a
lot of effort. Those fluttery things always seem to get away and  he can't quite catch up with them. Though he has tried the 'sneak up on 'em' technique of hiding on the birdtable and waiting . . . The trouble is that the birds do tend to see him coming!

Before we can go to bed, Charlie has to check out the sleeping accomodations -   see above - and once we are in bed he has to come and settle us in, kneading the bedding with his paws,  'grooming'  our hands, and finally settling on my feet so that I  am safely anchored for the night.

Charlie is the more sociable of the two cats. He has a daily route that he follows  - going out to visit neighbours  all around the area. He manages to snaffle a few treats from almost  every house he visits and in return he lets them admire him and tell him  how handsome he is.   Three houses away from us live the family who look after him and feed him when we are away. He knows exactly where they live - and he knows the best window to knock on to get their attention. So if we are ever late back home and for some reason tea has to be delayed, Charlie doesn't worry. He just goes down the road and knocks on the window to remind them that he's been waiting a while and it was time food was served.

Like I said. A cat who has his priorities.

He is also a cat with responsibilities.  In the past the great Sid - A Cat of Superior Breeding - was al

ways the one who carried out the duty of picking the winners of any prizes I was giving away on my web site. Since Sir Sidney passed over the rainbow bridge, Charlie has taken on those duties  of choosing all the winners.  I put out all the names on pieces of paper, each with a cat treat on the top - and the one that Charlie eats first is the winner. So now you know  who to bribe when you want to be in with a chance of winning - and you know how to bribe him.


So that's Charlie - the Scamp to Flora's Princess - or, as  she would say I'm sure - the Tramp the Her Lady.   Two Maine Coons are definitely  better than one.  I wouldn't be without them.  I have to say that - they really are very big cats . . .!

And three?   Hmmm . . . never say never!

Charlie may be a prince among cats but Kate’s  royal hero is Alexei Sarova, that black sheep prince who has to face up to a new and unexpected destiny with his heroine Honoria Escalona (Ria) as the woman he wants as his queen.

A kingdom's safety...
Betrayed by those she loves, Honoria Escalona must now face the only man capable of bringing stability to the Mediterranean kingdom of Mecjoria. A cold, hard man who once called her his friend... Alexei Sarova-the true King of Mecjoria.
In exchange for her happiness

Butt Alexei's tortuous past has changed him into someone she hardly knows. He blames Ria's family
A Throne For the Taking will be published in the Royal and Ruthless miniseries in both Harlequin Presents and Mills & Boon Modern in June.

Other up to date news and details of all Kate’s books can be found on her web site and in her blog.


  1. I love your kitties! Charlie looks especially majestic pouring out of the birdhouse. ;-) You have the most excellent taste in writing companions, Kate! And somehow I missed that you had a new novel out. Gotta go search for A Throne for the Taking!

    1. Hi Anna - I love that we share an appreciaiton of these wonderful cats. Charlie can look majestic - but really it's the 'jest' bit of that that fits - he's the court jester! And he'd rather be out hunting than helping with my writing. But he's great company all the same. I do hope you'll enjoy A Throne For The Taking

  2. Charlie is adorable. He has the same list of priorities as Dash, our 22? pound boy. Dash is ginger in color with a black spot on the back of his neck. Dash is not a social cat ~ strange noises send him under the nearest bed.

  3. Hi Kaelee - Dash is 22lb! I forget what Charlie was the last time he was weighed - must get him on the scales again. I know he's *heavy*. Flora is around 10lb and she's a lightweight compared to him. Dash sounds a handsome boy too - but then aren't all cats lovely? I hope he's not hiding under the bed tonight

  4. I'm glad to see that Chaz has been given his due with a column of his own. He's doing a good job with his Responsibilities. Sid would be proud. It was lovely to talk with him on Facetime. We need to do it again soon so he doesn't forget his Far Away Friends.