Sunday, December 13, 2009

Christmas Cats

A cat, Creamsickle, plays a leading role in bringing the hero and heroine together in THE MAGIC OF A FAMILY CHRISTMAS. This isn't an accident. My cat Sophia has done some remarkable things. She can cheer up anyone. She keeps the rodent population to a minimum in our little section of town. She meows if I yell...even if I'm "yelling" to call someone to dinner. Which has turned me into a much quieter person. But she doesn't get along with our other cat Fat Fluff.

We've figured out why. She believes she's a member of the family and Fluffy is just the cat. The pet.

It all goes back to the day we got Sophie. A few weeks before we'd had to put Fluffy's brother Basil to sleep. I couldn't seem to get over his loss. He was a wonderful, huge black cat who loved to hide in poinsettias. So it was awful.

My niece Kelli just happened to be driving home from Pittsburgh one Saturday and they found poor Sophie on the road beside a stretch of woods. She was so tiny she fit in the palm of Kelli's hand. She was also covered in dead leaves, and sneezing. A new mom, Kelli couldn't leave the poor kitten, so she brought her home and my sister suggested they call me since I had just lost a cat.

I went to Helen's house to see Sophia and it was not love at first sight. She was filthy. She was angry. And she didn't seem to want pity! LOL But she needed me. So we took her home and my husband (ace that he is with cats) tried to give her a shower. Get that picture in your head. There's my well muscled, tough guy husband holding a squirming, screaming fist-full of kitten under the shower head. He ended up wetter than she did.

Fluff wanted nothing to do with her. First, Basil was his brother. Second, she had a virus (which we didn't know until the next day when we took her to the vet). Third, she was a feisty little brat.

She was also so tiny I had to feed her milk from the tip of my finger. Then because she was so small and so scared, I cuddled her. I used my chin like a mama cat would use her tongue to bathe and sooth a kitten. And I guess somewhere along the way Sophie decided I was her mom.

After that, we presume she looked around, realized Fluff was a pet -- but the rest of us were family -- and she was being treated like one of she must be one of us.

We named her Sophia Maria Lolita Conchita Chequita much of a longer name than Fat Fluff that we also figure that helped fortify her theory that she was family. So now she seriously treats Fluff like the family pet, while she's one of us.

And her greatest love is to sit on my desk, watching the little characters appear to the computer screen while I write. She absolutely, positively has a say in things around here!

With such an odd cat like Sophia, you would think she inspired Creamsickle in THE MAGIC OF A FAMILY CHRISTMAS, but it was actually Fat Fluff!

Creamsickle is quiet, but loving. He wasn't really happy when the new foster kid moved in. But when he realized how in need of love and affection Harry Martin was, he stepped up...just like Fluff did when Sophia arrived. He didn't even protest when Harry bought the bell collar for around his neck. In fact, he sort of liked it. And he also agreed with Harry that Wendy Winston, Harry's new guardian, needed more love in her life. Not just from wonderful Harry, but from a mate. So he didn't mind one iota being involved in Harry's plot to get Wendy Winston and Cullen Barrington together before Christmas.

Add a candy factory and a sexy, but grumpy, hero to the mix and you have quite a story! LOL THE MAGIC OF A FAMILY CHRISTMAS was one of the most fun stories I've ever written. I actually read it when my author copies arrived! LOL. Not only did it put me in a Christmas mood, but also I liked being with those characters. I liked being in that candy factory. I loved the small town, with the tinsel and silver bells, ice storms and fluffy white snow banks. I loved Wendy and I loved Cullen. Because they were both such wonderful people. Both had hearts big enough to open when Harry needed love.

Yeah, Wendy and Cullen really deserved a happy ending. They really deserved each other. But it took some conniving on Harry's part, a little bit of magic on Creamsickle's, and lots of cocoa and popcorn by the fireplace!

It's a special book about special people and I was thrilled to be the one to get to write it!




Denise said...

This wonderful story is so full of everything Christmas that i'm giving copies as gifts to my daughters and my son's girlfriend. I want them all to experience the magic of Christmas and I just know this story will cause that to happen to each of them. Thanks for writing such a great book!

Susan said...

Thanks, Denise, that's sweet of you to say.

I have to admit I loved writing that book. It was fun.

And touring the chocolate factory as research wasn't bad either!