Mae Clair’s Purrrfectly Giftastic G*I*V*E*A*W*A*Y

Purrfectly GiftasticWelcome to the Purrrfectly Giftastic Christmas blog hop which runs December 14 through December 17 at midnight. Many thanks to Drea Beacraft for organizing such a great hop. You can find a list of all participating authors here.

Given the cute kitty mascot and the name of the hop, I thought I’d share a few memories of cats at Christmas.

Shortly after my husband I married, one of his co-workers offered us a kitten from a litter of farm cats. I’d grown up with two cats, two dogs and wanted a pet again. I named the kitten Arafel after the Lady of Trees in C.J. Cherryh’s fantasy novel THE TREE OF SWORDS AND JEWELS.

Arafel and McDoogal

Arafel and McDoogal

A year later, my brother needed to find a home for a beautiful two-year old gray and we took him on a ‘trial basis,’ worried how he would get along with Arafel. It was two weeks before they were able to tolerate one another, but they eventually grew as close as litter mates. Both cats loved climbing our Christmas tree and batting at dangling ornaments. If you saw Cadence Blue’s Pet Safety post on my blog earlier this week, you know these activities can be potentially dangerous to kitties. I remember coming downstairs one morning and finding both cats tucked among the branches of my Christmas tree. I think McDoogal went exploring and Arafel followed.She was the dominate one, but he was insatiably curious.

Onyx, Christmas 2002

Onyx, Christmas 2002

For Onyx, the last feline in my life (he died of cancer shortly after New Year’s 2012 when he was thirteen), the allure was artificial greens. It didn’t matter what kind — garland, faux trees, wreathes, etc. And the obsession didn’t stop with Christmas but continued throughout the year, encompassing dried plants, grasses and broom bristles. For the most part I couldn’t keep dried arrangements in the house, and constantly had to make sure my brooms were stored upside down with the bristles pointed skyward.

About five years ago my husband and I began using an artificial tree for Christmas and that presented a momentous temptation for Onyx – a feast of dried bristles. The odd thing was he didn’t look twice at real plants. I even bought him several varieties of cat grasses from a pet store and he wouldn’t touch them.

Wrapping paper was another favorite for all of my cats, good for attacking, rolling in, and using to slide across the carpet. Cats and wrapping paper go together like cats and writers. I always had a cat in my office, on the desk, my lap, or curled up on the floor beside me when I was writing. Onyx was there for the creation of WEATHERING ROCK my paranormal / time travel romance about a Civil War colonel who is transported to the present where he falls for a woman who teaches American history.

For my part in the Purrrfectly Giftastic Christmas blog hop I’m awarding a $10 gift card to Amazon. If you’re interested in winning, I invite you to hop over and “Like” my Amazon page for WEATHERING ROCK. Then leave a comment below letting me know you have.

I’d also love to hear any holiday memory you might have related to cats or pets in general. Don’t forget to include your email address if you’d like to be entered in my drawing. I’ll announce the winner on Tuesday December 18, so be sure to check back to see if you’ve won. Comment moderation is on so don’t worry if your comment doesn’t appear immediately. I promise it won’t get lost. 😀

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!

Drawn together across centuries, will their love be strong enough to defeat an ancient curse?

Colonel Caleb DeCardian was fighting America’s Civil War on the side of the Union when a freak shower of ball lightning transported him to the present, along with rival and former friend, Seth Reilly. Adapting to the 21st century is hard enough for the colonel, but he also has to find Seth, who cursed him to life as a werewolf. The last thing on Caleb’s mind is romance. Then fetching Arianna Hart nearly runs him down with her car. He can’t deny his attraction to the outspoken schoolteacher, but knows he should forget her.

Arianna finds Caleb bewildering, yet intriguing: courtly manners, smoldering sensuality and eyes that glow silver at night? When she sees Civil War photographs featuring a Union officer who looks exactly like Caleb, she begins to understand the man she is falling in love with harbors multiple secrets–some of which threaten the possibility of their happiness.

Finding a decent guy who’ll commit is hard enough. How can she expect Caleb to forsake his own century to be with her?

Available for Purchase at:
Barnes and Noble
Lyrical Press

View Book Trailer for WEATHERING ROCK

68 thoughts on “Mae Clair’s Purrrfectly Giftastic G*I*V*E*A*W*A*Y

  1. I liked it on Amazon number 44. We always included our animals in our family picture.
    Thanks for the great givewaway.
    crystaley73 at yahoo dot com

  2. And I’m #45 🙂 have liked and tagged your book. Loved your post. used to have cats so can relate to all your tales.
    sherrygloag@gmail dot com

  3. Liked your page~47. Sorry for the loss of your kitty. I just lost my 20yr old this past August. I have a couple kitties that like to chew on the tree and one that liked to play with the ornaments. LOL. They all love the paper and the bows are usually chewed by Christmas day. Thank you for the giveaway.
    Sue B

    • Sue, so sorry to hear about your kitty. At 20 years old, he or she definitely had a long life. They really become part of our families. Your other kitties sound like my Onyx with chewing on the tree, LOL. Thanks for the like and commenting!

  4. I already had you liked, my dear! And my mom’s ridiculously fat cat used to LOVE to lay on the presents under the tree. (Not the ones around because they didn’t fit — it had to be UNDER). If the box wasn’t stiff, we’d find a sinkhole in the top where she’d slept untold hours in that spot. If the box had a cutout (like so many toys do), there was normally a big hole in the paper where she fell through, LOL. Finding her spots under the tree became one of my favorite holiday traditions. :c)

    • What a great ‘holiday’ tradition, Sarah. I laughed over the ‘sinkhole’ in the box. I can SO picture that, LOL. And thanks for the like. I’m very appreciative of those early ones 🙂

  5. Mae, I really enjoyed your memories of your cats. I’ve always been a cat lover myself. Right now I only have one. I’d have a dozen if I could, but hubby would explode. Toby, my current cat is the most neurotic, or maybe he’s just a scaredy cat. He’s afraid of shoes, loud noises, people, fly swatters (even though he’s never been struck with one, tin foil, vacuum sweepers, and the TV, among other things. But he’s a good, sweet cat and actually minds me, if you can believe that. Thanks for inviting me to enjoy our blog.

    • Isn’t it remarkable how each cat has his or her unique personality? I’m currently without a cat but hope to have another again someday. It feels odd not to have a furry feline underfoot. Toby sounds like a delight despite those things that make him a little apprehensive, LOL. Thanks for dropping by, Charlene!

  6. What a fun post, Mae.

    “A feast of dried bristles.” LOL My son and I were just talking the other day about my Zoe’s inability to stay out of our fake tree. Last year was her first Christmas and every morning we had to put the tree back together after she knocked off most of the branches. We have a new, tiny tree this year.

    Oh, and I’ve liked you for a long time now. 😉

    • Zoe must have definitely had fun with that big ‘cat toy play thing’ tree, LOL. Amazing how they’re attracted to that stuff. And thanks for the like, Mac. Mucho appreciated 🙂

  7. Cats and wrapping paper, yep! Great post Mae. I’m gonna try and get my post published on website shortly since I did sign up. Happy holidays!!

  8. I love cats. As a child I wasn’t allowed to touch them for fear of getting ringworm, so once I left home getting a cat was one of the first things I did and I’ve had one ever since.

  9. I liked you quite a while back, my friend… Loving the cat stories. I used to have 4 cats. 2 boys, 2 girls… Only one wasn’t named after a Cowboy player. 😀 Troy, Aphrodite, Moose & Emmitt (who, because she was a girl, we called Emmy). We had to train them not to climb my tree with super soakers…LOL! 😉

    • Thanks for the like, Kitt. I know you did 🙂 Four cats was probably a handful. I know Arafel and McDoogal kept me hopping when I had the two of them together. They were a delight though, as was Onyx. I really miss all my cats.

    • What a delightful story, Ann. When I was a kid we had a cat (Charlie) who used to steal one of the three wisemen from our table-top nativity set every year. Maggie Mae sounds adorable and a classy lady at 16!

  10. Amazon like #50. I don’t recall any special Christmas memories with pets but I am so grateful for my dogs every day of the year. Sometimes they are the only reason I get out of bed. I try my best to show them I appreciate them by showering them in love. I also home cook for them so they don’t eat nasty chemicals in dog food. Thanks for taking a moment for us to show our love of our pets and I am sorry to hear about you losing your cat this year. I know it is hard.

    Thanks so much for being a part of this great hop and the amazing giveaway.

    Merry Christmas,

    • Hi, Marlena. Thank you for the like. It sounds like you are really devoted to your dogs and I’m glad they are an encouragement to you as well. Pets can really make a huge difference in our lives. Merry Christmas and many thanks for sharing such a lovely tale about your bond with your dogs and what they mean to you.

  11. we thought we were so good getting our cats a 160 dollar climbing tree jungle gym thing for christmas they wanted nothing to do with it and burowed themselfs in the wraping paper instead and yes i wraped it for them
    liked on amizon
    kaholgate at ymail dot com

    • LOL! Now that’s a typical cat! I remember buying all kinds of toys for Onyx but his favorite one was a piece of string or any ribbon. Arafel loved those stir sticks you use in coffee. I love that you wrapped the climbing tree! 🙂

      Thanks for the Amazon like and Merry Christmas!

  12. Writers and cats go together – I’ve never really thought about that. I like cats but there are so many people out there who cannot stand them, my sister being one of them. She doesn’t like Fox (my cat) being in the house when she visits. Cats do have a superior attitude about them that makes me laugh.

    • In my book Zen and the Art of Massage I describe my cross eyed Tonkinese cat named Doubles as a Zen Master of the highest order. I wish I was just one tenth as peaceful and mellow as he is about evrything…

    • I think with cats, people are either huge fans or don’t care for them, rarely anything in between. I just can’t imagine NOT liking them. As far as attitude, Onyx was very friendly, McDoogal too, but Arafel was more of the queen type with everything on her terms. Hopefully, your sister will eventually come around to Fox (love the name)!

      • Your cat names are awesome, too. She won’t come around 🙂 She always says, dogs will die with you and cats will eat you.

  13. I liked your amazon page! I’m number 54. My favorite memory of my cats on Christmas is the year my Mom bought all 4 of my kitties gifts. We called the first one in and she was SO excited!! After that they each wandered in when it was their turns! Even the two skittish ones!! It was amazing!! They each layer attention to and loved their gift. It was the most amazing thing!

    Happy Holidays!

    Sassychassy333 at gmail dot com

    • Thanks for the like, Sassy. That is such a great story about your mom buying gifts for your kitties and how they responded. So adorable! I’m glad the two ‘skittish’ ones joined in the fun too! 😉

  14. Thank you so much for the great giveaway and stories of your kitties! I’m sorry you lost Onyx but it sounds like Onyx had a full and fun life with you 🙂 My cat Boo loves artificial plants too! I think he only gets into them to get attention. He got pretty bad with stealing ornaments off our fake tree last year so invested in a smaller fake tree that he cant climb anymore lol. He thinks its great fun to hide under the tree skirt that covers the table we have our small tree sitting on though!
    I am the #57 like for your book on amazon 🙂
    Ashley A

    • Hi, Ashley. Many thanks for the like. You’re right about Onyx – – he did have a great life and I’m so grateful for the thirteen years we had together. I loved your stories about Boo (what a wonderful name!). Onyx used to love to burrow under things too, including the tree skirt. Take one thing away from a cat and they’ll substitute it with another, LOL!

  15. I liked it! Thank you so much for the chance to win.
    My dog Rocky passed away Jan 12th of this year. This will be the first Christmas he won’t be here to celebrate with me. A favorite memory of mine with him is when he use to scratch open his own gifts! It was almost like he knew they were for him and when he found what was inside he would get so excited and run around with what ever it was.
    Christmas is going to be tough without him this year 😦

    • I can completely relate to how you feel, Savannah. This will be my first Christmas without Onyx. Even putting up the tree and decorations was hard, because he would be into everything. It sounds like Rocky really enjoyed opening his gifts. What a wonderful memory. Thanks so much for sharing and stopping by!

  16. Thank you so much for the giveaway I liked your book on amazon and I was number 60. I remember one Christmas that we had to redo our tree at least 10 times because my cat wanted to sleep in it. I finally got tired of redoing it so when we left the house we would lock her in the bed room. lol Gale Nelson

  17. hope you have great time this year my kid is a dog his name is king he want the bears that are around my tree my collection of them he think they are enemy of his he beat them up and then if i am not care full he have them tore up

    • Thanks, Debbie! Onyx LOVED ribbons and bows. Many times I’d come downstairs before Christmas (after I put gifts under the trees) and find all of the bows torn off the packages. Felines definitely have an affinity for gifts, LOL!

  18. Liked Amazon- number 63.

    Our cat last year liked to lay under the tree and when we started putting presents under the tree she would move them as if to say this is my spot how dare you put stuff there.


    • Hi, Dawna! Thanks for the like and also the great comment. It sounds like your cat had claimed her spot and, as queen felines are often apt to do, didn’t relish being distrubed, LOL. Thanks for sharing. I loved it!

  19. Just liked your book, #64! I love cats myself – I have two. They’re both getting on in years, being fifteen years of age, but I can’t imagine life without them. My boy, my Ramesses, likes to snuggle on my shoulders and purr loudly. Sometimes he’s too lazy to walk in to get his dinner and I have to carry him. He likes to accompany me to the bathroom, or sit on my lap when I watch tv.

    Your book sounds intriguing, I wish you the best of luck!


    • Many thanks, Julie. I appreciate the like. And the story of your cats, especially Ramesses has me grinning, Arafel was a purring machine (I loved that sound); McDoogal (who I often called “Doodles”) purred softly and Onyx was one of those unusual cats who (when he purred) made absolutely no sound at all, but you could feel the rumble in his throat. A lap cat is a great thing to have when watching TV 😀

  20. I once caught my cat eating a couple of the low hanging stuffed ornaments! I was like number 65! Merry Christmas! Thanks so much for participating in the hop!
    Oceanakers @

  21. Liked #66. My dog hasn’t done anything out of the ordinary during the holidays since she demands food all the time when I’m eating.
    Thank you for the giveaway!
    bituin76 at hotmail dot com

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