Christmas . . . and #Cats

cute black cat poking out of plastic bag on bedThis is our second year with Raven, my beautiful rescue cat. Look at that face. Pretty hard to be miffed at anything that cute, right?

Last December she was seven months old and filled with curiosity. That led her to camp out in the smaller of my two Christmas trees, sprawling on the branches, and stealing at least a dozen Christmas ornaments. Every morning I’d find sparkly blue and silver balls on the floor or tucked away under the couch. Clever little thing did most of her “hunting” at night.

Because the smaller tree goes in our bow window—one of her favorite hangouts—we decided to forego it this year and just use our larger tree in the family room. She didn’t bother the larger tree last year, so we figured we were in the clear.

Uh…not.

A cat never outgrows curiosity.

The tree wasn’t trimmed more than ten minutes when I found her lying in the branches. Now that it’s been up for over a week, the branch-lounging novelty has worn off, but decorations on the bottom are still fair game. Fortunately, we’ve only had one shattered bulb and I was able to scoop her up before her little paws picked up any glass. The glass bulbs are now clustered mostly at the top.

Progress.

I’ve had cats before—three since I’ve been married, Raven being the fourth—and they were all spoiled. But this one has me wrapped. Worse, she knows it. I keep reminding myself that in human years, she’s about 18-20 years old. What’s the saying—Girls just want to have fun?

She’s definitely doing that!

If you have a cat—or even if you don’t—you might enjoy my paranormal Christmas novella, Food for Poe. It features a clever black feline, a holiday romance, and a creature from myth all wrapped up in a Yuletide tale. You can pick it up on Amazon for just .99 cents.

Book cover for FOOD FOR POE by Mae Clair shows attractive young couple in a winter setting with a black cat and silver Christmas ornaments belowBlurb
When a blizzard strands Quinn Easterly at a handsome stranger’s house on Christmas Eve, she doesn’t realize her newly adopted cat, Poe, is the catalyst responsible for bringing them together.

Breck Lansing gave up on relationships after his wife, unable to cope with their daughter’s illness, left him. But the pretty blonde he rescues from a snowstorm has him rethinking his stance—especially when Quinn’s arrival coincides with a dramatic change in Sophie’s health.

Unfortunately, that change also attracts something only whispered about in folklore. Together, Quinn and Breck must defeat a sinister creature intent on claiming the ultimate payment.

Warning: A clever black cat, Christmas magic and paranormal trouble

One reviewer’s take:
“This has become my new favourite Christmas story! I’m going to read it again next Christmas. Poe, a beautiful pure black cat (Not at all unlike my own darling, Rico… Wink.) is the hero of this most magical and thoroughly captivating tale.

It is a tale of love, hope, compassion, faith, superstition, and suspense with a touch of horror… I was hooked from the start. If it was up to me, I’d make it into a Christmas movie and watch it every year.” ~ Kevin Cooper

You can purchase Food for Poe for .99c from Amazon 

Raven and I thank you for your consideration, and send you wishes for a purrfectly Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, and Happy New Year!

64 thoughts on “Christmas . . . and #Cats

  1. Mae, Raven’s photo had me hooked…the sweetest of faces and since I’ve previously owned two black cats I just fell for yours! Never known one to be so attracted to trees though…I’m just glad Raven hasn’t hurt himself yet. Your book looks fantastic and an intriguing blurb…perfect for the season. Congratulations on the lovely review! 😀❤️

    Liked by 2 people

    • Hi, Annika! Raven is my second black cat too. I lost Onyx to cancer in 2012 when he was 13 years old. In fact, Food for Poe was written in memory of him. All of my cats (Onyx, Mcdoogal and Arafel) were always attracted to the Christmas trees. Onyx was probably the best about leaving things alone, but even he couldn’t resist stealing an ornament on occasion. Raven is still going through the learning curve of what doesn’t qualify as a toy, and doesn’t always agree with my decisions, but we’ve made progress.

      So glad you enjoyed the post and the blurb. Poe is a short read that has been classified by some reviewers as a cross between a Hallmark Channel movie and Night Gallery 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      • What wonderful names for your cats!! So glad you’re making progress with teaching Raven about the decorations…they must be so tempting though! Wow, that is praise indeed for your book – congratulations!

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Raven is beautiful! I’ve had many cats. My last one was a strictly indoor kitty. He was about 4 years old before I could have a tree up that he would leave alone and I would still catch him swatting at the lower ornaments if he were under it.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I love your story about Raven’s curiosity. My dogs leave our tree alone (always have), so that’s an experience I don’t need to contend with.

    I also loved Food for Poe. I know people will enjoy that story. I hope a lot of people check it out this holiday season.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Teri, I even had to move the unbreakable ornaments from the bottom. Every day I’d find a different collection on the floor, LOL.

      Thanks for the kind words about Food for Poe….and Raven sends Bond purrfect Christmas wishes! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Sounds like the perfect Christmas read! I smiled reading about Raven and your Christmas tree…cats do love those bottom ornaments. But of our five kitties now only the youngest sits under the tree with the ornaments she proudly knocks off. Only when I tightly pack the presents underneath does that stop and then she becomes protector of gifts.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Oh, how cute that she becomes the protector of the gifts, D.L. My previous cat, Onyx, used to steal the bows from presents. I think Raven left them alone last year, but I have a feeling that isn’t going to be the case this year.

      Do you mean you have five kitties now? Wow! I bet they’re all adorable. Thanks for sharing and if you have a chance to read Food for Poe, I hope you enjoy it. It’s a short story and my only tale set during the holidays. I’d love to write another someday as I turn into a pile of mush at Christmas 🙂

      Liked by 2 people

      • Haven’t had a bow stealer…that’s funny. Yes we have five kitties, they kind of found us and have been meaning to do a blog to introduce them:) I love Christmas stories big time, too and alway spend a couple of weeks reading them. I would like to write another one, as well. Best time of year and I’m sure i will be getting to Poe once I read my yearly journey with Scrooge.

        Liked by 2 people

      • D.L., I would LOVE to see a blog post on your kitties. I like the idea that they “found you.” It’s how things should be 🙂

        I do a yearly journey with Scrooge too, but I watch the movie. A Christmas Carol and Elf are my two favorite holiday movies and I watch both every year! 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  5. My last puss was a pure black as well – and long-haired, so he looked like a fluffy reverse snowball! 😀 Regrettably my beloved spaniel Toby loves chasing anything that’ll run, so new cats are out for the foreseeable. 😦
    Raven seems like a perfectly normal 2-year old to me – shiny balls just ASK to be played with! 😉 I always put the breakable stuff out of temptation’s way and had the plastic shiny satin balls down low as they had the added fun of unravelling sometimes… 🙂
    Snagging me a copy of Poe next! 😛

    Liked by 2 people

    • “A fluffy reverse snowball.” I love that description, Jan! I bet he was gorgeous.
      It does sound like Toby is the master of the house though, and cats just don’t sit well with his disposition, LOL.

      You’re right about anything shiny inviting play time. Raven can’t resist. You should have seen the collection of Christmas bulbs I found under the couch last year!

      Thanks so much for grabbing a copy of Food for Poe. It’s a short read but close to my heart. I hope you enjoy!

      Like

  6. Raven’s adorable! I couldn’t get miffed with her either. We put the “good” decorations higher on the tree, too, so that Dutchy can terrorize the unbreakable ornaments on the bottom. We just rehang them every morning:) Hope you have happy holidays, too!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Harry and Murphy are over 6 years old now, and they don’t do more than nap under the tree, like big, furry gifts. But Kell and Rhy have been banished to the family room, all doors blockaded, since they open “pocket” doors in five seconds. They are scamps, and now I’m really glad that we only put up one (of our usual five) trees this year, due to most of our Christmas stuff still being in the 20′ storage pod, in the driveway. I’ve collected ornaments for over 30 years, and losing even ONE would really make me sad. 😦

    Raven has turned into a beautiful cat, and I’m glad her mischief hasn’t resulted in too much damage. Kell and Rhy are obviously going to be monster cats, especially Rhy. At 6 months, he was over 12 pounds, and he’s grown considerably in the last few weeks. I guess I better brace myself, and weigh him again. Bruisers, that’s what they are.

    Merry Christmas to your family, and a special digital pinch of catnip for Raven. 😀 ❤

    Liked by 2 people

    • You normally put up FIVE Christmas trees, Marcia? Oh, I bet your house looks so festive—I imagine it festive even with just one tree 🙂

      I like the description of Harry and Murphy as “big furry gifts.” 🙂 It sounds like Kell and Rhy are going to be even bigger. I’m pretty sure Raven weighted 7 pounds at 6 months, so 12 is mind-boggling. The last time I had her to the vet (for a routine check-up) a few months ago she came in at 9.6. I don’t think she’s going to get much larger but you clearly do have bruisers on your hands. You have to do a blog post with them sometime soon. I haven’t seen pictures since they were little kittens.

      Raven sends kitty hugs to all of your critters. Merry Christmas to you and yours! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      • I am a tad OCD about Christmas, Mae. I have 2 full sized trees (a multi-colored one in the library, and a blue & silver one in the living room), a 3 foot Wizard of OZ tree in the eat in area of the kitchen, a white wooden tiered shelves “tree” in the kitchen, and a miniature tree filled with 1″ Santas in the guest bath. Plus, I have over 300 Santas in my collection, and they cover the mantle and bookshelves. And lots more. It normally takes me at least ten days to get it all up, and I don’t take it down until after New Years. It’s my favorite holiday in the world, and I’m like a kid about it. This year was a major shock to my system to realize I simply couldn’t do it all. Heck, I can’t even FIND it all in the storage pod. (One more thing to lay at the feet of IRMA, The Wicked Witch of the SOUTH!)

        Somehow, we mostly always end up with big cats. My favorite cat of all time, Beau, was a 22-pound polydactyl, with extra toes on all FOUR feet, which is rare. He was gorgeous, long-haired, blue-gray and white. I will miss him forever! I don’t know that Rhy will get as big as Beau was, but I do expect him to be in the 18 pound range or so. He’s a sturdy, cobby cat, and too smart for his own good. 😀 Kell is sleeker, though he still weighed 9 pounds at 6 months. He’s an instigator, though. I do think they are the most loving and outwardly affectionate of any cats we’ve ever had, and that’s saying a lot, since most of ours have been very sweet-natured.

        I’ll do a post soon. I’m still playing catch up every day, though I can’t see that I’m making much progress. 😦 Oh, well. I can only do so much. Yes, a kitty post will be fun. Soon, honest. Maybe. 😉

        Liked by 2 people

      • I think I remember you telling me about your Santa collection before, Marcia. Given all those trees (I have two SILs who would salivate over your Wizard of Oz tree–they gobble up anything to do with that movie) you clearly still embrace the joy of being a kid at Christmas.

        A pox on Irma! Next yer by this time, hopefully you’ll be able to surround yourself in a Christmas wonderland.

        Beau was certainly a big kitty! 🙂 My two largest (Arafel and Mcdoogal) were both 15 lbs each and Onyx was a sleek boy at a svelte 10 lbs even as an adult. I definitely want to see a blog on Kell and Rhy so no “maybes.” Put it on your list for 2018 😀 😀

        Liked by 2 people

  8. Raven is beautiful and you can see the curiosity in her eyes. 🙂 I am familiar with having to move all breakable ornaments to the top of the tree. We had a cat who lived to be almost twenty before she passed and she would start at one end of the living room at a dead run, slap at a Christmas ball and keep running. 🙂 It was entertaining to watch her. AND, I didn’t know you had a Christmas book. Oh, for more time to read!!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Twenty years old? That’s really a long, long life for a cat, Jan. My Mom’s cat lived until he was 21 and we always told her it was because he was so in love with her, he didn’t want to leave 🙂

      I’m smiling just reading about the antics of the cat you had. Felines are so entertaining.

      Food for Poe is just a short novella, something I self-published, but it holds a special place in my heart. It’s a mash-up of Christmas magic, legend, romance, and a smidgen of horror–along with a special cat. I hope you enjoy it.

      Merry Christmas, my friend!

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Loved Food For Poe! Your Raven is beautiful. We had a Siamese a few years ago who insisted on eating the tinsel (thin foil strips in a multitude of colors). She’d walk around the house all proud-looking, with them hanging out of her mouth!
    We quit using them, I was scared they’d wrap around her stomach and do damage, but they sure made the tree look magical.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Cats do love those glittery tinsel strings. I remember reading how problematic they can be if swallowed, so I never used them. Onyx, especially, would have been all over them. He liked any type of string or yarn thingie. You definitely made the right move in cutting out the tinsel, but I can just picture your Siamese thinking she’d captured her “prey” LOL.

      Thanks too for the kind words about Poe and Raven. I am such a sucker for cats 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  10. Wonderful post and very pretty kitty kat. I think I have Food for Poe, but I’m not sure if I read it yet or not. Must check and move it higher on the list if I haven’t, especially since it would be a quick read. I have no critters at home, except for the ones that came in with the tree, or snuck in with the cooler weather…ya know, the buggy kind.
    sherry @ fundinmental

    Liked by 2 people

    • Raven turns into a lethal hunter when she spots the buggy kind of critter, Sherry. I never had a cat so focused on hunting insects before. She goes nuts when she sees one, LOL.

      And yes, Food for Poe is a short read, around 21K, but I think it’s a fun and unusual story. Christmas, a cat and a creature (I couldn’t leave the last one out) 🙂
      I hope you enjoy when you have time to read it.

      Liked by 1 person

  11. I was going to ask your secret on how to keep cats away from the tree, but I see Raven is like our Tucker and Little Bit. They never outgrow their curiosity. I picked up a copy of your book last Christmas and never had time to read it. This is the year!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Joan, I only have one ornament thief to worry about, where you have two. I wonder if cats look forward to Christmas as much as we do. Kind of like….look at all of the shiny new toys, LOL.

      I hope enjoy Poe. It’s short and themed for the holiday. I loved writing it and would like to do another Christmas novella someday. It’s my favorite holiday! 🙂

      Like

  12. Great review from Kevin and the book sounds romantic, a little sinister, as well as heartwarming. I love hearing about your little tree-climber. We have to tie the top of the tree to a beam across the ceiling to keep the cats from pulling it over! Happy Holidays!

    Liked by 1 person

    • And I thought I had it bad with Raven swiping ornaments! It sounds like you have a mischievous group of felines, Diana 🙂

      And yes, there is a bit of sinister mixed in with the Christmas magic of Poe. I have a “thing” about creatures, LOL!

      Liked by 2 people

    • Yes, my Raven is handful, Linda, LOL. It’s a good thing she is so delightful when she goes about making mischief. It’s how she gets away with everything 🙂

      And thanks so much for picking up Food for Poe. I love Christmas stories too, and it was a pleasure to write one. I hope to do another some day. The holiday is inspiring!

      Like

  13. Love the pic! (I should probably post a pic of Zoey soon 🙂 )And the story. We’ve never had problems with our cats bothering the trees much, but then again we tend to do short ones (4 ft, since we really don’t have room for more) and set them up higher, like on a table. At least she doesn’t pull the tree down 😀 Have a great weekend, Mae!

    Liked by 1 person

    • The tree that went in front of our bow window was a short one, Julie. I have a big drum table it goes on top of. Unfortunately, the drum table is in front of the bow window, and the bow window is one of Raven’s primary hangouts, so last year was a disaster with ornaments everywhere! You’re lucky to have cats who understand some things shouldn’t be interpreted as toys, LOL.

      And yes–you’re do for a Zoey pic soon! 😀

      Liked by 1 person

  14. Raven is so adorable. No, you just can’t stay miffed with her! Marigold took off one ornament and rolled it around, but that’s it so far, except for ruffling the skirt once. I’m amazed she only did that once, because ruffling rugs is one of her favorite activities. You know I love Food for Poe. It’s one of my favorites of yours. Perfect for a holiday gift!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Flossie, I’m grinning at the thought of Marigold ruffling rugs. I have a few throw rugs that Raven scoots under. It must be a “cat thing” LOL.

      Thanks for the kind words about Poe. I love that story and am glad you enjoyed it too! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  15. My Oz is the same solid black color…but much bigger. He’s a whopping 17.5 lbs.! And even though he and Willow (my tabby) are almost six years old, I still have to make sure the fragile ornaments are NOT at the bottom of the tree. My large pit mix dog doesn’t touch the ornaments as long as there are no “chewy” ones on there. LOL

    Liked by 1 person

    • That is a big kitty cat, LOL. It’s nice that Oz and Willow are both the same age–double mischief fun in the making 🙂
      And I see your dog gets in on some of the shenanigans too when “chewy” is involved.
      Your comments made me grin, Lauralynn! 😀

      Like

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