Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Some Updates, and Saying Goodbye to Angel

Where to begin? I've been pretty godawful sick this last month, which is lousy timing considering my latest Sebastian book, WHERE THE DEAD LIE, was released this month. But I think I'm starting to pull out of it.

My trip to Houston was fun. Thanks to everyone who came to my signing at Murder By the Book. I'll be in Scottsdale, Arizona, this Saturday at the Poisoned Pen, so if you're in the area, do stop by!

I was terrified we were going to lose Angel while I was in Houston, but thankfully he waited until the day after I came home to say goodbye.  He was my mother's cat until she died 7 years ago, and so in a sense it was like losing my last thread to her. But I also loved him dearly for his own sake. He was an exuberantly affectionate cat, sitting on my lap while I wrote and sleeping curled up in the crook of my arm every night. He was 18 years old and had been failing for the last couple of months, but it's still been really, really hard to lose him.

And then there's this complication:

She showed up outside my door the Thursday before Angel died, and was so skinny I called her "My Skeleton." After repeating (over and over again) "I don't need another cat!" and feeding her umpteen cans of food outside (for some reason she can't seem to eat dried) for 12 days without much improvement, I finally scooped her up yesterday and carried her off to the vet. Fortunately her tests for nasty cat diseases were negative, although she was horribly infested with fleas and worms. She's now in isolation until that clears up, and then I'm not sure what I'm doing since I had promised Roscoe and Peanut I was going to let them out of their three-room apartment (Roscoe is a Big Mean Cat who picks on other cats, so I had kept him separated from Angel). This little girl acted virtually feral outside, one of the reasons I hesitated to bring her in (that, plus the old flea collar). But now that she's inside she has surprised me by being very friendly. She really is a pathetic thing, and since Skeleton is an unkind name, she's now Kit-Kat. But she's still a skinny, scruffy mess.

Beyond that, I've turned in the proposal for Sebastian #14, WHO SLAYS THE WICKED. And I've just learned they lost the model they used for the last few covers--he's gone off to be a fireman. So we'll be having a new guy for the cover of WHY KILL THE INNOCENT. Fingers crossed he looks the part!


Lynne said...

Well, it doesn't sound like you've had the best of months but I'm glad you're feeling better. And once again I'm proven right - all the stray cats in New Orleans know exactly where you live, Candy. No need for a sign - they know where the Harris household is! Take care of yourself - I'm still waiting for the library to send me my copy of the new book. Can hardly wait!

Charles Gramlich said...

glad Kit kat is affectionate. Feral cats can be impossible to tame, but maybe this one wasn't out there that long

Unknown said...

So sorry about Angel. He clearly played an important role in your life, though it does seem he was ready to move on to his next. It is just so difficult to let our pets go! Kit-Kat has an awesome name. I am not a cat person, but doesn't she have a very unusual coat color? Never seen a brown cat, I don't think...

I have also been struggling to get rid of a long series of virus, bacteria and overall funky stuff that just keeps gloaming on to me. UGH. I'm wondering if I have forgotten how to feel un-yucky. So I do hope that your health improves, and that you can fully bask in the glow of another successful installment of the Sebastian series.

Tiffany said...

It seems to me that the kittens know a good home, love, and delicious food are to be found on your doorstep. The word has gotten around!

Glad you are feeling better!

I adored your latest and now am searching for more to read... any suggestions?

Unknown said...

I'm hoping you'll write about who killed hero's mom.

JustWingingIt said...

So sorry to hear about Angel. She was clearly loved. Kit Kat is in for a good life despite her rocky start.

It's funny that the latest cover model went off to be a fireman. The last one went off and joined the Navy as I recall. At least they are finding young men who are service minded.

I'm looking forward to the next book. This most recent one certainly set up events that will have ripple effects moving forward.


Susan/DC said...

Life doesn't go straight, it doesn't go in circles, and it's not clear to me there's any pattern at all. But there's definitely a pattern in your life: you have a strong thread that ties you to cats (and dogs), and I'm sure that this is what drew Kit Kat to you. May you and she recover full health soon.

Sherri said...

I just finished Where the Dead Lie, and I think it is the best yet. I love the strength and growth of the characters, and at the end of the book I hate to say goodbye for another year. I may just have to read the last two again! Your writing enables me to form such very strong images of all the characters and locations. And even though grim and upsetting, I think the subject is a powerful one that we cannot assume is unique to our age. I can't wait for Why Kill the Innocent. Thank you for sharing your talent.

Anonymous said...

Sounds to me as if perhaps Angel "decreed" that there is room in your home and heart for another cat, no matter what your intentions. ;-) Sometimes it works for the new cat to be housed in an open wire crate for a while as the not-welcoming resident cat gets to express his/her indignation from a safe distance and get used to the smell and fact that yes, this IS going to be another member of the family! Perhaps worth a try. Good luck - hope it works because we want and need you to stay happy and keep writing!

cs harris said...

Lynne, I'm afraid you're right. It can't be a coincidence that they all end up on my doorstep.

Charles, I'm amazed at how sweet she is.

Paz, thank you. And I'm told the sable brown is unusual. She may have Burmese heritage. Hope you feel better soon. I am also at the point where I'm forgetting what it was like to have energy and feel well.

Tiffany, thanks! As for suggestions, have you read Martin Cruz Smith?

Theresa, ah, that's coming, eventually.

cs harris said...

Veronica, yeah, I thought him becoming a fireman was funny. And you're right, this latest book is going to cause a lot of ripples.

Susan, thank you. Something seems to bring these cats to me!

Sherri, thank you so much. I'll admit this one was a bit grim, but glad not too much so.

Anon, the timing was certainly amazing. As for Roscoe, he is such a jerk, even to his sister, I don't know if he'd ever accept Kit-Kat. If she gets better, she may go stay with my daughter, who owes me since I took Roscoe off her hands when he kept beating up on her Odon (and they were raised together from kittens!).

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the last one went off and joined the Navy as I recall. At least they are finding young men who are service minded.
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Unknown said...

I won't be. Even if I'd planned to go, I'd have to stay home to medicate little missy twice a day.
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Carol said...

Angel made sure you had someone new to share the love with?

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