Why, oh why, Mr. Pye?


Mr . Pye is my beautiful, mouthy, four-year-old mini-panther (black cat). Of my three cats, Pyewacket is usually the one locked into a routine. Any variable in the routine is liable to make him run for cover. Pye is also my one flight risk. Careful when opening the door. There might be a cat trying to run out.

For some reason, he has recently decided that he needs attention in the middle of the night. Starting at about 1:00 AM, we had an endless night of Pye getting up in front of the TV, climbing on kitchen counters and knocking things off, climbing on the nightstand and knocking things off, crying for closed doors to open, revenge-bathing his sisters while they were trying to sleep, and getting on the foot of my bed to vigorously chase his tail.

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Fifth Grave Past the Light

Fifth Grave

I am so excited! Today a new book in the Charley Davidson series, “Fifth Grave Past the Light,” came out and was nicely delivered to my Kindle at a little past midnight. I managed to stave off the compulsion to start reading until about 3:00 AM. Yay, me! That is a testament to my willpower.

I was only able to read about three chapters before I had to go back to sleep for a couple of hours. I had to work today. I really should have taken a vacation day so I could just read.

I’m hoping to get more reading in this evening after supper. Depends on the cats and their needs. All cats have needs, no doubt about that, but sometimes by boy Pyewacket is needier than most. I might use duct tape as a disciplinary tool with men but not with cats. I just have to practice patience and use my selective hearing.

I had a bit of a dilemma the day before Fifth Grave came out. I finished the books in the Graveyard Queen series and had one day to go. I didn’t want to start another book because I would have to drop it 1/2 way though. Wait even a day to read Fifth Grave? Seriously? Not in this reality!

I ended up reading a bunch of samples I had on my Kindle.Amazon sending samples is a wonderful idea Love it, Amazon. Many thanks!

After reading, I moved the sample into a “To Buy” collection, a “Maybe” collection or deleted the it altogether. Two birds, one stone and all that. I read the samples I’ve been meaning to, cleared out some of the Kindle dead wood and I didn’t delay my date with Charley and Reyes. I win!

So I’m off to get dinner dins and then it’s Charley, Reyes, Vishous and me for the rest of the night.

Kitties, you are welcomed to join me, but shhh! Mommy’s reading!


According to the regular old English-language dictionary, taphophile (pronounced taf′ōfil) is an interest in cemeteries, funerals. According to medical dictionaries taphophilia is a morbid attraction to the same. Trust doctors to make a passion into an illness. Pffft!

I am also a bit of an insomniac. Two or three o’clock rolls around and I’m wide awake. Reading can help me ease back into sleep mode. Thank goodness for my man Vishous — my Kindle Paperwhite. I no longer have to turn on a reading light or a flashlight to read in the dark.

At the moment I’m reading The Graveyard Queen series by Amanda Stevens. The main character, Amelia Gray, restores cemeteries and has a blog called Digging Graves. To me, that sounds cozy and inviting. However, these books are paranormal thrillers in the best sense of the word. The creepy factor ranks up there with The Turn of the Screw by Henry James. Normally I can still read a couple of chapters and go back to sleep, as long as nothing to terrible creepy has happened.

So last night I was reading The Kingdom and was at a particularly creepy spot in a chapter — at a point where there was no way I was putting that book down and going to sleep — when


my black cat, Pywacket, jumped up on the bed. It was time for lovies.

After my heart rate slowed to normal, I petted and rubbed him. Then — time to play fetch, of course! By the time he tired of that and wandered off, it was after four and I was able to sleep without delving into the book again.

Luckily, I had time to read while I had my coffee. This series has moved in to the top 5 for all-time favorite series, kicking Sookie Stackhouse to the curb. This isn’t a surprise. Sookie’s been on her way out for about three books now.

Book 4, (not counting the prequel) The Visitor, is due out October 2013. As yet, I haven’t seen any announcement of Amazon, but as soon as it’s out, IT’S MINE!

Shoe tragedy

Last Sunday I worked an awards ceremony for our university. It’s very similar to working graduation — but smaller. I stand in the entrance of the venue and make sure the kids have filled out both sides of these cards. The one side has their name and award. If the pronunciation of the name is unusual, they are to phonetically spell the name so the nomenclator has a fighting chance of announcing it correctly as the award is given.

When the ceremony is about to begin, I go and stand next to the nomenclator hand him the cards to read and take them from him when he’s finished. This is usually done in piles of 25 or so. I have to make sure the cards are in order when given and when received. It’s not only for the kids; it’s also for the photographers. There were three photographers taking pics of each student before, during and after. If the cards get messed up, the proper person won’t be receiving that photo.

This means I want to dress nicely. I might not be seen once I’m backstage, but I want to look presentable in case I’m in a shot. I also want to look professional since I represent both the photography company and the university.

Sunday I decided to rock my inner Jackie O. I was wearing a retro-looking suit, very reminiscent of the 60s. My shoes have to be comfortable enough that I can stand for about 2 hours straight with possible short bouts jogging included. I have one pair of shows that really fit the bill and one that is my “if I must” pair. I grabbed the go-to pair and ::gasp:: saw evidence of kitty destruction! Pumpkin isn’t the fashion hound that Pye is. She doesn’t pay any attention to shoes or bags.

Pyewacket likes leather-esque materials. He has clawed and chewed a Kindle cover and a Namaste bag. I have seen him with his nose in my leather ankle boots and my leather mid-calf boots, but he usually just hides one of his toys in them. Or in one of my trainers.

But there it was — the crime scene. My go-to shoes were murdered. They were clawed and chewed. Large chunks were displaced on the heel and toe of each shoe. Teeth marks peppered the sides.

I immediately started grabbing other pairs. My Iron Fists were ok except for divot on the one stiletto. Truthfully, that could have happened during normal wear and tear. Nothing a Sharpie won’t fix.

My black and white heels — not so lucky. Mom didn’t see much wrong at first. When I angeled them into the light a little better, mom paled a little. Huge scratches on the heel and toe, along the side and signs of gnawing — GNAWING — all along the arch and sole. My black and whites were gone. ::sob::

Slowly, I turned and looked at the culprit. He sat there, washing his hands and face. I think he was trying to erase all DNA evidence. I reminded myself of the fact he might be a big boy, but Pye is still a kitten. I simply told him what my mom still tells me: “You’re not too big to turn over my knee, ya know.” Pye was unimpressed.

Those shoes are gone now. They served a purpose. They were my “carrot” during knee-replacement rehab.

As they say, when one door closes, another door to a shoe store opens. This tragedy tells me I have to go buy more shoes.

Iron Fist NightmareIron Fist Nightmare 2

These are on their way. I think they might ease the pain just a little.

Mice in the bed

There are rules I never thought I would have to make, first among them: No mice in the bed!

On November 30 we adopted two kittens. Pyewacket (nee Ebony — who gave a girl’s name to my little boy?) is about 6 months old and Pumpkin is about 5 months old. Both have “Rambunctious” as a middle name.



In preparation for their arrival, I went to Wal-Mart and Petco for supplies. Of course, I had to buy toys. Wal-Mart had a packet of fuzzy, fake mice in neon colors. Pyewacket loves to wait until the lights are off to snag a mouse from the toy box and bring it to bed. Then he plays. He’ll toss the mouse, dive on it and wrestle it, preferably while trapping the mouse against my thigh with his front paws and kicking it with his back. Another toss and dive onto my stomach is usually next; followed by digging the mouse out from under me, whether that’s where it has landed or not. By which time I yell, “No mice in the bed!”

Pumpkin is a mixer. Being the typical little sister, she starts trouble and let’s the older one take the blame. A favorite maneuver is to let Pyewacket settle on his pillow on the bed. Then she gets up next to him as though she’s there for a cuddle. Her next move is a slap or a bite. Pyewacket retaliates and they end up rolling around on the bed, locked in each others death grip. My arms and legs are invariably the casualties. By which time I yell, “No fisticuffs in the bed!”



Both kitties are adept at massages. Pumpkin is my massage therapist. She kneads various parts of my body with her paws and she doesn’t use her claws. Py, on the other hand, likes to use his claws while kneading my back. It’s not altogether unpleasant. The problem arises when he decides to massage my chest. By which time I yell, “No nipple piercing in the bed!”

I didn’t have to make bed rules for a husband, but I have to for animals. There’s something vaguely disturbing about that.

The other night when I was getting undressed for bed, Py decided to jump in my discarded jeans and roll around in the crotch. I watched for a few minutes 1) glad I was not wearing the jeans and 2) finding it a little unsettling that he was having so much fun rolling around in my pants 3) thankful I didn’t have to yell, “No wrestling with my jean’s crotch in the bed!”