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Archive for 'cats'

A Research Visit to Barista Cats, Auckland, New Zealand

Barista Cats

These days, many families live in rental accommodation or high-rise apartments are unable to keep pets. Enter – a business opportunity. Barista Cats in Queen Street Auckland is one of the new cafes where animal lovers can go to have a coffee and get their pet-fix without having the responsibility of a full-time pet.

Barista Cats has fifteen cats who live at the café and mingle with the café patrons as they chill with a tea or coffee. All the cats are ex-SPCA cats, and all have had tough lives, so they lap up the attention and care they receive at the café. One is deaf while another is blind. One or two of the cats wobble as they walk or climb, but all are healthy and happy.

Barista Cats Cafe

A visit to the café must be booked online beforehand, and only children over the age of fourteen can enter the premises. They must be with a guardian.

Hi Cutie

A Barista Cat

On arrival, all visitors are introduced to each cat, and the rules are explained. The cats have loads of toys and different bedding, but most are happy to plop down and enjoy a stroke or two from their visitors.

Each session is one hour, and the café hosts special sessions with kittens. They also have yoga and movies several times a month. You get to do yoga or watch a movie with a cat on your lap.

Dinner Time at the Cafe

Want to chill out and destress? If you’re a pet-lover without a pet, this is definitely the place for you.

Military MenI enjoyed my visit, and some of my experience will go into my current, as yet unnamed work-in-progress, which is part of my Military Men series. Watch this space!

Cats and Romance – Check Meowt! #books #romance #cats

Kitten

September is the month of the cat.

Cats—both wild and domestic—come from the Felidae family. Around eight to twelve million years ago cats evolved into two categories, which scientists called Old World and New World species. The cat family was also classified into two further groups. Big cats that roared e.g. lions, tigers etc were Panthera while the smaller cats that didn’t roar were placed in the Felis group.

Our modern-day domestic cats evolved from the Felis group. Experts think the African wildcat chose to live close to humans in Egypt and became domesticated. From here traders took cats into Italy and they spread through Europe and western Asia.

These days many of us own cats. They’re excellent companions. They entertain us. And who doesn’t enjoy the purr of a cat. It’s very relaxing to listen to a content cat.

Cats are independent, full of curiosity and they love to explore. They’re fastidious and self-cleaning. Many people are convinced they’re the perfect pet.

With so many cat lovers around, it’s not surprising that cats have found their way into romances.
If you’d like to read a romance featuring a cat, try one of these https://www.goodreads.com/list/show/36815.Cats_Wonderful_Pets_in_Romance

Personally, I’m a fan of feline shifters—the roaring group of cats—and I’ve written leopard, lion and tiger shapeshifters.

If you’re a fan of feline shifters check out one of my Middlemarch Shifters series, Middlemarch Capture series or my House of the Cat series.

And if you enjoy historical romances, my heroine in The Spurned Viscountess adopts a stray cat.

Ernest Hemingway House, Key West, Florida #travel #writing

When we visited Key West, I noticed the Ernest Hemingway House Museum and suggested to my long-suffering husband that this could be our bit of “culture” for the day. Although I know of Hemingway, I’ve never read his books (I know. Big gasp.) but, other writers interest me and seeing their offices is always fascinating.

Ernest lived and wrote at his Key West house for around ten years. He purchased the property in 1931 after he and his wife fell in love with the area.

The house, as it stands now, is full of furniture collected by the Hemingway’s during their time in Europe plus paintings and copies of his book. Descendants of Hemingway’s cats also have free run of the property. It’s said he acquired his original six-toed tom cat from a sea captain after he took a liking to the cat.

He built a swimming pool at a cost of around $20000. Very expensive at the time and the only one in the area.

There is a writing studio out the back of the house, which I adored. I wanted to move in and start writing straightaway.

Hemingway divorced his wife Pauline in 1940 and moved to Cuba with his third wife, returning now and then to Key West until his death by suicide in 1961. He was very productive during his time in Key West writing books such as A Farewell to Arms, For Whom the Bell Tolls, Death in the Afternoon, The Green Hills of Africa, To Have and Have Not and Islands in the Stream.

Source: https://www.hemingwayhome.com/

Hemingway House

Me outside the Hemingway Museum.

Hemingway House

The front view of the house.

And me again!

A painting of Hemingway

A painting of Hemingway.

Hemingway Books

Some of Hemingway’s books.

Interior

Bedroom

This is the main bedroom with one of the descendants of Hemingway’s cat.

Writing Studio

These are the stairs that lead up to Hemingway’s writing studio.

Writing office

Hemingway wrote in this office. It was bright and light and airy, and I coveted his office. I’m certain I could write great masterpieces in this office. :-)

Real Life Cat Burglars

A cat burglar is a thief who breaks into homes to steal personal property. They take their name from real life cats since cats are stealthy, quiet creatures that approach their prey without causing alarm.

The human variety of cat burglar slips inside unnoticed, taking what he wants and disappearing again before the victim notices a theft has occurred. Essentially, a cat burglar breaks and enters. It’s against the law yet cat burglars have appeared in some of my favorite romance stories and movies.

Today I thought I’d tell you about two real-life cat burglars.

Estate agent, Bill Mason plundered more than $70 million worth of jewels over three decades. According to him there was no thrill quite so big as hanging from a parapet 200 feet above the ground while a hoard of diamonds and gold was only a few feet away, his for the taking, if he could hold his nerve.

He was attractive, charismatic and debonair with old-age mystique and very good at his job, never once resorting to violence. He lived a double life for twenty-five years, married to his childhood sweetheart, Barbara. He drove his three kids to school and sports matches, invited the neighbors over for barbeques and worked in his legitimate property business. At night, he robbed the rich, sinking the funds from his heists into real estate and investments. His wife had no idea and assumed his money came from hard work and judicious borrowing. He always had a good excuse for his night time absences.

According to Mason, he had a good head for heights and worked to maintain strong hands because a thief needs to find one way to get inside that no one expects and that means climbing.

The FBI finally caught up with him and he did a stint in prison. You can read his story in Confessions of a Master Jewel Thief

The second cat burglar is of the feline variety. Frankie, a two-year-old cat has stolen 35 plush toys during the last year. He skulks into houses, steals their small stuffed animals and takes his ill-gotten gains home, sneaking them through his cat flap. His owner, Julie Bishop, says, “He doesn’t really play with them. He dumps them in the same spot at home and goes looking for more.”

Frankie has collected stuffed teddy bears, a giant squeaky hamburger but favors a small leopard toy. He has more than a dozen of the same spotted leopard toy. Here’s a link to the story plus a photo of Frankie with some of his stolen loot. http://www.nydailynews.com/news/us_world/2008/12/10/2008-12-10_reallife_cat_burglar_stealing_kitty_toys.html

Because I’ve enjoyed reading cat burglar romances in the past, I decided to write my own. Let me introduce Cat Burglar in Training.

Cat Burglar in Training

Here is the blurb:

Eve Fawkner had no intention of following in her father’s footsteps. But when the thugs harassing him to repay his gambling debts threaten her young daughter, Eve is forced to assume the role of London’s most notorious cat burglar, The Shadow. The plan is simple: pull off a couple of heists, pay back the goons and go into permanent retirement. But things get messy during her first job when Eve witnesses a murder, stumbles across a clue that sheds some light on her past and, worst of all, falls for a cop.

Inspector Kahu Williams would be the perfect man, if Eve were looking, and if there wasn’t the little matter of their career conflict. The man is seriously hot—and hot on the trail of a murderer. A trail that keeps leading him back to Eve…

Grab your copy at: Carina Press| Amazon | All Romance eBooks | Barnes & Noble| Koboicon|iBooks US| iBooks NZ