For Pet Lovers

By Allison Brennan

Once again, I’m stuck for time. I have copyedits coming on Wednesday, and a short story due a week from Monday–that now I have to get done early because I only have five days for copyedits. When it rains it pours!

So after writing all afternoon (after a football game and a soccer game), I’m brain dead. So when Pari asked us if anyone wanted to write a post for our good friend Simon Wood, I jumped at the chance! Why? Because it’s easy for me to talk about my pets, and I like Simon.

My mom was never a cat person, so we always had dogs growing up. My first dog was a Sheltie, and I’m still partial to them. After Shotzi was hit by a car when I was four, my mom turned to smaller dogs–a little poodle mix (Misty) then a pomeranian (Becky.) But I was always a cat person in my heart.

My first cat was my grandpa’s. Spooky was black with white paws and he didn’t like anyone but my grandpa. (It might have had something to do with the fact that grandpa bought him liver and gave him a little every night for his “dessert.”) I made it my life’s mission to get Spooky to like me. It took months, but I became a tolerable to the cat. When my grandpa died, I inherited Spooky.

In college, long after Spooky was gone, my roommate and I rescued a kitten from a fraternity. It’s not that they would have hurt him, but we didn’t want to take the chance. Nixon became my cat, and traveled with me wherever I went. As a kitten, he loved the car. When I got a job in Virginia, I flew him cross country. After that, he hated travel.

It was Nixon who converted my dog-loving husband to tolerate cats. Why? Because Nixon acted like a dog. He came when you called him, he did his business outside in the garden, and he didn’t scratch the furniture. (Though, why Dan would care about that considering his dog, a chocolate lab, ATE not one, but TWO sofas!)

Nixon came down with cancer when he was only seven, and there was nothing we could do because it had spread so fast. I was pregnant at the time, and so heartbroken because he was my first pet that was all mine. I’d had other cats that I’d acquired and found homes for over the years–all while I had Nixon–but they were more like friends who came and went, and Nixon was family.

Nixon also trained our puppy, Curly (a friend of ours had a surprise litter just before we were married), to like cats, and the two of them were best buddies. After Nixon died, Curly was as sad as we were.

Shortly after my daughter (#2) was born in 1996, I went to the grocery store and people were giving away kittens. Two were left, curled up in a box, one orange and white like Nixon and one a dark tabby. I took them both and blamed post partum depression when my husband balked. (After all, I had just given birth to a ten pound baby, I could get away with almost anything at that point.)

We named them Toulouse (left) and Neelix (right), and because Nixon had trained Curly so well, we had no problems with the dog getting along with the cats. She knew who was boss (the felines.) In 2005, Neelix disappeared–we thought he might have been injured by a car or animal and wandered off to die. He was known to bring rabbits and huge rodents and birds to our back porch. He may, in fact, have been the only cat to deliver us a baby bunny on Easter morning. Thank God we woke up before the kids!

Toulouse was a character. He used to torment my younger daughter by always sleeping on her toys. Her favorite stuffed animal was this Mickey Mouse, and Toulouse loved to drag it from her room and sleep on it. If there was a piece of paper on the floor, he’d be curled up on it. Anything new became his bed for the day.

Below is Toulouse in the dog’s water bowl:


One Christmas, he found an empty box:



And then our kids left the skateboard out one spring day . . .



He found more innovative places to sleep as he got older. He liked getting into cabinets, or finding the one toy that was sure to bring the most attention:


Being cute by the garden statue:



Being not-so-cute on top of the toaster:



And two months before he died, we still don’t know how he had the energy to jump onto the counter, open the coffee cabinet, and jump up to the third shelf:


It was nearly two months ago when we had to put Toulouse to sleep. He was well over 14 years. Toulouse had a tumor for years, but because of the location and his age, it was safer not to perform surgery. He survived happily for nearly five years, but the tumor grew suddenly and quickly and we had no options once he stopped eating. Then two weeks ago, my daughter’s boyfriend asked my permission to give her a kitten for their 6 month anniversary. I went with them to the Sacramento SPCA to pick him out, and we brought home an orange and white tabby we named Nemo. Nemo can never replace Toulouse, but we love him just as much! When he woke up my daughter in the middle of the night to play, she brought him to my room and said, “Nemo won’t let me sleep!” I told her that sounded familiar, but at least he wasn’t wet, crying, and hungry. (I probably should have used the event as a life lesson about sex and babies, but it was 3 in the morning.)


Meet Nemo




When Murderati alum Simon Wood asked if we would post a special charity appeal here, I agreed because we just had a wonderful experience at the pound getting Nemo, and part of the great experience was having the foster parents comments about all the cats–which ones were good with kids, other animals, etc. That was invaluable to us as adoptive cat owners, because it would have broken my heart to find out after a few days that our new cat hates little kids. Fortunately, Nemo fit in perfectly!

So from Simon:


This is for the animal lovers out there.
 I doubt anyone is aware that my wife and I foster animals for the ASPCA and other organizations.  We usually take the no hope cases, where the animals aren’t expected to survive or need specialist care.  Over the last few years, we’ve rescued dozens of cats and dogs and found them new homes.  Our family pets are all rescues — ones that we couldn’t give up after the care we’d given them. 
 Our cat, Bug, was one of those rescues we couldn’t let go of after we’d taken him in.  After five fun fill years, Bug died last week.  He was a great cat and a lot of fun to have around the house.  We’re going to miss him a lot. 
 In Bug’s honor, I’m going to donate all eBook royalties earned at Amazon and for the next two weeks to Best Friends, an organization I truly admire. This applies to the following titles: 
 Please feel free to share this appeal on Twitter, Facebook or your blog.  If there’s a strong showing, I’ll extend the appeal.  
 Thanks for listening, 


So you get to read a great story for a couple bucks, and Simon gives the money to a worthy charity!


And I’ll up the ante. I’ll donate $25 to Simon’s charity in the name of the first person who guesses how we named Toulouse, plus I’ll send you FEAR NO EVIL, my Daphne du Maurier award winner which introduces Lucy Kincaid–just in time to read the book before I launch her series on December 28 with LOVE ME TO DEATH.


Also, share with us how you ended up with your most recent pet, or another funny (or special!) animal story. (For example, my brother-in-law the wildlife biologist visited us one day–and his car broke down and he stayed overnight–with a mountain lion cub. They are NOT cute. The cub, named Flash, has been integrated with the mountain lions at Folsom Zoo, a rescue zoo, where my mother volunteers.)


36 thoughts on “For Pet Lovers

  1. Tracy Nicol

    Well, you must have named Toulouse after Toulouse Lautrec! Did your Toulouse also have very short legs? Lautrec also had a painting of a black cat and was very fond of the cabaret in Paris, Le Chat Noir. Your Toulouse was not black, but very dark.

    I am have been a member of Best Friends since their beginning and adore cats. I have…um many! They are all rescues and receive tons of love and care.

    Thank you Simon, and thank you, Allison!

  2. PK the Bookeemonster

    Every year as a kid and well into my 20s, on my Christmas list I always put "a puppy". We grew up with a beagle but it was my brother's. Later my brother got a chocolate lab. Then I got a beagle for my dad when he retired and needed some company. Finally, when I was 36 and my husband and I finally had our own house, I got my own dog, thank you very much. Tug is from the animal shelter. He was 5 months old and already 40 pounds with big paws. I love what animal shelters do but it breaks my heart. I sobbed after every visit looking for the dog that would come home with me. Tug is now 7 years old and 148 pounds of Lab/Malamute and he's my baby.
    I've always been a dog person. Cats are okay but a dog hates to see you leave for work and is so happy when you get back home. Every time.

  3. Allison Brennan

    I'm not saying Tracy! 🙂 I'll post the answer later today.

    PK, I love dogs too, and you're right about them always being happy to see you. I think I have my affection with cats because of Spooky. I kind of liked that he didn't like anyone but me and my grandpa. 🙂 But I promise, if Nixon could convert my husband who HATED cats, he would have converted you, too. (Also, he knew I would never marry anyone who didn't like cats, because I once dated a guy who didn't like them. Not for long! Dating, I mean. LOL.)

    The Sacramento SPCA recently relocated and is AMAZING. It's huge, and clean and has wonderful facilities for the animals. But there is something completely different about the cat rooms than the dogs. The cats almost act like they don't care if you adopt them; the dogs have the sad eyes. My daughter and I couldn't handle the dog rooms, knowing we wouldn't be taking one home. We have to get a gate for our driveway before we get a dog. It's the number one thing on my list when I get my next contract.

  4. Andrea Olson

    When my sister and I were younger, we had a cat named Cleocatra, Cleo for short. When we had to put her to sleep, we made a pact that when we got another cat, we would incorporate cat into the name. She was the first to get a cat and named her Maxicat, Maxi for short. I got a tuxedo with loads of attitude and named her Magnificat, Maggie for short. My boyfriend and I just added a kitten to the family, named Syndicate, Syndi for short. Maggie would like everyone to think that she hates Syndi but when noone is looking, she loves her up

  5. Catherine

    A few years back I ran away to the zoo for a summer. I'd had a heavy subject load and really needed to get my head out of the books. I was hired on as part of a team that would work at a variety of sections within the zoo. One of the most sought after tasks was to play Tiger escort duty. This meant at at a point in the day a couple of keepers would walk the tiger cubs and we'd walk alongside to make sure that no one tried to pat them as though they were big kittens. It's surprising just how many people will try to ignore you (and significant claws) to try to and pat the kitty..

    Allison, I'm guessing that Toulouse-Lautrec was the inspiration for Toulouse, as Tracy has mentioned…but more so as homage to the darker marking on his face being a bit like the artists moustache. Maybe this is a total stretch, but I remember my Mum called a cat Passepartout after the character in 'Around the world in eighty days.'. I think it was because the cat (from a very young age all the way to a fairly nasty old age) would scare off all the neighbourhood dogs by clinging to their backs for a circuit of the house. A few very loose associations tend to help decide names in our family.

  6. Mary Ellen Crmody

    Hi – I have five – they are basically my children now – I have always been a cat lover – I won't go into the ones that passed – makes me too sad – but now we have katie (the mother), Slick (male), Panther (girl, and all black), spikey (girl, Dave named her before he determined her gender) and squirt (the runt). All different, I can't name a farvorite just like I can't name a fav child. Spikey wakes us up in the morning if she starts to hear the cars go by and we aren't up. Actually, she comes and kisses my eyelids. Squirt sleeps inbetween us, Slick brings presents in from outside, Panther warns me if people are at the door, and Katie, the mother, just sleeps a lot – she's getting older.

  7. Christine Glover

    Thank you so much for sharing your story with us. I love all the photos. I have had cats in my life since I was a kid. We found Spot when we were selling comic books after a vacation. Turns out she was about 10 years old, pregnant with her last litter, and the babies were born next to my mom in the master bed. Poor Spot. She labored for 3 days to give birth to the kittens. We tried to move them down to the basement (three flights) but she carried all three right back up the stairs again. We gave two away and kept one: Sloppy. A black and white cat that had silky long fur. Both lived a long time, Sloppy had to get put to sleep after I had left home. I have owned several kittens/cats throughout my pre-married life. But Ion was the first cat I owned with my hubby. He was an orange and white cat. Super feisty. liked traveling in our car, slept in the sinks, liked sucking my husband's thumb (we believe he was addicted to nicotine–at the time we had him hubby smoked). We moved to a new house and he kept running back to our old apartment which was 3 miles away. We tried all we could do to keep him happy, but to know avail. Even took him to the local university psych department for animals and they profiled US, the cat, and tried all these modification therapies. Nothing worked. Meanwhile, we had already gotten another beauty, Sierra, a longhaired silver tabby with a sweet personality. She was definitely all mine. She also got a tumor, had surgery to remove it, and we knew it would return but she lived another two years. She passed away in front of the fireplace. Good way for a cat to go to heaven.

    Now we have Clancy who we got after Ion disappeared for the zillionth time. She's 18, has renal failure, but is still fighting the good fight to be with us. We call her the Dowager Feline Clancy. She sleeps with me every night, follows me everywhere, and sits on my arms when I type my books on my lap top as she watches the words fly across the screen. To be honest, I have NEVER had to put down a cat. And the news of her illness devastated me. I was very upset and worried about making the wrong decision, the timing, the whole nine yards. She's been with me for so long and has lived in all three of our houses, 3 different states and was with me at the birth of our child. In a way we grew up together. I love her so much. I can't even bear the idea of seeing her go. But we have an agreement and I'll know when it is time.

    Will be the hardest day of my life.

    Our daughter's cat, Madam Mischief is 8 years old and very loyal to my teen. She is quite a huntress and a great watch cat over my girl. I love her to bits for the love she gives our child. My hubby is her "male" and we call him her boyfriend. She brings him socks, small toys and so forth. Drops them in front of his office door when he is on telecoms. It's hilarious.

    I keep saying once the felines are gone, I'm done. But I wonder now. Seeing the kitten pictures makes me wistful.

    Sorry this is long. It's been an emotional autumn for me with DFC and your post touched a nerve.

    Congratulations about your new kitten!!

  8. Kit Frazier

    Atticus Finch came to us under the light of a full August moon, summoned by whatever deranged spirit it is that brings surly cats to the only people who could truly love them.
    The skinny, spike-tailed, yellow and white kitten was a “gift” from a friend and her cat-whispering husband, who managed to coax the starving stray from the neighbor’s garden.
    The kitten instigated a war between her felines, she explained, and must find another home.
    I should have known then that he was a natural-born troublemaker.
    I named him Atticus, hoping he would grow into the name and become a peaceful, loving writing companion.
    I should have named him Attilla.
    After showing him his new home, bestowing upon him a multitude of gifts and a nice, fluffy bed, I decided to wait to introduce him to my stepson’s enormous, slow-witted Labrador retriever. Atticus had other ideas.
    The moment I placed the kitten on his new bed, he transformed into the Tasmanian devil and catapulted onto the bewildered dog, a hissing, spitting whirl of fur.
    I pried him off the dog and separated them, as they remain to this day.
    Atticus has no idea that he is a ten-pound cat, and has become the terror of the neighborhood. I recently had to apologize to neighbors after he chased their dog under the car. Again.
    He lies in wait on the branch of a live oak like a sniper. No animal, be it deer or dog, is safe from his sorties. My cat, it seems, is the neighborhood thug.
    Despite infinite affection and an endless supply of Little Friskies, Atticus cannot get it through his little kitty brain that he is no longer a stray. He doesn’t eat, he devours. Jaws unhinge so he can cram as much into his mouth as is kittenly possible. He wolfs down dinner as though he’ll never see food again. He would glut through the entire bag of kibble and start on the dog chow if he could figure out how to open the Tupperware.
    Despite his antisocial behavior, he cannot stand to be apart from us. When we go for walks, he follows, hiding in the woods so as not to be seen. I suppose it would ruin his reputation.
    He does love to write, though. We do so on a small island in the middle of the lake. If I don’t wait for him to come along, he climbs up the highest boulder in the yard and howls like wounded banshee. It is a forlorn, paint-peeling yowl that causes neighbors to throw open their windows.
    When we are writing, it is the only time he behaves like a cat, batting at the letters appearing onscreen and stomping on the letter “J.”
    I think he’s trying to tell me something.
    In spite of his antics, or perhaps because of them, I am besotted with the little beast. Atticus is my Monster Muse—a pint-sized inspiration with the heart of a lion and the soul of a warrior.
    We should all be so lucky.

    Note: This is a short I recently wrote for Kimberley Freeman's upcoming book, "A Cat On My Keyboard: Favorite Authors and Their Feline Muse," a fundraiser for Alley Cats Foundation.

  9. judy wirzberger

    Charlie, a gentleman of the old school, lived next door. After his wife died his shoulders slumped more, his step slowed and he smiled less frequently. He called me over once to show me a listening device someone had hidden in his condo, actually a chip of broken Christmas ornament. In the evenings I would hear Charlie scuffling through the darkness calling "Son, come on. Time to go in." Eventually his ginger striped cat Rozie would scrabble down a tree or from under a car and Charlie would cradle him in his arms for the walk home.
    One morning in mid June, Charlie knocked at my door and asked if I could watch Rozie. Of course, I said of course. Charlie's eyes teared and his wrinkled face rumpled. "He's such a good boy. I just couldn't put him down." Turns out Charlie's son was putting him in a home.
    Rozie lived with me for years, preferring to be outside most of the time, leaving the less delectible parts of mice and rats on the doorstep before he came in for the night.
    He's with Charlie, now and in the evenings on some street in heaven, you'l here Charlie calling for his son.

    So was it the artist, the city, or the cafe? I would bet he walked in paint and made a picture.

  10. Wynter Daniels

    One of our current cats, Bloo, a Russian Blue, was in a tiny cage with other rescue cats at an adopt-a-pet day at the pet store. When my daughter and I walked past, he grabbed her shoelace and stopped us in our tracks. The shoelace was really a heart string because he tugged so hard we had to bring him home. He was scrawny and his fur dull. He didn't get along with our other cat, but after 5 years, he is now a beautiful, playful cat. And the two cats now tolerate each other.

  11. Eika

    I'm probably wrong, but when I saw Toulouse, it reminded me of the name of the most delicious cookies my mom made when I was little. I once said I loved them like I loved fluffy animals.

    We only had one cat, a stray who decided he'd grace us with his presence for one winter. The vet guessed he was two, and he was already neutered, and while my sister the cat person's never been able to find him again I once saw him, the next winter, with his next family-of-choice. Ash came to us two months after the dog we'd had since I was three died, and he was great comfort. I don't know how he did it, but I was the one missing her the most, and he insisted on sleeping in my room. I think of him as the comforter-cat.

    I don't have a pet now, because I'm a college student, but I often miss my dogs. My parents and sister are bird people, my dad and mom dog people, and my sister a cat person, but I just plain love dogs. Cats are okay, but I love dogs. We currently have two: Skittles, the beagle who should've been named Houdini (he will not run away if it's raining, snowing, below 40 degrees F, or you're watching him OR the door. However, he is more car-safe than we are, dragging us off the sidewalk onto lawns if he hears one coming on a walk, and knows his way home, so we've just started to accept it. Certainly all the neighbors know him…) and a purebred Golden Retriever mom didn't want.

    But it's hard to say no when family friends call up the day after Christmas and say their dogs had eleven puppies two months back, they can't find enough homes, would we please take one since we treat our dogs so well, look we'll just come over and show him to you… one two-month-puppy on our living room floor later, and we have Cooper. I was his main caretaker when I still lived at home, though that was only about eight months before I started college, and I am still his human more than anyone else in the family. Though mom still bemoans how she's never wanted a big dog, she just wants something that can go on her lap, and he's a big boy.

  12. elaine charton

    The obvious reason for the name is Toulouse Latrec.If there is another reason, I can't begin to imagine what it is.
    I grew up a dog person-the one cat we had used to scare me by sleeping on my head at night. Then when I moved out I got my own cat and haven't looked back. Most of them were named after characters in some of my favorite books. The only one who wasn't is one of our current owners, an orange and white tabby name Yerbalot aka Yerbie. He is definitely my husbands cat and is named after a college student he knew from Kazakahstan =at the time hubby was a volunteer with the local sister cities group.
    We went to the shelter to get my husband a cat for his birthday. We had lost sisters Scarlett and Ashley earlier that year . In the cat room he walked around stopped at one cage and played with the cat, He kept walking away and coming back. After about the 5th time I said, "I think you have a new cat."
    Now Yerbie and Pandora(named after a character in one of my books) run our life totally and we'd have it no other way.

  13. Louise Ure

    Good on you, Allison. And you, too, Simon. I've had several "senior" dogs, all from Golden Retriever Rescue. Who'd a thunk golden retrievers needed rescuing? That's like having a lollipop rescue.

  14. Fran

    Your Toulouse looks like our Geordie, except you'll never see Geordie because he's scared of everything. Air scares him. He's a freak, but we love him.

    As a teenager, I'd pick up stray animals and bring them home, and my mom never complained. She'd clean them up, make sure they were healthy and rehome them. Except for Red.

    Red was a gorgeous Irish setter that we found by the side of the road where someone had deliberately swerved to hit him. You could see the skid marks across coming across the road and pulling away. Red was badly injured and lost his front leg. That was it, my mom and I agreed (dad and brother had NO say in this, thankyouverymuch) that we were keeping him. He was a good and loyal friend, and even on three legs he could really seriously run!

    Good job, both Allison and Simon!

  15. Debbie

    There are so many touching stories here that my tears have been flowing. My favourite part of todays blog is all the stories from commenters that we don't usually hear from. Glad to see you all here.
    Both Boo and Brontë, my cats, are rescue cats. The day I got the news that my Grandmother died, hubby and I walked into a pet store to look at cats…just something mind numbing to do. I worried as our two new kittens rode home, about the impulse decision, but they helped me through the grieving process and each time they race by, I think a thousand wonderful thoughts of my grandma.
    For anyone who has not already done so, go now to your library and borrow T.S. Elliot's, Old Possum's Book Of Practical Cats. It won't take more than half an hour to read, and I promise you, you WILL find your cat there. Ours, A Gumbie Cat-Brontë and, A jellicle cat-Boo.

  16. Amy

    Let's go for the not so obvious and non-intelectual…how about the cat from the Disney movie The Aristocats?
    I am on the last chapter of Fear No Evil, so reading Lucy's story would be great! I will keep an eye out for her book.

  17. toni mcgee causey

    We have two rescues, a dog and a cat.

    First off, I just want it on the record that I did not name these pets. I was not consulted.

    The first one was a dog. At the time, I had a little Yorkie who was in the latest stages of kidney failure and wasn't going to make it very much longer, and I was in no mood to add to the family when my husband called me from a job and said, "Look, there's this dog here, and I need to bring her home." He'd found her on the jobsite running with a pack of wild dogs, but she was obviously different. A lab/collie sort of mutt, her coat was rust-colored from malnutrition, she was covered with fleas and ticks. She was scared of everything, so even when they would get into some food, she was too frightened to go forward and eat. He'd dipped her twice, and fed her a few times, and she kept coming back to him. "I think you'll love her," he said.

    I said no. No. I was already having to deal with a breaking heart over Coco dying, and we honestly did not have room in the house for a medium-sized dog. Plus, we had no fence. Nothing to keep her safe, and we lived on a very busy highway. So, no. He could bring her home if and only if he found somewhere for her to go. If he wanted to rescue her, fine, but he had to call around and arrange for a home ahead of time. Because, no. Not again.

    So of course, he does not listen to me and showed up from the job looking rather pleased with himself, and without him saying anything yet, I asked, "Where is the dog?"

    "Outside. She can just stay out there for tonight. I'll find somewhere for her in the morning."

    "She can't stay out there. There's no fence! She'll get killed."

    "Well, she was going to die on the job anyway."

    [He knew that statement would send me outside looking for the dog.]

    So out I go, planning on packing her up in the car and taking her to a friend's house, who has a fenced yard, until we could find her a place to live. I walked outside and couldn't find her at first. He told me he'd named her DeeOhGee (said with an Italian accent), and so I called her, certain she'd already run off. She slinked out of the shadows, scared to death, and came and put her head up in my lap and looked up at me with this face that said, "I will love you forever," and I said, "Okay, fine, come on in."

    And she's been my shadow for 17 years. She can barely walk now, and is almost blind and can hardly hear and is sort of senile, but she's almost always nearby. I am going to miss her terribly when she's gone.

    The second rescue is a cat, Puddy. (As in, "I tought I taw a Puddy tat."

    First off, Carl is not a cat person. He's allergic. He doesn't like them. Thinks they're useless. Etc. So one day, he came home from work and said, "The toolbox on the truck is meowing, but you can't have it." Seemed that a few-days-old kitten had wandered off a loading dock and somehow managed to get into the toolbox and fall asleep and he hadn't realized it until he got home. Its mother had been killed, but he was going to take it back over to the loading dock to fend for itself over there.

    That was about five years ago. That cat tolerates me, but she absolutely loves Carl. Loves. And when he thinks no one's looking, he will talk to her and play with her and even though he's horribly allergic to most cats, he's able to handle being around her.

    I love rescues.

  18. Dao

    I turn into an idiot whenever I see a cat. "Aw, look, that's a kitt-eh!" Yeah, so shameless. My mom is not a cat person, either, but my cat Belly converted her. Now, whenever she calls me, she has to ask how the cat is doing.

    Your kitties are so cute. Toulouse is such a character.

  19. Lynnette

    When I met my future husband he had a cat that he had rescued from the pet store. This kittie was so sick they didn't think she was going to make it and didn't charge him. Of course, she survived. I tried many times for him to take her to the vet to be spayed, to no avail. When I finally took her in, or course she was with litter. She then had the grace to give birth the first time my mother came for dinner. We decided to keep one and for some reason it became my responsiblility to give the rest of them away. I went to several pet stores, but ended up giving the most away when I sat out in front of the grocery store for 15 minutes.

    That adventure led me to Honey. She was absolutely beautiful. Long white hair, the sweetest disposition ever, and one blue eye and one green. I went back to one of the pet stores and bought her, my boyfriend was less than thrilled.

    My favorite story about Honey is always especially poignant at Thanksgiving. One year, as I did many years, I made pumpkin pies the day before Thanksgiving and left them on the stove to cool overnight. The next morning I awoke to find the center missing from one of the pies, along with some incriminating paw prints on the edge and leading off the counter. It was easy enough to figure out the culprit. My beautiful pure white cat had a mask and paws of orange.

    Honey had to be put to sleep a few years later. We think she had been attacked by a dog in the neighborhood (we live outside the city limits so it could just have easily been a raccoon), and her leg was not able to be completely reattached. She really was as sweet as Honey and I hope that when we get another kitty our kids will get to have a sweet pet like her!

  20. Allison Brennan

    Amy, you're the only one who guessed right! Toulouse was named for the cat in ARISTOCATS, a Disney movie. My daughter, then 2-1/2, had two favorite movies: ARISTOCATS and 101 DALMATIONS. We watched them repeatedly. I have so many stuffed Marie's in the house (the white cat with the pink bow) I could start my own plush store.

    Since you have FEAR NO EVIL, I'll send you (or a friend) any book in my backlist. You might want CUTTING EDGE if you don't have it because it introduces Sean Rogan, Lucy's love interest. Please email me with your snail mail address and your full name so I can make that donation on your behalf! Congrats!

  21. Allison Brennan

    I love all the stories everyone is sharing, even though some are sad, they're sad in a good way. Pets are such an extension of ourselves. I would be far less happy without my pets and children.

    Toni, I like the name "Puddy" LOL

  22. Amy

    Thanks! I think I also mispelled intellectual in my post-lol. Do I just e-mail you on your website?

    By the way, I also had two cats and a dog while growing up and have a dog and cat now. I have had the cat for almost 17 years; she was a gift for my first Mother's Day. She is named after Sydney from the Alias TV show. She is quite bony and ornery now, but I will miss her very much when she is gone. Our dog is Troy Boy III, after Troy Aikman. Can you tell my hubby is a Cowboys fan? And can you believe that two other people named their dog Troy Boy? We registered him before we found out him mom was not very discerning and found out he had to be the third-funny! He is very much a friendly southern boy, though.

  23. JT Ellison

    I could barely make it through this – I am such a marshmallow about my kitties, past and present. Suffice it to say I've had several amazingly special munchkins in my life, and my present darling, Miss Jade, is the Queen of them all. I'm so sorry about Toulouse. Nemo is adorable!

  24. Tracy Nicol

    Congratulations, Amy! I should have thought of Aristocats, I love that movie!

    Thank you again, Simon and Allison!

    I bought all your books on Kindle, Simon. They really look good, and obviously from the reviews, lots of people agree!

    Here's to all the animal lovers. : )

    And, if any of you get a chance, pay a visit to Best Friends in Kanab, Utah. It is absolutely gorgeous there and you can volunteer if you like. I try to get there every couple years for a few days of volunteering, enjoying the beauty, the animals, and the great people.

  25. Mr. Allison Brennan

    To be perfectly honest, the name Toulouse came about because Katie got the name confused with the one I had chosen. I named the cats after two characters in Star Trek Voyager, Neelix and Tuvok (who they resembled). At the time our daughter Katie was watching Aristocrats round the clock four times a day and the cats in that movie are named Marie, Berlioz, and Toulouse. The cat actually more resembled Berlioz, but Tuvok sounded like Toulouse so that's what Katie started calling him. And he was "her" cat after all. RIP Toulouse. We miss you.

  26. Becky LeJeune

    Cats are the best! We got my first cat when I was 6. My parents had one before that, Buck, who liked to sleep in my baby bed when I was newborn, but wasn't a kid cat. Wilma was the first to choose me and she was my buddy until I went off to college. She was too old to take along, but by then I'd been adopted by another stray, Bustopher. When we moved to Colorado in '05 she got very sick and it took a while for them to diagnose it, but it went downhill quick. I couldn't bear the thought of going home to a house without a cat and adopted Kodiak, a tortie with total attitude who has made it clear that I'm her person, that very same day. Two years later, we adopted Calypso, a polydactyl and a total lovebug.

    Both cats were Human Society cats (Kodiak, I'm convinced is a displaced Katrina cat — I know she was shuffled as a result, but her fondness for boudin leads me to believe that she just may be a Cajun kitty). And both of them were fostered by volunteers with the Society. I commend those people. I'd become too attached to a foster, but we love our pets and I think the Humane Society does wonderful things in helping people and pets find one another.

    As a side, our dog was something of an orphan as well. Someone dropped her with my husband while he was in college, asking if he could watch her for the day. They never came back to get her, but Mike was totally hooked. She's seven now and still treats me like the interloper even though I've been around for six of those seven years!

    This is a fabulous charity donation, Simon and Allison!

Comments are closed.