Gentle readers and feeders, today we have the privilege of intermewing a library cat who is also the featured protagonist in his own mystery series.
Welcome! Pull up a cushion and introduce yourself and your author.
My name is Sneaky, and my author is Debbie De Louise.
Great to meet you, Sneaky. What books have you appeared in and how would you classify them?
I’m a cozy mystery cat, and I appear in the Cobble Cove mystery series. The series, so far, consists of three books in the following order: A Stone’s Throw (where I am introduced); Between a Rock and a Hard Place, and Written in Stone (my latest where I am featured on the cover).
Mrrrr-wow! That is one fine feline cover on the last book. Congrats on not only being a cat who is chronicled but a cover cat as well! Did your author use one of her own cats as inspurration for your character ?
I am a Siamese and am loosely based on my author’s cat, Oliver, who is also Siamese. He is turning 17, so I am quite a few cat years younger. I am about 3 in the series.
How about treating us to a scene where you particularly shine?
This is from my first book, A Stone’s Throw, where I lead my human co-star, Alicia, to a clue in the library’s storage room:
After Alicia unpacked her things, heated up Sheila’s stew that turned out to be quite tasty, and changed into pajamas, she lay in bed with a book, but she couldn’t concentrate on her reading. She turned off the light and tried to sleep, but the heavy rain against the window kept her up, as did the loud purring of Sneaky Cat, who snuggled against her, happy to have company again. She thought about Tina, the girl who’d stayed here last. From what Alicia knew of her, Tina was a young library school graduate who’d been hired by Sheila as quickly as Alicia had. She’d lived over the library in this space, as well, taken care of Sneaky, and left after two years to care for her sick mother in Florida.
Sneaky dug his paws into the quilt at her back. It had been a long time since she’d had a cat, but she recalled the kneading sensation both male and female cats practiced to comfort themselves. Maybe it would comfort her too. Had she done the right thing by returning to Cobble Cove? Would she be bored in this small town with only a hand full of people patronizing the library each day? Sheila had mentioned the large number of homebound patrons, the seniors of the town, who needed books delivered. She might enjoy that. She liked reader’s advisory work, selecting books that would interest people. Sometimes it was a challenge, but she always learned through the experience and even found new authors and books for herself.
After a few hours of restlessness, Sneaky finally got sick of her tossing and left the room. She felt strangely deserted. She decided it might be better to get up and do something than spend unproductive time in bed. She turned on the light and went out into the hall. All was quiet from downstairs except the continuous downpour. She didn’t plan to go into the library, but she considered checking some of the unprocessed books Sheila had mentioned Mac was working on in the storage room. Perhaps she’d find something more interesting than her current reading that could help her fall asleep.
When she entered the storage room, she didn’t see Sneaky, although she thought he might’ve headed there to use his litter box. Cats can be quiet and liked to sleep in the strangest spots, so he could be there in some corner. Mac’s jacket was still draped across the chair by the desk. She laughed recalling the story about what Sneaky had once done to it out of spite, so typical of an angered cat. She sat in the chair and perused the stack of books on the desk. A few were from James Patterson’s “Private” series. She didn’t read too many series and had only read a few of Patterson’s standalone titles. As she was about to choose a book from the pile, she heard scratching in the corner. She jumped. Hopefully, that was Sneaky and not a mouse he hadn’t caught, for this place probably attracted them. She walked cautiously to the corner where she’d heard the noise. It wasn’t coming from the litter box under the window but from the opposite side.
Since the one bulb in the room was dim, she could hardly see in the dark recesses of the room. She wished she had a flashlight. As she approached the area where she heard the noise, she saw a bunch of boxes. She was relieved to see Sneaky scratching the side of one, cardboard pieces scattered at his feet.
“Oh, Sneaky,” she said. “You scared me, but you’re only using a box for a scratching post.”
The cat, caught in the act, stopped in mid-scratch and scampered away through his cat flap. Alicia made a note to speak to John about helping her find a real scratching post for Sneaky, but before she left the room, she went over to the boxes. She figured they contained more books, but when she looked inside the one Sneaky had been scratching, she saw a few papers bundled together with rope. Newspapers? They weren’t that thick. She realized as she picked up the first bundle, they were a stack of letters. She felt uneasy snooping through them and was about to toss them next to the other two stacks in the box when she caught the name on the top envelope, Miss Carol Parsons. Her heart thudded in tempo with the rain. Were these the letters Mac wrote to Peter’s mother all those years ago? If so, how had Mac gotten them back?
Excellent! Looks like your human sleuth is really going to need your help to solve this. What do you like most about your role in these books?
I like the fact that I am featured in each book. I would love more exciting roles, but Debbie is starting to give me more active scenes. I also enjoy helping the Cobble Cove peeps find clues to the mysteries. Detecting is great fun, and I am able to use my wonderful cat senses and keen observational techniques to help my human co-stars solve crimes.
So you’re not the kind of cat-sleuth who talks directly to the humans he’s helping?
I am quiet except for the usual cat sounds – meows, purrs, hisses. As a fellow cat character, I am sure you are familiar with the feline noises.
If you could converse with them, what would you tell your human co-detectives?
I would tell my human assistants, Alicia, John, and Gilly in my latest mystery, that they should pay more attention to me and the other pets in their stories because we have senses way acuter than they do and can sniff, observe, and hear stuff that they may not be aware of. Also, they need to be more careful. Even though our books are cozies, there have been murders in them. I’d hate to see one of my human co-stars get hurt. Fido, my dog co-star, had an incident in our second mystery, but he pulled through fine. We pets are quite resilient, but humans are fragile creatures.
Any words of wisdom for your fellow litterary cats?
Don’t shed the small stuff. Don’t let other pet characters overshadow you especially dogs. I have my canine co-star, Fido, firmly in paw about that.
What are you up to next? Have you a new case to tell us about?
Nothing new at the moment, but I know Debbie is planning to start a possible fourth book in our series in the fall.
Then we’ll definitely need to stay in touch! How can we find out what you’re up to online?
I don’t have a catFace page or tweeting bird account, but I do have a blog where I interview other pet characters. It was my pleasure to interview you on it. It’s located at https://sneakylibrarycat.wordpress.com. I also show cute cat videos on Friday. Debbie’s social media links are as follows:
Amazon Author Page: https://www.amazon.com/Debbie-De-Louise/
Website/Blog/Newsletter Sign-Up: https://debbiedelouise.wordpress.com