Posted in Cats

Appreciating my Black Cat Harry on Black Cat Appreciation Day

Today, August 17, is Black Cat Appreciation Day, and I’m happy to say that I have my own mini panther. Harry turned a year old in August and is the sweetest fur boy you could imagine. Here are some photos of this handsome cat.

 

 

 

 

For those familiar with my books, you know that I like to write about cats. Although the library cat in my Cobble Cove mystery series is Siamese, I have included black cats in some of my writing. In my latest release, Sea Scope, there’s a black cat named Al who lives at the inn in the book.

I also feature a female black cat, Agatha, in my short story, Murder at Lavender Lake Library.

Here are so more photos of Harry. Do you have a handsome or beautiful black cat?

 

 

 

 

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Posted in Books, Cats, Freebies and Special Offers

Celebrate Harry and Hermione’s First Birthdays with Two Free Books

To celebrate Harry and Hermione’s first birthdays, you can get two of my books free, Love on the Rocks, my latest Cobble Cove cozy mystery, and Reason to Die, my mystery thriller. Both will be free Kindle ebooks on Amazon from Friday, July 19 to Monday, July 22.

Love on the Rocks
mybook.to/cc4

It’s February in the small town of Cobble Cove. Love is in the air . . . but so is murder!

When Alicia helps plan a Valentine’s Day Party at the Cobble Cove library that also includes a surprise for her newlywed friend, Gilly, things go wrong when a mysterious box of chocolates addressed to the director turns out laced with poison.

Clues Lead to A Dead Suspect

Although Alicia promised John she’ll no longer meddle in crime investigations, she and Gilly set out to find the person threatening Sheila who murdered the courier of the deadly candy. The three people they suspect include the professor from California who’s been romancing Sheila while she assists him with research for his book; the obnoxious patron Rhonda Kleisman who threw coffee at the director after refusing to pay for a damaged book; and a visiting widow staying at Gilly’s inn who’s unnaturally curious about Sheila and earns the nickname of Madame Defarge for her interest in knitting.

New Cat in Town

While Alicia and Gilly are trying to solve this new Cobble Cove mystery, Sneaky is introduced to Gilly’s new kitten, Kittykai, a calico she brought home from her honeymoon in Hawaii. It’s not like at first sight, but the two cats eventually become friends. They also both play a part in foiling the killer’s murder attempts, but will Alicia and Sheila survive unscathed?

Reason to Die
mybook.to/RTD

Someone is strangling disabled people in the small town of Baxter, Connecticut. Detective Courtney Lang and her ex-partner and ex-lover, wheelchair-bound Bill Thompson, are paired up again and put in charge of the investigation. During the course of their search, Courtney uncovers information that points toward a connection between the murders and an unsolved series of muggings by a masked man, the same man who shot and disabled Bill a year ago on the night he proposed marriage to her.

Complicating matters for Courtney is her guilt about Thompson’s shooting, her affair with her new partner, Mark Farrell, and her unresolved feelings over the deaths of her mother and sister who perished in a fire while she was away from home.

As the deaths accrue and the “Handicapped Strangler” as the killer is coined by the press continues to rampage the town adding victims of different ages, sex, and disabilities to the murder count, Courtney discovers a clue that could crack open the case but may put her and Bill’s life in jeopardy.

I hope you enjoy the books.

Also, in honor of Harry and Hermione turning 1, I’m hosting a fundraiser for the Golden Paws Society, the rescue from which they came. The fundraiser is running through July 24. It would be great if you could contribute any amount to help other kittens and cats find homes. https://www.facebook.com/donate/1954368081329994/

In addition, one of the winners of my recent Kitten Day Contest operates a rescue that is greatly in need of help. Any amount you can donate to her GoFundMe campaign will be much appreciated. https://www.gofundme.com/f/lynnes-kitty-rescue

Due to some personal issues, this blog will be on hiatus until further notice starting August 1. However, special promotions, offers, and important notices will be posted on an occasional basis. Thanks for subscribing and for your support. 

Posted in Cats, Contest, Kittens

Kitten Day Contest Winners, Important Info About Wet Cat Food, A Giveaway, and 2 Fundraisers

National Kitten Day was celebrated on July 10. On that day, on behalf of my cats, Harry and Hermione, I posted a contest for free coupons good for 12-count variety packs of Purina Fancy Feast® brand wet cat food, any variety (up to $11.99 value) as well as a photo op for the winners’ cats. The coupons were provided by Purina along with information on the advantages of including wet food in cats’ diets.

Although many cats prefer dry food, wet food is an important part of a cat’s diet. Here’s why according to nutritionists at Purina:

Water makes up 60 per cent of a cat’s body, so it’s important for them to stay hydrated. The moisture in wet food gives them additional hydration because each lap from their water bowl only gives them about 3/100 of a teaspoon.

Wet food is also high in protein which helps maintain the muscle mass that they lose as they age.

Wet food is available in many different varieties and flavors that may appeal to even finicky felines. It is also easily digestible and contains all the vital nutrients and elements for a cat’s diet.

Thanks to everyone who entered the contest. Below are the winning entries.

Karma and Kash
Skipper
Una
Jake
Copper

Also, mark your calendars for my two free book giveaways from July 19 to 22.  During that time, to celebrate Harry and Hermione’s first birthdays, you can get your free books here: mybook.to/RTD mybook.to/cc4

Also, in honor of Harry and Hermione turning 1, I’m hosting a fundraiser for the Golden Paws Society, the rescue from which they came. The fundraiser has already started, and it would be great if you could contribute any amount to help other kittens and cats find homes. https://www.facebook.com/donate/1954368081329994/

Also, one of the winners of the Kitten Day Contest operates a rescue that is greatly in need of help. Any amount you can donate to her GoFundMe campaign will be much appreciated. https://www.gofundme.com/f/lynnes-kitty-rescue

Posted in Cats, Contest, Kittens

Last Chance to Enter The Kitten Day Contest for Free Cat Food and A Photo Op for Your Fur Baby

National Kitten Day was celebrated on July 10. On that day, on behalf of my cats, Harry and Hermione, I posted a contest for free coupons good for 12-count variety packs of Purina Fancy Feast® brand wet cat food, any variety (up to $11.99 value). This Sunday night, July 14, Harry and Hermione will paw five random winners for these coupons from everyone who sends a photo of their kittens or cats to me at debbiewriter@yahoo.com  with the email subject: Kitten Day Contest Entry and follows me on any or all of the following social media sites. The winners will be contacted on Monday, July 15. Winners must be U.S. residents. In addition to winning the coupons, each winner will have their kitten or cats’ photo posted on this site in the future.

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/debbie.delouise.author/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/Deblibrarian

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/2750133.Debbie_De_Louise

Amazon Author Page: http://amzn.to/2bIHdaQ

Bookbub: https://www.bookbub.com/profile/debbie-de-louise

Website/Blog/Newsletter Sign-Up: https://debbiedelouise.com

Also, mark your calendars for my two free book giveaways from July 19 to 21.  During that time, to celebrate Harry and Hermione’s first birthdays, you can get your free books here: mybook.to/RTD mybook.to/cc4

Also, in honor of Harry and Hermione turning 1, I’m hosting a fundraiser for the Golden Paws Society, the rescue from which they came. The fundraiser has already started, and it would be great if you could contribute any amount to help other kittens and cats find homes. https://www.facebook.com/donate/1954368081329994/

Posted in Kittens

The Story of Harry and Hermione, a National Cat Day Tale

Since today, October 29, is National Cat Day, I thought I’d share the story of my new kittens, Harry and Hermione. My 14-year old daughter had never had a kitten. When she was born, we had an older cat who passed away when she was still young. Then we adopted our present cat, Stripey, he was almost a year old and a full-grown cat. He didn’t hit it off well with Holly because she was a typical noisy toddler. When Oliver came along, the senior cat I took in after my mother could no longer care for him, Holly began to bond with him, but he attached himself to me. My husband promised Holly that she could have her own cat when Oliver passed away. Five years later, that happened. It was a heartbreak for both of us. We didn’t rush to get another cat, and Stripey seemed content to be an only cat again.

As the one-year mark approached that Oliver took his trip to Rainbow Bridge, a cat cafe opened up on Long Island called The Shabby Tabby Cat Cafe. I thought it would be fun to visit and see the cats. We took a trip there, and Holly fell in love with a kitten named Ringo. Unfortunately, another person had already laid claim to him. Holly was upset, but her dad assured her that we would get a cat for her eventually, and I explained that Ringo was just not the one meant for her.

We took another trip to the cat cafe on October 21, three days before my daughter’s 14th birthday. There was a fall fair going on in town that day, and I thought we’d just drop into Shabby Tabby and see if they had any new cats. It turned out that they had several new kittens. My daughter spotted a black one right away and began playing with him. Although Ringo had been white and orange, she’d always said she wanted a black cat, but the main thing was one that connected with her.

All the cats at the cafe are named. I found out they come from the Golden Paws Society shelter in Huntington Station. After playing with Harry for a while, Holly told me she was in love with him. I could see why. He was a playful fellow who seemed affectionate and bright. When I asked if he was available, I was told he was but that he couldn’t be separated from his sister, Hermione, a calico kitten. I knew my husband wouldn’t like the idea of our taking two kittens when we already had another cat, but when I laid eye on Hermione, I was sold. It was like fate because not only had I always wanted a calico cat after having so many other types of cats all my life, but I’d just written my fourth Cobble Cove mystery that introduced a calico kitten into the town. I also thought it would be great for the two kittens to be together as playmates. Eventually, I could introduce our older cat to them.

My new Cobble Cove mystery, Love on the Rocks, featuring a calico kitten

 Kindle Unlimited and eBook: mybook.to/cc4

paperback: mybook.to/cc4pap

I completed the adoption forms that had to be approved by Golden Paws and set a pickup date for that Wednesday night, October 24, which was the best day for us because I had the next two days off to watch the kittens while Holly was in school. It also happened to be her birthday. My husband wasn’t thrilled when we broke the news, but he finally agreed. To prepare for the new arrivals, I picked up some supplies including a similar pet playpen in which the kittens could stay when we weren’t around. We set it up in my daughter’s room because we wanted her to learn the responsibility of caring for her cats. She was able to fit a food and water bowl inside, a few safe toys, and a litter box. She also cleaned her room and made it cat friendly.

On October 24, we picked the kittens up from Golden Paws in Huntington Station. When we got them home, they seemed to do fine in Holly’s room. They were accustomed to the playpen from the cat cafe, although my daughter kept them out after school while she was doing her homework. At night, Harry curled up and slept on her chest. We learned Hermione, despite being tinier and lighter than Harry, was a big jumper, so we had to be careful to keep the room closed when we entered and left. Holly scoops their litter box and feeds them. It’s nice to see that she’s  learning how to care for her pets. Stripey has peeked in the “nursery,” and eyed the kittens. His tail hasn’t inflated, and he hasn’t hissed or growled. His only reaction, so far, has been curiosity, so I’m taking that as a good sign that he will become friends with his younger brother and sister when they’re formally introduced.

Harry and Hermione are playful and beautiful kittens. I’m convinced that they were meant for us, and we were meant for them.

Happy National Cat Day!

Posted in Cats

After Oliver – Life Goes on but the Pain Lingers

It’s been a week of ups and downs for me. It started out on a heartbreaking note last Saturday when I had to say goodbye to my handsome 17-year old cat, Oliver after only 4 1/2 short but wonderful years together. Oliver had been diagnosed with Chronic Kidney disease two years ago but had been leading a comfortable life up until August when a vet visit showed a weight loss of three pounds and some bloodwork revealed the progression of the disease to Stage 4. He remained asymptomatic, but cats are very adept at hiding their discomfort. I also noticed he continued to lose weight, especially in his hindquarters, despite eating well.

At the end of October, Oliver began acting very lethargic. He wasn’t mowing or purring and, while he still slept with me, he no longer came up by my pillow. He also had difficulty walking. His hind legs became weak, and he could no longer jump up on my bed but cried for me to lift him up. He become fussier with his food and would only eat boiled chicken or cat food heavy in sauce. Consulting a vet, we tried several days of fluid therapy, but there seemed to be no improvement in his condition. The last day of his life he hid on the floor behind my headboard, and I knew he was letting me know it was time for him to go to Rainbow Bridge.

After I said goodbye to Oliver, in my sorrow, I thought about a story I had written last year for the Solstice Publishing fantasy anthology, The Realms of Fantastic Stories. It was also published as an eBook. The story was a tale about Rainbow Bridge, a place where pets are supposed to be reunited with their loving human after they die. I asked my publisher if this book could be put up for free in memory of Oliver. I had not intended the book to become a bestseller and never imagined it would become an International one, but it ended up being #1 in the U.S. Amazon category for fantasy and science fiction short reads and also in the top 100 in the United Kingdom and Canada. Although I made no money off these sales, I received two 5-star verified reviews and made many new friends worldwide, some of whom sent me private messages about the loss of their own cats. Amid my sadness, I was happy to know that I’d helped others who were grieving for their special fur babies.

Something that most people don’t know about me is that, in addition to being a librarian and author, I also own and operate a pet memorial center in the virtual world of Second Life. I joined Second Life initially to meet librarians from around the world who were part of the Community Virtual Library group. However, a year after I joined, my cat Floppy passed away. With the help of a few other librarians, I created Rainbow Gardens Pet Memorial Center, a beautiful place that features a pet viewer with photos of real-life pets contributed by residents of Second Life. I’ve just added Oliver to the viewer. Although I’m not as active in Second Life as I used to be because of my writing and other offline commitments, I still maintain the memorial center by adding seasonal decorations and pet photos as requested.

There are other virtual memorials. One where pets can be remembered in a variety of ways is online at https://www.rainbowsbridge.com/

Although you can purchase an annual Rainbow Residency for your pet, the Monday candle lighting services are free. I will be participating in one for Oliver this Monday, November 12, at 9 p.m. Anyone who has lost a pet either recently or in the past can also join in. Information on how to do this is included at the website.

On a brighter note, some nice things happened to me last week. My publisher sent me the date I would start working with an editor to prepare my recently signed mystery novel, Reason to Die, for publication.

Amazon also approved my Kindle Scout campaign for my psychological mystery/thriller, Sea Scope, that is running until December 8. I’ve had quite a few nominations for this book already and am hoping to be offered a publishing contract at the end of the campaign. If this happens, everyone who nominated the book will receive an e-copy. For more information and to vote for the book, click on this link: https://kindlescout.amazon.com/p/2372SIVNZ28O0

 

Posted in Cats, Monday blogs, Older cats

Saying Goodbye to Oliver

Saturday was a very sad day for me. I had to say goodbye to my 17-year old cat, Oliver after a week of seeing him decline from kidney disease. Oliver was diagnosed two years ago with Chronic Kidney Disease. He held up well until August when his physical showed a weight loss of three pounds, down from fifteen pounds to eleven, and his blood work confirmed that he was now in Stage 4 of the disease. A few months before that, he had begun yowling early in the morning. I’ve heard that senior cats do that sometimes, but looking back, I think it was part of his illness.

Last week, Oliver began to lose weight even more rapidly especially in his hind legs that were now so weak he had difficulty walking down the hall to his water bowl, climbing up on my bed, or on the table in the outside enclosed room where he liked to sunbathe. I was boiling him chicken every day and feeding him in bed. He would meow to let me know when he needed to be lifted up. Otherwise, he was very quiet. He would hardly purr when I petted him and would no longer sleep near my pillow where he used to sleep every night. He appeared listless and depressed. His beautiful blue eyes had sunk into his face. His fur was dull, and he hardly cleaned himself. I recognized all these signs as the dehydration he was suffering from by his failing kidneys. It brought back memories of my cat, Benny, who at eight-years old suffered kidney failure and went into a coma. My mother and I had been treating him with sub-q fluid injections under the skin, but he was not responding. I raced home from work that day when she called me to tell me he was in a coma and carried him wrapped in a blanket on my lap to the vets where he was helped along to Rainbow Bridge. The vet told me he was on his way already, but at least I got to spend the end with him. I vowed to do the same with Oliver if it came to that, but I wouldn’t let it go that far.

I was lucky to have a vet come to my house to check Oliver. She was compassionate and visited us every day to give him fluids and help make him comfortable. Friday night, she explained to me that Oliver wasn’t going to recover and that it was up to me when I was ready to say goodbye to him. At this point, he was barely making it around the house. He was not having a quality of life. The following day, I had to work. A few hours after I started, my husband called to tell me that Oliver had gone behind the headboard of my bed. I knew that hiding in a dark place was a sign that a cat was preparing to die. I rushed home and contacted my vet. When she came over, she helped me take Oliver out of his hiding place. She told me he was letting me know he was ready, so it would be easier for me to make my decision to let him go in peace.

We placed Oliver on his cat bed outside on the patio where he’d loved to sit and sun himself, and the vet administered a sedative to relax him. I stood by him brushing, kissing, and talking to him. When she gave the dose that would send him to Rainbow Bridge, she let me have some moments alone with him and then took out a kit where she made a set of paw prints and clipped some fur. Although I’d buried my other cats, I’d decided to have Oliver cremated, and she said she would take care of this for us but that it would take about three weeks to get his ashes.  I had also purchased a pretty urn in which to store them because I knew the time was arriving when I would need it. I planned to keep it in my room where he always stayed waiting for me when I got home from work and when he slept with me with his paw on my pillow, and I would stroke his handsome chest.

That’s the story of how I said goodbye to Oliver, but there’s more to his story than that. Oliver was a special cat to many people, and he appeared in two articles I wrote for Catster.com. The following is how Oliver came to us as a senior cat of 13 and how he gave us four and a half wonderful years. http://www.catster.com/lifestyle/what-i-learned-senior-citizen-cat-adoption.

The second article is one that won me an award from Hartz in the Cat Writers Association contest. http://www.catster.com/lifestyle/brush-your-cat-for-bonding-beauty-and-better-health

I also wrote a story last year called, The Path to Rainbow Bridge, in which a Siamese cat is the one of the main characters. Many of my cats are featured in this tale, and I am offering the eBook copy free from Monday, November 6 to Friday, November 10, to those who have lost their own beloved pets.

In addition to these articles and that story, I also feature a Siamese cat in my Cobble Cove mystery series. Sneaky the library cat is based on Oliver. I have also included a Siamese of the same name in my upcoming standalone mystery, Reason to Die, which will be published by Solstice Publishing and am currently writing the first book of another cozy mystery series that I plan to dedicate to Oliver.

To end this post, here’s a poem I wrote for my sweet Oliver:

Ode to Oliver

There’s a spot next to my pillow that’s bare.

Oliver always used to sleep there.

He loved me to stroke his chest.

Of all my cats, he was one of the best.

He was a handsome Siamese cat.

There was no doubt about that.

Although we only had him four years,

I can’t help shedding so many tears.

His favorite spot was his cat bed.

It’s so hard to believe he’s dead.

He did such cute things in the past,

like fishing in his water bowl where he made quite a splash.

He loved to be brushed,

and his fur was so lush.

His loud voice in the morning was my alarm clock,

Losing him is still a shock.

But he’s out of pain now on Rainbow Bridge waiting for me

with my other special cats who one day I will see.