The initial concept for The Merry Maines was a story about a big Maine Coon, my
own beloved Hawkeye, and a Siamese, that was originally titled The Princess With
the Talking Tail. However, when it made its way into typescript, it had become a tale
about a gaggle of Maine Coons in and about a cattery in the state of Maine and a
very royal little Korat. Now where the Korat came from I have no idea. I simply looked
at my clipboard where everything gets written in longhand for a first draft and there
she was. I knew what a Korat was, mind, but it had never occurred to me to
incorporate one into my story of life in a Maine Coon cattery. Siamese I had
owned—well: lived with—but about a Korat, I knew next to nothing. I have to confess
that it wasn't until after The Merry Maines was published that I managed to acquire
one. Yet, having done so, I did get it right. Which makes me very suspicious. About
who was writing these stories, I mean. Maybe Bhu Fan really is a sorceress!
So I thought you all might like to see the cast of characters who inspired
these seven books. All of them have lived with me at one time or another, all
very beloved and well remembered. Some of them are still here, some have
gone to live with friends and one or two, alas, have gone to the Rainbow
Bridge and so this is in remembrance of them. “So many cats?” you may be
asking. Well, yes. I used to raise them. My cattery is now closed but a "Hard
Core" of resident felines remains, my subjects for painting, drawing, sewing,
rendering in stained glass and writing. And life would not be the same
without them. I hope I never have to live without cats--and maybe a few
kittens passing through.
However, I need to add two caveats here. Do please remember these books
are FICTION. No responsible breeder ever lets his or her cats run loose
outside unless constrained in an enclosure of some kind. And no breeder
will sell a kitten to anyone who doesn't swear on one's first born child that
he/she will always keep their new feline inside. For the purposes of plot and
the way cats used to be kept in Maine, some of my character cats do get
But not in reality. Life is just too dangerous outside. No matter how careful
an owner might be, if a beloved pet simply touches noses with a stray who
has FIV or Feline Leukemia, that's a death sentence. I won't even mention
dogs, raccoons, opossum, foxes and the like--nor automobiles. I think you
get the picture. You will have paid a lot of money(or not; getting a rescue
instead) for a kitten or cat a breeder has worked very hard to love and raise
for you so do not treat it carelessly. Take care of your cat, whatever the
breed! Do not let it outside.
One other plea from this writer. DO NOT DECLAW YOUR CAT OR KITTEN!
That is mutilation. Vets don't take just the claw; they take the poor
creature's whole first knuckle. You wouldn't slice off a dog's toenails if he
dug up the garden or scratched the couch so accord your cat the same
courtesy. There are an awful lot of nerve endings in those big paws and
there's no way any vet can keep from cutting some of them- -which can
condemn a cat to a life of pain. Just keep them in scratching posts. Cats
really are bright. They can be taught. And nail clippers are not expensive. If
your furniture is your first love--get an aquarium. Or a gerbil. Don't get a cat.
|The Merry Maines- A Shaggy Cat Story
Sing A Song Of Sixpence
The MerryMaines Go Country!
The MerryMaines Down Home
Something Wicked This Way Comes
The MerryMaines And The Trouble With Dogs
is now up on Amazon.com and will soon be up
on Kindle and assorted book stores
However, most writers will confess, if a bit reluctantly, to being used in this
manner by one's characters. A writer plays “what if,” does a rough draft with
pen on paper and behold, the Gods of Felinity (or their muse) take over. The
story and the characters just seem to invent themselves and while the writer
might have some idea about where the plot is going, it’s the cats themselves
who define the tale. If I didn’t know better, I’d believe that it is I who was being
programmed by this very wizardly species. To wit: “who’s in charge here?”
Well, any and every cat ‘owner’ can come up with the answer to that question.
It’s a no brainer.
As I said, cats are magical creatures. They're also pushy, imperial, goat-
headed and very sure of themselves-- and would we have it any other way?
A cheeky Hawkeye says...
Click here to go to
Now meet the cast of characters.
A few new ones grace the pages of
the newest book...