Pie is a real cat

Many readers have fallen in love with Pie, the little gray cat in my latest release The VIP Doubles Down. What folks don’t always know is that Pie is my cat in real life. I thought I would share the story of how she came to live with me (originally posted on the wonderful Happy-Ever-After blog at USAToday).

The cat who came for Christmas…and stayed.

I have two dogs. I didn’t need a cat.

However, Darling Daughter worked at a homeless cat shelter in Pittsburgh where she found Pie, the little gray cat whom no one would adopt because she had multiple health issues and didn’t get along with other cats.

Pie was no dummy. She curried Darling Daughter’s favor by greeting her with loud, enthusiastic meows, purring every time she was touched, and showing a decided preference for D.D.’s company. Pretty soon Pie had moved into to D.D.’s apartment as a foster until someone was found to give her a permanent home.

When Darling Daughter came home for Christmas, of necessity, Pie came with her…only for the holidays. When D.D. returned to Pittsburgh after the holidays, Pie somehow remained behind. And thus their goal was achieved: Pie found a forever home.

We were concerned that Pie wouldn’t get along with our golden retriever and Yorkshire terrier but she quickly showed them who was boss by hissing and swatting at them with claws bared. They now treat her with great respect, and all is peaceful.

To my surprise, Pie decided she is a writer’s cat. I acquired a soft, furry companion in my writing office which the dogs almost never visit because it requires climbing two flights of stairs and they’re lazy creatures. It’s amazing how much warmer and cozier my third-floor space feels when Pie is curled up in her Amazon box under the chair.

Or in the cubby where I keep my tote bags.

Or right under the wheeled table beside my desk chair (her favorite place).

The last position has caused some trauma in the past when I forgot she was there and rolled either the table or my desk chair too near her tail. However, she has trained me well; I no longer move in any direction without checking to see if she’s lounging nearby.

Now when I’m tearing my hair out over a plot hole or a marketing glitch, I take a break to stroke the soft, satiny coat of my little gray cat. I’m rewarded with a rumbling purr and a blink of contented eyes. And suddenly my stress level plummets, and all those silly problems melt away.

Pie is the perfect illustration of a profound truth: Sometimes we don’t know what’s missing from our lives until the universe sends it our way. Turns out I did need a cat.

Sad news. It is with great sorrow that I report that Pie lost her battle with cancer on June 5, 2017. She died peacefully in my arms. I am heartbroken but, at the same time, feel so fortunate that I had this sweet little gray cat in my life. 

“Until one has loved an animal, a part of one’s soul remains unawakened.” – Anatole France



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