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Hey, guys!  My mom's in town, which is why I haven't posted anything new in a few days (well, that and this gruesome heat that just makes it impossible to do anything), but I promise to return early next week with new photos, stories, and other items of interest!

Have a great few days, and stay cool!  :-)
Vashti hanging out in the box my new computer came in...

Yesterday we had our annual apartment inspection, wherein building management comes into the apartment, pokes their authoritative head around, and makes note of any repairs that need to be made.  One of the rules for the inspection is that cats and other small pets need to be "restrained" (i.e. in their carriers) during the inspection--which can take place anytime between 9:00am and 5:00pm on the designated day.

I was going to begin this post by saying that I hate having to "spank" people on a Monday morning.  But who am I kidding?  I LOVE spanking people on a Monday morning, confirmed crank that I am.  ;-)

I know that just about all of us have been so thrilled to see Oscar "the Bionic Cat" adjust to life so beautifully with his new prosthetic limbs.  This is the kind of story that makes all of us a bit teary-eyed, and that reminds us--and, lord knows, we need the reminders--that good things still happen every day in this world of ours.

Happy Friday, everybody!  I've gotten many questions from you over the past week or so, such as, "What the hell is Twitter?" and "Why haven't you updated us on Vashti or the basement kitties?"  Rather than putting up individual posts to address your questions, I figured I'd put up one FAQ-type post and hit everything at once.  (I'm all about the efficiency.)  Here we go!

My new computer is a thing of beauty, and one of the things I love most about it is that it came with a built-in webcam.  This means I can now set up a Skype account!  Homer and I will be able to chat "live" with book groups all over the world, which thrills us to no end.  :-D

Our first official Skype chat will be with the book group at the public library in Naples, Florida--and Homer and I are very excited to return to our home state, if only in a virtual sense.

Let's face it--I'm getting a bit old to keep up with all the newfangled technology (shakes head and sighs).  But Homer is a spry 12-and-a-half, and he has graciously offered to take over for me! ;-)  You can now follow him on Twitter at @HomerBlindCat.

Tell your friends!
Good morning!  Homer and I are hoping that those of you who are Facebook members will vote for Blind Cat Rescue to win a portion of $5 million being donated by Chase.  Blind Cat Rescue is currently in 5th place!  They're on the way to winning $100,000 and just need a few more votes to push them over the top.  Imagine how many blind cats just like Homer can be helped with that kind of money!

Here's the link:

Homer and I thank you!  :-)

It's great to be back online!  And it's even better to have an update from Morgan and Ellis's new mom.

Hey, guys!  Sorry for the silence since last weekend--my computer is in its death throes (it's five years, almost to the day, since I bought it, so I guess it's time), and when I do get a usable half-hour out of it I'm dealing strictly with work-related stuff, things I'm on deadline for, etc.  My new computer arrives within the next couple of days.  As soon as it does, I'll post some video of Ellis and Morgan!

Also, a few of you have asked where you can send gifts to these little guys.  Nobody is obligated to do so! :-)  It's more than enough that so many of you did so much to spread the word and help them find their new home.  But those of you who want to do so (and, believe me, I completely understand the impulse!) can send the gifts to me, and I'll see that they get to Ellis and Morgan and their new mom.

My address is:

Gwen Cooper

353 Third Avenue

New York, NY 10010

Hope to be up and running and back with you in the next few days!!!
The basement kitty had a brother!

Honestly, folks, I'm starting to wish that this whole story was a novel, and that I had written it--because sometimes truth isn't just stranger than fiction, it's better.

I heart this sooooooooo much!  :-D

Today the still-unnamed basement kitty will go to his new home.  He will be living with a woman in Queens who recently moved into a large, sunny, beautifully renovated new house, and he will be the only cat living there--at least for now.  Since he's spent so much of his life in isolation, we all thought it would be best to see how he does on his own before introducing him to other cats.

So we've had four viable offers of a home here in the New York/New Jersey area for the basement kitty.  I will of course keep you posted to let you know if and when this poor little guy goes to one of them.

(If you're new to the party, check out my previous two blog posts below to see what the heck I'm talking about.  :-) )

An anonymous donor (who must remain anonymous--and who isn't me, I swear!), has made the following offer of a "dowry" to go with the basement kitty (see the post directly beneath this one) to whoever is kind enough to adopt him:

1. A complete autographed hardcover set of all four Twilight books by Stephanie Meyer

2. A signed first edition of Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen (there's also a hand-drawn doodle of an elephant on the title page, drawn by the author)

3. A signed first edition of Matterhorn by Carl Marlentes

4. A signed first edition of Last Night at Twisted River by John Irving

5. A signed first edition of Highest Duty by Charles Sullenberger

This poor kitty was brought as a kitten to the basement of a Manhattan apartment building, by the building's super, in order to catch rats.  But there are no rats down there, only dirt and garbage.  He is now a year old, although so small he appears to be no older than three months.

Today I received what was officially my first negative email from a reader.  "It was inevitable," is one of my husband's favorite expressions, and it probably applies here.

Anyway, this particular reader was quite upset.  It seems that he bought my book on Amazon, but had actually intended to buy "The Odyssey" by Homer.  The letter essentially accused me of: setting up an elaborate con to trick readers into thinking my book is "The Odyssey;" plagiarizing the poet Homer by stealing his title and (this especially upset the letter-writer) brazenly using (attributed) quotes from "The Odyssey" to precede each chapter of my book; and all in all writing a bleeping bleep book about a bleeping cat that bleeped bleep and wasn't fit for the letter writer to bleep his bleep with.

Hello and happy Memorial Day!  (Sorry for the long silence--I had near-terminal computer problems over the past few days that fortunately have now been resolved.)

Homer and I have been asked to help judge Catster's "Buzzin' Into Spring" photo contest!  Here's the link to the Catster blog with more information:

Sigh.  So Vashti has taken to peeing on the dining room rug, for reasons known only to herself (although I'll give her the credit of assuming it's tied in to her kidney problems, poor kitty!).  I've been spraying the rug three times a day with No-Mark, and I invested in yet another litterbox to place on the spot she seems to like so she can get used to peeing in a litterbox again.

My dear friend Kate Rockland's debut novel, Falling is Like This, is out today!  Kate and I used to work together at Rolling Stone. Her novel recounts the tempestuous, week-long love affair of a nice Jewish girl from New Jersey who falls hard for an East Village punk rocker.  It's pure sexy, savvy, escapist fun.  If you're looking for the perfect pool-or-beach-side read this Memorial Day weekend, this is the book for you!

Go buy it!  Go now!  ;-)

(And, yes, that blurb you see on the front cover is a quote endorsing the book from Courtney Love herself...)