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Homer made it all the way to the very top of his cat condo today for the very first time.  He did it all by himself!  And figured out how to get back down by himself too!  I know that I shouldn't even by surprised or impressed anymore when he does this stuff...but I can't help being awfully proud.  :-D



(By the way, the poster on the wall isn't actually crooked...I think I took the picture at a weird angle or something...)

Happy Mother's Day to all the moms who read my blog, whether your "kids" go on two legs or four!  My apologies for not having posted this earlier.  I've been in D.C. for the past 36 hours, where my sister lives and where my parents flew in from Miami so we could all "meet in the middle" for Mother's Day.

So we hardly ever have TV dinners in our house, but Laurence wanted only two things on a lazy Sunday (and the warmest day of the year so far): to eat fried chicken and to read the interview with Charlaine Harris in this week's Times Sunday magazine.  Of course Vashti--who loves fried chicken perhaps only slightly more than she loves my husband--was only too happy to join him...



On the upside, Vashti ended up with a teensy bit of chicken.  On the downside, Laurence only got to read about half of the Charlaine Harris interview.

;-)

I am thrilled to announce that I have sold the proposal for my next book!  :-D  It is a novel this time (my apologies to those who were hoping for a Homer sequel!) and will be published in Spring 2012.  I know that seems really far away, but it'll take me around a year to write it, and then another year for it to be edited, printed, promoted to bookstores, etc.

In the meantime, there will be the paperback launch of Homer's Odyssey--with a new Afterword by me (to catch everybody up on our lives since the first book was published)--in Fall 2010.



The Animal Planet shoot is over!  I'll post later with more details (I am EXHAUSTED right now!), but wanted to post this quick shot:  Some of the chaos, disarray, and equipment from the shoot--and Homer in the midst of it all, completely unimpressed, snoozing peacefully in his "cat condo."


Our apartment is still in disarray (obviously) as we get ready for tomorrow's Animal Planet shoot.  Still, I couldn't resist snapping this shot of Homer "posing" in front of the blow-up my publisher sent over of the book's new cover for the paperback edition (coming this fall)!

Here's my question: How did he know how to pose so perfectly???

;-)

A couple of weeks ago, I put up a post about four special-needs cats in Atlanta, GA who were in desperate need of rescue.  Their humans were faced with the cruel choice of giving up their beloved cats or losing their job and their home (their home being attached to their job as caretakers of a larger property where the home is located).  They had had these cats for many years so, needless to say, it was a heartbreaking situation all the way around.

Yesterday I heard from the reader who brought the situation to my attention.  Here's her update:



Laurence and I are kind of in love with this cover...I think we may need to get it blown up poster-size!
This Friday will be the four-month anniversary of the day they told me Vashti probably only had two months to live.  Hah!  :-D

It's official!  Animal Planet is coming to our apartment next week to film Homer (and Scarlett and Vashti too, of course) for a segment on "Cats 101."  The segment won't air until sometime in the autumn (September/October), and I'll keep you guys posted.

In addition to scrubbing my apartment clean with a toothbrush, I ran out to replace the cats' beloved cat condo because the old one--while my cats LOVED it--is old enough to look...er...not-so-fresh on camera.  Here's Homer breaking the new one in with some home-grown catnip that came to us courtesy of reader Melanie Paradise:



Okay, seriously, I don't know what the German-speaking nations have against what my poor Homer actually looks like, but I can't help loving their awesome covers!  ;-)

I am working desperately to get the first few chapters of what I hope will be my next book done by the end of the day.  Like a lot of writers, I get random ideas at random times, and jot them down on all kinds of random bits of paper (or the backs of napkins, bills, envelopes, etc.), then collect them all when I'm ready to write and try to get them into some kind of order that makes sense.

And I had finally finished doing so, and was getting ready to get to work, when this happened!

A reader and cat-rescue volunteer contacted me recently about 4 cats in the Atlanta area who are in desperate need of new homes by April 15th.  Here is what she said:

"During the past three weeks I have been involved in finding homes for 12 cats. Their owners are being forced to relinquish their very much loved kitties or lose their employment and place to live (the couple is disabled and serve as caretakers on the property where they live.) Four cats remain - all of them have minor special needs that are managed by either diet or medication. The cats are in the Atlanta GA area. Thank you."

The Vashti girl continues to hold her own.  The latest challenges we're dealing with (in addition to CRF, hyperthyroidism, and her heart murmur) are anemia and ulcers.  So we've added two more medications and a twice-weekly shot to her regimen, and thus far all has gone fairly smoothly.  On the upside, Vashti was weighed in at last week's weekly vet appointment/blood test at 7 pounds, 2 ounces!  This is a significant improvement from the 5 pounds, 0 ounces she weighed when we first checked her into the hospital back in late January.

Two things happened today that infuriated me.  Granted, I'm on edge these days--between Vashti, the book proposal I'm working on that alternately thrills and terrifies me (good news--it's another cat book!  but a novel this time!), and life in general in these scary times...let's just say that I've been saner.

I saw this story today:  http://www.aolnews.com/science/article/superstitious-villagers-are-killing-off-harmless-primate-called-aye-aye/19416515?icid=main|main|dl1|link6|http%3A%2F%2Fwww.aolnews.com%2Fscience%2Farticle%2Fsuperstitious-villagers-are-killing-off-harmless-primate-called-aye-aye%2F19416515.

Read it after you've read this--although I warn you, it will probably upset you.

scarlett and vashti at window

Vashti and Scarlett looking out onto a rainy Spring morning earlier today...
homer on rug

Herb-encrusted kitty!

(Homer playing in some catnip this morning)

My enterprising husband and a group of his former co-workers (who, naturally, also lost their jobs a couple of months back when their magazine was shut down) have resurrected themselves online with a DVD review/preview/info website called Disc Dish.  They've already had some inquiries about ad rates, which is extremely encouraging!

So, as some of you may know, the foreign rights to Homer's Odyssey have been sold in 13 countries and territories around the world.  Some of those foreign editions are starting to come out, and I thought it might be fun to post some of the foreign edition covers.  Therefore, with no further ado, I give you Homer...

In Holland:

homer_holland

blind black cat

Update from his foster mom:

"Anyone coming to NC next weekend:
If anyone has been yearning to adopt a blind cat or knows someone who has, we are searching for a forever home for Bones.