Annie’s Book Stop of Worcester has been honored to have the amazing author team of Sharon Lee and Steve Miller to our store and blog several times – And they’ll be back this coming Friday, July 8 with their latest book, Alliance of Equals from 7:00 PM – 9:00 PM. This week, we have a special spotlight, though… today we get the special privilege of interviewing the major overseers of Sharon and Steve – their kitties!
Welcome feline overlords of Sharon Lee and Steve Miller! We’re very honored to have you here on the Spotlight at Annie’s Book Stop of Worcester, and we hope the catnip and tuna treats are to your liking.
Your humans often post your updates for you on a variety of social media, but for those who haven’t yet met you and worship you, can you introduce yourselves and tell us how you met your humans?
Scrabble: I interviewed Steve at the Sign of the Cat Paw, also known as Animal House, in Fairfield, Maine, purveyors of fine food and toys for cats. And there were things for dogs, too. I was there on out-placement, following an unexpected detainment at the Waterville Humane Society. My job at Animal House was to oversee the counter, but I knew I couldn’t work retail forever. I was looking for a good time when Steve walked in the door.
Trooper: I had just retired from a career in show-biz, having reached the pinnacle of TICA 3rd Best Maine Coon Cat in New England. My professional name was Kelimcoons Super Trooper. For a while, I thought I’d retire at home, but the call came in from Sharon, in Maine, who was looking for a companion for Elder Coon Cat Kennebec Mozart, of the internationally known Cat Farm and Confusion Factory. How could I refuse? I mean, Mozart was a legend!
Sprite: I was s’posed to have kittens, but something happened. Given how pretty I am, and a princess, too, I didn’t want to be a kitten-aunt all my life. My dad, Trooper, was working in Maine with the famous Mozart, and so I came to live at the Cat Farm, too. Maine was a long way to go in the car.
Belle: All of my kittens had gone on to successful lives, and I was very nearly the dowager at Kelimcoons. I decided that I deserved a quiet, creative life, removed from the bustle of kittens and cattery politics. The sad news reached me from Maine, that the famous Mozart had passed on, and I determined that I would join my daughter and her father at the Cat Farm.
How do you feel about being as popular as you are online? Do you enjoy the adoration or do you wish your humans would stop taking so many pictures?
Scrabble: Stoopid camera. *flash*flash*flash*
Sprite: I *love* having my picture taken! Wanna see my belly?
Trooper: You’re a male model, you get used to cameras, ribbons, whatever. Don’t even notice ’em, really. Little enough to do, to keep the fans happy.
Belle: When you get to be a mom-cat with so many beautiful children, of course you’ll have your picture taken. It’s expected.
Since you live with author humans, I know there are many unusual practices and rituals they have. What are some of the more interesting ones? Which ones do you wish you could train them out of and which ones are you especially happy they’ve learned?
Anonymous spokesfeline for Cat Farm residents:
Conventions. Everything is *fine*; there’s sleeping, and there’s reading, there’s coffee, and there’s even lap, and the staring — all right, the staring at the silly screens is kind of boring, but still. Everything’s fine and we’re all in harmony, and then — they pack *suitcases*. We leap into action, sitting in the suitcases and their laps to try to make them forget, but they never do. The very next day, after the suitcases? They’re *gone*. And they don’t come home forever! It’s very distressing to us. We do, of course, have Auxiliary Staff, but it’s not the same.
When they are making their books, what are some of their behaviors at different times—when they’re writing, editing, promoting—that you find particularly fascinating?
Sprite: Reading proofs! They sit on the couch, at the Mencken Table, for days. I get to sit on the pages, and steal the sticky notes and knock the red pens under the couch! And then take over the warm spots on the couch when they get up for more coffee! I like coffee.
When you see your humans staring at their computers, what are some of your favorite things to help them get their work done (so they can more quickly return to adoring you)? What are things they like you helping with and what are things they don’t seem to understand about your supportive assistance?
Belle: I like to encourage Sharon by stretching out on her desk with my head on her keyboard. That way, she knows I’m paying close attention and am available for consultation and pets.
Trooper: I sit in the co-pilot’s chair, or in one of the baskets on the desk — I especially like the basket that has papers in it.
Sprite: I like the basket that has the pretty towel in it!
Scrabble: I recently requisitioned a basket and a pillow. Steve saw to getting them set up properly in the window in his office. I encourage him by sleeping and snoring in the basket by his left arm. If he seems to be having a hard time writing, I will climb into his lap and chew on the buttons of his shirt. That’s an instant motivator!
When your humans have a new book or publication come out, do they have any special celebrations that you get to enjoy with them?
Trooper: They read a lot in the living room on the comfy chairs.
Sprite: They watch movies. I like movies!
Belle: They sleep late. And they nap.
Scrabble: Steve has more time to pay attention to me and to take me out on the deck, so I can keep tabs on the situation.
And lastly, as their feline overlords, what are some interesting things people don’t realize about your humans that your feline senses can pick up?
Belle: The closer the book is to being done, the later at night they’re awake. Sometimes, they eat at their desks — and they don’t share!
Sprite: They drink a lot of coffee — and they don’t share!
Trooper: They talk in different voices at each other, then one of them will run back to their office and type.
Thank you very much for your time… Why, yes, of course you can have the rest of the catnip. And the tuna… And, um, maybe play with these papers here and not those vintage books? Er…maybe? Look! It’s the red spot! Over there!…
You can keep track of (well, as much as you can keep track of cats) Scrabble, Belle, Sprite, Trooper – and their humans, Sharon and Steve, here: http://sharonleewriter.com/blog-without-a-name/, https://www.facebook.com/kinzel, https://www.facebook.com/rolanni
And don’t forget to visit Sharon Lee and Steve Miller in person this coming Friday, July 8, from 7:00 – 9:00 PM at our little “bigger on the inside” bookstore at 65 James Street in Worcester!