Thief cat is too busy to thieve….

It’s officially Spring. Not only because it technically is, but also because it actually feels like it, looks like it, smells like it, and sounds like it. I’m loving it, but Trigger the Thief Cat? Not so much.

He now spends his days in various window sills, accidentally slamming his head into the windows  as he desperately tries to catch the birds and chipmunks on the other side. His tail swishes furiously, he makes little chattering noises, and he’s so tense you could probably pick him up and he wouldn’t change position.

You would think he’d get some relief at night, right? Sadly, no. There are moths and other various night insects fluttering against the windows. He sits in front of the front door, twitching, then lunges straight up like Jordan. Sometimes he actually reaches the top of the window (Daaaaamn that cat can jump!) before realizing there’s nothing to grab onto. He hits the ground (on his feet of course – he IS a cat) and starts all over. Try writing with that going on all day!

He can’t sleep on his cat tower anymore. Too many bird noises outside of his window. Now the poor little guy has to retreat to the dark guest room for sleep, where he burrows UNDER the pillows to get some rest midday. (Don’t worry, I’ll wash everything if I have a guest.) It’s funny, but I kinda feel bad for him. I’m not sure he was previously a country cat, and maybe he didn’t know what he was in for?

I hope all of you are enjoying our spring weather and that your animals aren’t giving themselves brain damage by running into windows!

Thank you to all of you that have visited, liked, and are following my blog. I’m shocked at how many of you there are! Take a minute and check out my other posts for my upcoming book – Courage – releasing the end of this month. There are teasers!

Also, if you don’t want to leave a public comment (though I hope you’ll change your mind), or you have any questions, please feel free to email me @ TLNicholas@live.com. I would love to hear from you!

It’s Teaser Time Again!

Today we’re a bit further into the book, and I’m dropping you into the middle of a… conversation… between Chance and Alex. I wonder what she did?

“No. I’m not finished. You’re going to let me finish, Alex, because I haven’t made a single decision since you got here without consulting you or thinking about how it affects you and Cadan. Because we’re friends, because I value your opinion, because I’d never do anything that would make you feel like you don’t matter. I’ve been so careful, but now you’ve gone and made this huge decision that changes my life, to do what’s best for me, and you never even thought to ask me. So now you’re going to listen.” He’s come closer and closer, and he’s too close now. I can’t breathe.

“You do all the things I said, and so much more, Alex. You make me want to come home. Do you know I hated this house before you got here? I couldn’t figure out what the hell I was thinking, buying this big ass house, when all it did was give me more space to be alone in. I hated coming home. Now I count the hours, the minutes, until I can come home to you. You make me laugh, you make me hurt, you make me be me again. Or at least a version of me I actually like.” He rubs his hands over his face, frustration, pain, and hurt so evident on his face tears well in my eyes and I have to fight to keep them from falling.

“I’m sor-“

“Dammit, Alex, don’t say you’re sorry. I fucked this up the other night, but I’m going to say it all now, whether you hate me for it or not.” He takes another step forward and my back is literally against the wall.

I hope you enjoyed it! Please leave a comment, follow me on Twitter, or email me @ TLNicholas@live.com

I would very much like to know what you think. Also, thanks so much to all the visitors and followers. I never expected this much!

Something you don’t know about me…

I’ve decided that Mondays will be an opportunity for you to learn something new about me. If you have any questions that you’d like me to focus on in the future, please leave it in the comments or email me  TLNicholas@live.com.

I thought today I would tell you where I’ve spent the majority of my working life, and that is with animals. I started out at thirteen working for a Veterinarian, walking dogs, cleaning kennels, etc. I was thrilled to have that job. I wanted to be a Veterinarian when I grew up, so I was thrilled to have the opportunity. Throughout many moves and life changes I worked for Vets from thirteen to twenty-six, at various times. I spent time as a kennel assistant, Veterinary assistant, and before certification was the standard, a Veterinary Technician. I was a dog trainer and a kennel manager. Even an office manager for a local Humane Society, where I also had the job of Abuse Investigator.

I was a dog trainer, from the tender age of fourteen, and spent some time with the local police department at the time, learning how they trained their dogs, learning from the best. It was a truly wonderful time for me, and I wouldn’t change it for anything. Working at the Humane Society was far more challenging for me, both emotionally and mentally. Having the dual jobs of Kennel/Office Manger and also Abuse Investigator was incredibly stressful. It certainly had it’s rewarding moments, but a lot of heartbreaking occurrences as well. It was not a No-Kill shelter and so I was,much too often, in the position of having to decide who lost the gift of life, and who got to keep it.

I often put myself in the position of fighting for an animal that others didn’t believe in, and fighting WITH that animal to make others believe. For instance, the Pit Bull and the Neapolitan Mastiff that came in after being abandoned in an apartment for weeks. So desperate they had eaten the furniture, the walls, anything they could. The Neo had cherry eye, which of course made her look terrifying along with her cropped ears and tail. She was not a beautiful dog, but I knew that at heart she was. They were terrified, and they were incredibly aggressive. They came into the shelter on a rabies pole, each of them trying to bite anything in reach, and had to be put into cages where they didn’t need to be touched to be let outside. An empty cage on either side of each, so they wouldn’t cage fight the others, and each other.

It was argued that were eating up our limited space, which, to be fair they were. It was argued that they were dangerous, and yeah, at the time they were. But they didn’t want to be, and I could see that. So I sat between their cages, in the empty one in the middle, for hours while we were closed. I would sit in front of their cages with my hands flat on the ground in front, where they could smell me, but not reach me. I spent days letting them get used to me, helping them learn that not every human was something to fear. And they did learn. When I decided to get the Pit (I won’t use their names, though I very much remember them) out of his cage and take him for a walk, one of my co-workers stood by the door ready to call 911. He thought for sure this was the stupidest thing I’d ever done, and that I would surely need an EMT when I was through.

And the Pit did growl, he did false lunge a couple of times. I didn’t move, I stayed calm, and waited until he became curious enough to check me out. It took about twenty minutes, but check me out he did, and he let me put the leash on him and then he went for a walk with me. It was a beautiful moment, and I discovered what I had always thought to be true. He was gentle and sweet. Loving. When I gave him a small liver treat for walking nicely, he licked it out of my hand. In the space of thirty minutes he was following commands like a pro, so eager to please. When I asked him to sit, he did, then leaned against me so I could pet his big head. He wanted to be a good boy, he just had forgotten, or never learned, how. Within a week he was accessible, not only to me, but to the volunteers as well. He could walk past another male dog and not even look at them. He was a whole new animal and he was amazing.

He was placed two weeks later, and the last I knew (two years after) was still an excellent boy. No behavioral issues, no aggression.

When the Mastiff saw that he trusted me, she took a chance too. And despite her limitations of health, she quickly found her forever home. They fixed her cherry-eye, and loved her for the beauty behind her appearance.

Through my years of working with them, training them, and rehabilitating them I learned that there is no one way to train a dog, or to save one. But if you pay attention, if you watch them and listen to what they’re telling you, you’ll know what to do. They will tell you what they need, what they’re afraid of, what they need you to show them.

I will never get to be a Veterinarian. My days of working with animals as a profession are over, at least for now, but I am very much attached to them. There will probably always be animals in my books and they will crop up on this blog. To me, a home empty of animals is never really a home.

Thanks so much for reading. Do you have an interesting experience with animals? A love of animals? I’d like to hear it!

Inspiration?

I have a question, a fairly simple one I think.

Where do you get your inspiration for the stories you write? Do they just pop into your head? Do you see something happen on TV or in a store and think, what if it happened this way?

I’ve always been a story writer. When I was little I would make up stories about where people were going and what was going to happen to them. People that passed in front of my house, people I saw out the window when I was in the car. It just happens. I liked to write them down, though until recently they weren’t fit for consumption, lol.

Now I find myself in a predicament where it continues to happen and I can’t keep up. I write approx. five hours a day, about six thousand words per day (except for when I’m editing) and the list in my head just keeps getting longer. After I finish the trilogy I’m currently working on I have another trilogy planned, then a paranormal romance, and a Christmas romance, and they just keep coming. This morning came with another one.

And they’re not just ideas. They’re complete. Characters, plot, everything. I’m starting to think I’m losing my mind – and I like it. It’s a lot of work and frustrating at times, but it’s so much fun!

So I am curious if anyone else is losing their mind like me, or if I’m all alone out here in crazyland? I would love to know what gets all of you working. Do you lose stories that were great when you thought of them, but you couldn’t get to them before they were replaced? Do you write them down so you won’t lose them? Where do the ideas come from? Do you even know where they come from?

Another Teaser!

It’s time to throw out another teaser from my book, Courage.

      “Hello?” I sound breathless. Why do I sound breathless?

“Hi. I’m looking for Alex Bowers?” the smooth male voice on the other end says. He doesn’t sound breathless. He sounds confident. Relaxed even. And I hate him for it.

“This is Alex.” I try for snooty, because two can play the confidence game, but it sounds like I’m terrified instead. Apparently I’m not one of the two that can play. Dammit.

Coming soon on Amazon Kindle! Follow me so you don’t miss out on Alex’s story!

Comments are always welcome and appreciated 🙂 Have a fantastic Day!

I Haz a Thief Cat

Image

I’d like to introduce you all to Trigger the Troubling Thief Cat. What is a Thief Cat, you ask? We’ll get to that. I promise.

First though, I have to explain who Trigger is. He was a sad little SPCA cat named Chaplin. When hubby picked him up on Black Friday, and he nuzzled into him like a warm, fuzzy barnacle, we just had to bring him home. Who wouldn’t? I mean, look at him. Isn’t he sweet? If you said no you have to look again. Maybe from an angle?

Anyway, he’s a sweetie. We brought him home and figured he’d need a few days to adjust.

Nope.

We thought he’d be afraid of our dogs, a two hundred and thirty pound Great Pyrenees and an ..ahem.. chubby Golden Retriever.

Nope.

The kids running around and making noise as children do?

Nuh-uh.

What we never imagined was that he would be a thief.

The first time he stole, it was an entire slice of pizza. He took it off the counter, still hot, when hubby turned away for a moment. He took off through the house like a rocket, and by the time we caught up to him upstairs, he’d already scarfed down half of it.

We (mostly) broke him of getting on the counters, and were more careful.

Then he stole one of my daughter’s barbies. She was playing with it, but apparently he wanted to play with it more. We took it back and laughed at foolish little Chaplin.

We didn’t realize how serious his affliction was until I decided to wash his bed. Now, his bed lives under a bench in our foyer, as he seemed to like it there. I found out why. His bed has a cushion that is removable and when I removed it, I couldn’t believe what I was seeing! An array of hijacked treasures, that frankly, make no sense for a cat.

A hair tie.

A spoon.

A fork.

An empty pudding cup.

A necklace.

A Polly Pocket doll.

Even a partially eaten chunk of ham (yeah, that was disturbing).

It was clear he was far more stealthy than we had given him credit for. And he desired very odd things, for a cat. Possibly for anyone. We knew he had been a stray, and it makes me wonder where his stash is now. I’m sure he had one. He is endlessly entertaining and incredibly resourceful. Take his hiding spot away? He’ll find another. Take something from him before he can get it there? He’ll take two more for spite.

He’s fast as lightening and very hard to keep up with. Last night he stole a pen from right next to my hand, and it took fifteen minutes to find where he’d stashed it. (Behind the toy box in the playroom, if you’re wondering.)

When he’s not stealing he has many other things he likes to do, and he’s quite entertaining.

So – I’ve decided to start the Thief Cat Chronicles. Once a week we’ll see what he’s been up to, what he’s been stealing, what trouble he’s been getting into. He definitely likes his trouble. I hope you’ll follow along, and share some stories of what your crazy animals do. I look forward to hearing about your furbabies!

Teaser!

I’ve decided to throw out a teaser from my book, Courage.

     The door slams and I am immediately awake. My heart skips as I struggle to control my breathing. In, two, three, four, I count in my head. Out, two, three, four. Slow. Steady. The thunk,thunk of boots on carpet reaches the door and I continue to count each breath to be sure it remains even. I concentrate hard on all of my muscles, starting at my face and working my way down to my toes, to be sure that I appear to be asleep. I am relaxed, two, three, four. Calm, two, three, four.

His breath sounds labored and uneven as he enters the room, and I know his sea green eyes are boring into me. I force the fear down into the darkest parts of my mind. He shifts suddenly and, somehow, I manage to keep my trembling internal, where it can’t be seen.

 

Coming soon on Amazon Kindle! Follow me so you don’t miss out on Alex’s story!

Comments are always welcome 🙂