When I started writing 30-Love, I knew that the main character Charlie Valdez would have a cat. Since the romance novel is very loosely based on my husband James and me, I decided her pet would be named Cabbit and he'd possess a lot of the same qualities as our own beloved Cabbit Cat.
Shortly before finishing the novel, I described how I'd envisioned the cover to James. (He's designed all my book covers) I love how Cabbit The Cover Model Cat is touching the tip of his long black tail with one paw while he snoozes in Charlie's antique armchair. Our Cabbit loved to chase his tail and would regularly do so in the mornings while I was getting ready for work. (Might I add that it's rather distracting to have a creature running noisily around in circles in your bathtub as you're trying to get out the door?) And, although Cabbit was fast, that darned tail always stayed just out of reach!
In loving memory of Cabbit who went to Kitty Heaven earlier this week, here's a quick excerpt from Chapter 3 of 30-Love:
On Saturday morning, Charlie was rudely awakened by a loud clacking sound. "Stop it, Cabbit!" she groaned. "It's the weekend and I'm not getting up yet!"
She pulled a small pillow off the bed, aiming it at the white and black cat who'd been whacking the vertical blinds together in an attempt to get her out of bed.
To avoid being nailed, Cabbit took off like a shot, hightailing it into the bathroom. Charlie put her head back down and smiled into her pillow. She knew it was only a matter of time before the cat would return to the window and begin his torture all over again. They'd continue the routine until she finally gave in and fed him breakfast.
Charlie made no move to get up as she idly thought about the previous evening with Jack. We reached a major milestone last night. Saying I love you to each other is a huge thing! She remembered the list she'd planned on making of the things they had in common. It had been late when she'd arrived home and Charlie had gone straight to bed. Now, creating the list suddenly seemed very important.
She'd decided to head downstairs when Cabbit started back up with the blinds.
"I'm getting up because I want to get up, mister!" she shouted, leaping quickly out of bed and grabbing the startled feline.
"Gotcha!" Charlie exclaimed triumphantly stroking his soft ears.
The cat regarded her with indifference, making it clear he was in the mood for breakfast, not affection.
"Cabbit, you're a great alarm clock!" she exclaimed. Placing the large cat on her bed and throwing on a robe, Charlie added, "Okay, my friend. Let's go get you some food!"
You can order your copy of 30-Love on Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/30-Love-Monica-Simmons/dp/1098022580/ref=sr_1_3?crid=7NR5OSG7JU4B&dchild=1&keywords=30-love&qid=1613086158&sprefix=30-Love%2Caps%2C248&sr=8-3
& here's the trailer on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x-3-QnAtBlI
In case you're wondering, our Cabbit would regularly rattle our bedroom blinds. Regardless of which day of the week it was, he wanted his breakfast right then! (Hey, they say write about what you know, right? lol)
After 30-Love was published, our dear family friend Verna posted this adorable photo of her cat Jules "reading" the book. It will forever be one of my favorite photos. Although Jules' markings are not exactly like Cabbit's, they're very similar. We used to describe Cabbit's ears as "ham ears" because they were so pink and pretty.
Lest you think that Cabbit was the "Perfect Cat", I should mention that he was not a fan of being held. I'll share this photo from Monday (far left image below) of Week 14 of my Closet ClotheSure Challenge where he clearly doesn't like being in the spotlight—or in my arms!
Always a bit camera-shy (except for his cover-model opportunity), Cabbit was frequently behind the scenes during the photoshoots we did for Closet ClotheSure. Just for grins, here are some photos of him lazing around the house. He loved to snooze near a sunny window and listen to the birds chirping outside.
Our furry friend hung around for nearly nineteen years—almost half of our married lives. I could always count on him to listen patiently whenever I needed to vent or sing silly songs to him. Cabbit watched our boys grow into men, tolerating their rock band with his typical cat-like disdain. We moved twice during his time with us and when we did, he adapted quickly. We all knew he was the king of the castle!
Cabbit (he's the kitten on the far right) was born in James' parent's garage.
We feel so fortunate to have been blessed with this quirky, temperamental feline who preferred stinky wet food to dry kibble. We'll miss his "sorrowful mew" in the mornings, his "thunder cat galloping" down the upstairs hallway and coaxing him out from under the bed after a thunderstorm. We'll miss knowing we have this warm mound of catness slumbering between us each night.
Mostly, we'll miss his sweet black and white face. Goodbye, dear friend, Cabbit. They say all dogs go to Heaven. Well, we believe there's a special place up there for kitties, too!
The Great Outdoors
As we cruise through a cold February, James makes sure there's always plenty of seeds in our bird feeders. This magnificent red-shouldered hawk, however, is not on the lookout for seeds! (I took this photo from inside so the quality is not great) We'd be fine if this big guy gobbled up any rodent he might spot in our yard!
This sweet little cedar waxwing and several of his buddies love feasting on the red berries in the bushes underneath my kitchen window. These shots were taken through the glass but turned out better than the hawk photo. We love watching the birds and it's really cool when we are this close to them!
God bless you, my friends. Stay well and remember - God is in control and hope is on the move!