Notes from a parish cat and his author Julie Mackenzie

My photo
I am Father Tom Fish, esteemed member of the religious team at Temptation of Christ Parish in the novels by author Julie Mackenzie. As to my background, I was invited into the rectory as a stray, laid on the charm, and was invited to stay, even honorarily ordained and no less spiritual than my sidekick Father Will. He dotes on me to high heaven and forgives all of my street cat proclivities, whatever the hell that means.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Vinny's Humor

"Good God, you couldn't find another way $%t*head!..I'm a priest!"

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Thanksgiving Thoughts

When the smells start up in the rectory kitchen, they go through the whole house. It's during the holidays that I really find myself underfoot where the action is and, sure enough, I can count on yummies tossed into my dish. If the housekeeper throws a little wide, that's perfectly okay.

This is the time of year that I start thinking more about friends and family. I want to say thanks to all of you who always come by for a visit, share your funny bone reactions to my foolishness, and more than anything, believe in me. I thank you all from the bottom of my heart for that.

Have a wonderful Thanksgiving, dear ones!

Tom & Julie

Friday, November 19, 2010

A Pat-Down Warning

I'm ready!

I haven't been scanned yet, nor have I received the once-over, but if I have to show all, I want the world to know that I would willingly expose myself--wait a minute, that didn't sound right--for the health, safety and well-being of everyone, especially lady cats.

Even if my nubbies are gone, I am neither embarrassed nor ashamed to be patted down, inside legs and all. By the way, I am very ticklish right in the groin area, so I would advise all TSA members sporting badge and rubber glove to avoid it altogether. Should that area inadvertently be approached and/or fondled, I will engage in an immediate reaction involving four legs, claws, hissing for effect, and pointed teeth. There are no guarantees of survival.

So, it must be kept in mind the concept of cautious cooperation. I'll cooperate as long as they are cautious!


Friday, November 12, 2010

I Brake For Bookworms

Next week is Children's Book Week. There aren't that many children's books in the rectory, only a few for when we have visitors. They're mostly picture books with trains and little puppies. Not what we have in mind, at all.

You see, I highly doubt I would even exist if a certain author didn't have this thing for talking animals and bunnies in trousers. All of the animals in Thornton W. Burgess' little animal community--Blackie The Crow, Reddy Fox and Grandfather Frog--all became friends with their readers through books.

JRM: That's right, Tom. When I was growing up, my father especially talked about animals and their adventures. My grandfather gave him Uncle Wiggly Longears which he handed down to me. Maybe that's what inspired your special role at Temptation Parish, why you're a puss preaching the straight and narrow.

Tom: As long as I don't have to walk the straight and narrow, I'd never fit. Too fat. Hehehe!

JRM: Tom!

Tom: Okay, okay, a priest. That is a pretty important role.

JRM: You're not really a priest, Tom. The housekeeper just gave you the name Father Tom.

Tom: Can't I be an honorary priest? I forgive sins, don't I?

JRM: Well, you're in on the absolution and penances..

Tom: And...

JRM: You're in the rectory den with the holy water and nips..

Tom: And...

JRM: You officiate at weddings and I guess you are!

Tom: Weddings I only dig if they throw catnip, and funerals I'm always afraid someone'll grab me and stick me in the coffin.

JRM: Oh, Tom!

Tom: Don't get any ideas. That's one adventure I can do without!

Hope you enjoy Children's Book Week with memories old and new!

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Turning Clocks Back (If We Only Really Could)

I love this picture taken some years back. If only we could return to then, when Vinny and I got along and our friend the Siamese was in better health. We even posed nicely together.

Now, Vinny is skinny, has lost weight due to hyperthyroidism and my feelings about him alternate between sympathy and regret. Polar opposites we are. He was the one to be inappropriate (ahem--one of these days I'll be more specific, but not on a Sunday) even though he has a more angelic look than I do.

We were a happy little crew and I thought I would share this photo with those of you who don't like to dig back to old posts. Vinny is featured mainly on my blog and isn't in the book. We (J.R.) has enough characters in it as it is.

Getting back to the time, remember it's "fall back." And, make sure there's someone to catch you, hehehe!


Saturday, November 6, 2010

Red, White and Blue Streak

I am a very patriotic cat even though I effectively snoozed through last Tuesday's elections and I can't tell donkeys and elephants apart when it comes to politics. I also know it's Veterans Day next week and a bunch of men from the American Legion will be coming by to visit Jack and me. And, if that isn't enough to salute the colors, there's the birthday of John Philip Sousa, the march king today.

Since the classical station is always left on in the parlor, I've heard my share of Sousa marches and been rudely awakened by horns and clashing cymbals. To return the favor, I have come up with my own rendition of "The Caissons Keep Rolling Along" by a Gen. Gruber who wrote it around 1908. My version has been adapted especially for the feline voice and spirit.

So, all together now, friends--Wouldn't it be fun to have a bouncing mouse over the lyrics as we sing?


Over here
Over there
There is cat hair everywhere
It's how I know
It's here I belong.

Over here
Over there
There is catnip on the chair
I'm living high on the nip
And the song.

I'm dropping fur
With such vigor--it's a blur
And I can't be remorseful in the least
It keeps the humans on their toes
And I'm sure each one of 'em knows
They can't cuss at me since I am a priest.

Very nice! Everybody take a bow!