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.

Saturday, December 31, 2011

Tom's New Year's Rezlooooshuns

One of the things I've resolved to do is behave myself and act more priestly.

Maybe even take up yoga.

Number two on the rezlooshuns list is to behave in my personal rectory rest room. I'm told I have no regard for where I fling the gravel, digging as if to inner Earth. They said the Sea of Galilee goes on top, gets covered over and I'm done. What are they talking about?

Number Three of the zlooshuns is to no longer imbibe in holy water--the kind served in the rectory den. No more candy, either unless it's a toy like this. That means the housekeeper will discover it come Easter (when she does her spring cleaning) Actually, I don't eat candy. I just didn't have a pic of me imbibing is all.

Number Four of the sloossssssshherons is I have to set a good example for Mitty. What, and ruin him?

Number ah, er, ah (what number am I on??) Oh, nevermind, I'm a cat who enjoys his nip on this merry old holiday and wishes all of his friends, fans and Julie the best New Year ever, full of blessings, goodies, and good times.

Hey, my little friend, I've made some strong clawfee for you. When the ball drops, I want you to see just one, not three.

And, thank you everybody for another great year. Let's make the new one happy, healthy and hopeful. Most of all we're so grateful for your friendship. We couldn't do it without you.

The best to all in 2012!


Tom, Mittens and Mom Julie

Friday, December 30, 2011

Friday Funnies with Awards

Hi, everybody on this Friday, just two days before the start of a brand new year.

Around here, there's enough sprucing up to put spring cleaning to shame. The housekeeper doesn't like to start a new year "with a mess."

Me, I like to keep things light. I haven't told a joke in awhile. Here's the best of 2011:

A big Texas fat cat (must have been a coon) and a Boston tortie met on a plane headed for Miami. Of course, the big cat wanted to brag about his state. "Texas is in my heart and soul," he boomed. "Our heroes are the bravest men in the world. Did your Boston ever have anyone as brave as Sam Houston?" The tortie thought for a moment and said, "Well, there was Paul Revere." The Texas kitty snorted, "Paul Revere? Isn't he the one who ran for help?"

So, let's see. What happened the last couple of days really blew me away. I received two awards back-to-back! One is the Kreativ Blogger award from my woofie pal in Portland, Oregon. She writes the Sage Chronicles blog which I truly enjoy.

Then, hark! I barely recovered from my surprise at that award when I received another one. The Liebster Award came our way from Andrea and the Celestial Kitties in Ohio. ::blushes:: y'all shouldn't have!

Mercy me! I know the rules are to designate five other bloggers to give the award to which in this case would amount to ten, but honestly, everybody, I've lost track of who's received one and who hasn't. If you feel you want the award to put on your blog, please help yourself, with my blessing.

Hope everyone has a dandy Friday. Our last post for the year will be tomorrow, then we say goodbye to 2011. I wonder what's in store for us in the new year??


Sunday, December 25, 2011

Merry Christmas!

Hello, everybody! We want to wish all of our friends the happiest holiday filled with blessings and good cheer.

You can see how filled with good cheer I am.

Anyway, hugs and nosekisses to everyone and to everyone a good Sunday afternoon nap!


I hope we haven't missed anyone with our individual Christmas wishes and visits. This day's been a blur, but a happy one. Hope you've enjoyed the same.

Friday, December 23, 2011


Wouldn't you know it. In all the holiday hustle and bustle, we had an accident.

Actually, I didn't, even though I was hanging by a prayer in our tree, dropping balls left and right.

Mom Julie hurt herself after slipping on our icy steps and hitting the flat of her back against the bricks. It's been so warm lately, didn't even think about rain becoming ice overnight in spots.

Oh, Tom! My left hand isn't working very well and there aren't too many words that I could just type with my right. I'm so glad my shopping was done.

Thought we would share some photos of Tom (without meaning to) scaring the nativity kitties and our poor tree.

Have a happy, safe and blessed Christmas everybody!

Tom, Mittens & mom Julie

***Went to the doctor. Nothing broken, thank God and Cod. Thank you all for kind words! Never gone on a dr's appt. during Christmas. At least my pain is festive, hehe! Now, all I have to worry about is Tom getting back into the tree and Mitty wanting to get into the refrigerator.

Friday, December 16, 2011

"Dancing With the Vet" - Mitty Auditions

I'm going where?

Suddenly I'm in a white room being clutched by my dance partner, Dr. Linda.

Right away, I know she'll be leading

She makes sure I'm light enough for a shoulder toss

Limber enough for a samba

And have the kind of paw coordination for the two-step

Whew! I'm tired!

So, what do you think? Am I ready?


Sunday, December 11, 2011

A Special Reading Group

Julie says..

I wanted to add one more picture to the Delmarva album. This is Linda, a very good friend who has been battling cancer. The doctor tells her it's in remission now (they discovered it early, thank God) and she was all smiles when I saw her. I mentioned her doggie in the book and I plan to mention dogs or kitties in future books for a donation to a shelter. I just have to work out the details.

Come to find out yesterday, there's a whole book group that's been formed and its members are my best friend Jan, Linda, Carolyn, and Norma--with Vi to be added when she gets the book for Christmas. Nobody breathe a word!! No one wants to get ahead of the other, even though they tell me it's a page-turner, so they're hustling each other up to keep up! They might just decide to take it slow, though, for Vi's sake.

I appreciate your comments regarding the book here, in person and in emails. I have to get cracking to have the next book ready. Meanwhile, there's this blog which will keep everyone in the loop with what's going on.

Take care, efurrybody. Mittens and Tom'll be back next time.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Goodbye Delmarva

Boy, time goes by quickly when you're running around two states in one trip!

Oxford, as you've already seen, was beautiful. The hospitality at the Mystery Loves Company Bookstore was just as lovely.

They were ready for us, all decorated and cozy. Here are Kathy Harig and her husband Tom, owners of the shop. They like cats and were very willing to make sure I was in the picture with the sweets!

Coincidentally, their store was originally in Fells Point, Maryland, located just a couple of blocks away from Lancaster Street where part of the novel takes place. There are other locales readers will recognize as they make their way through a Temptation tale!

Here are Sherrie Connolly and her daughter Maddy, Julie and me. I liked them very much.

There were others whose names we'll always remember, too, and whose visits we'll cherish at this our first book signing trip. One couple came from Perry Hall just to see us, a more than two hour drive. Thank you so much, Nancy! I hope you enjoy the book. They received a special hug from Julie and me.

The next day, it was off to Delaware for Sunday's signing at Atlantic Books.

We loved our visit. The weather was perfect and, we were blessed with one of our favorite sights: Canada geese.

There've been other visits to this wonderful place since Julie hails from Maryland, but none as special as this one.

It's really made me happy to be a cat, and a special one at that.


***We're doing our best to comment on other blogs, but we hope to really be able to catch up in the next few days. Thank you to all who give us their love and support.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Our Trip: The Beginning

We were scheduled to fly out at 7am. I was packed and cranky.

I have no idea why I was stuffed in with the boots. Do I look like Puss what's-his-name?

When we boarded the plane, I didn't even get a seat. I got a pocket instead, stuffed in with the sky catalog, airline magazine, a chewed up lollipop stick, and directions on how to survive a boo-boo at 31,000 feet. Good thing I can read if I had to save us.

After we landed, it was off to the hotel, or inn which was all nice and Christmasy with fireplace, decorated tree and me with some sort of flower

When anybody came by, I hid

By this time, I was ready to go up to our room. I headed for the bed and found myself tucked in.

While I slept, Julie puttered around, getting ready for our appearance in Oxford at Mystery Loves Company Books. Thankfully, for me my day was done. Besides, they didn't offer mice on the room service menu, so that eliminated any chance of a mid-afternoon snack before naptime.

Mercifully, things finally quieted down.



***I just wanted to remind everyone that my cardboard self will be hovering over Julie at her book signing in Milford, Massachusetts on Saturday. I look forward to seeing any and all CB furriends who might be in the area!!


Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Wordy Wednesday: Book Signings on Delmarva

This is the beauty of early December on the Eastern Shore of Maryland, particularly Oxford here, a little town with charm, marinas, a great mystery bookshop, and.. margarita sunsets? I wonder what those are.

What could be more fitting for a cat priest than to be seen here between the devil and the deep blue sea (inlet), he he! Can you find me in this photo? It was just a beautiful day this past Saturday.

Kitties, it was a wonderful trip to Delmarva to sign books, talk about yours truly (meow) and a great opportunity to visit friends. We'll be getting together photos the next few days to share with you. Sorry to hear some of our furriends are ailing, but we're glad to be back in touch.

More later. :)

Tom & Julie

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Best Buds

I'm convinced Mitty is an early reader.

I watch him go after the cursor or watch each letter as it's being put up on the screen. We don't let him do the closeup stuff too much since it might hurt his eyes.

Here's a picture of us cuddling. Cool, huh? I really like having him around.


Yeeeessss, my dear?

I'm a little worried he might pick up your bad habits.

Oh? And what might those be?

Tom, Mittens looks up to you. For the love of Cod, would you please set a good example?

I'll do my very best, but I can't promise anything. (Don't you just love a comment that gets you off the hook and makes you look good at the same time?)


Saturday, November 26, 2011

A Yard Sale Discovery

A picture is worth a thousand words, but what if you have more than one--together?

I want to share the story behind a small, framed photo of a black and white kitty. Found at a nursing home yard sale, its owner is unknown but that doesn't make it any less of a treasure. It was special to someone.

It represented a special pet that was probably not allowed in the nursing home, or reminded its owner of better times.

We couldn't stop looking at it after its purchase. There was a nagging feeling there was more to the picture than met the eye.

I watched as we took it apart.

You could see the usual back of any photograph paper and cardboard, but we discovered more

Now, we'll turn over the old Christmas card

So, you never know what personal lives you'll discover when you pick up an item at a garage or yard sale. They sometimes are all that is left of memories, of a special kitty, and smiles gone by.


Thursday, November 24, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving!

Tom and I are going to share this post today so we can wish everyone in the CB, our family, friends and our publisher Inkwater Press a very happy Thanksgiving.

This is the latest picture of Mittens with Tom in the background, along with books (which seem to be everywhere) and flowers. We're thankful for those who have inspired us and the new generation represented here who, when they're not playing, will see to our future!

Take care, everyone and a very Happy Thanksgiving!

Friday, November 18, 2011

Little Grasshopper

A teensy, tiny smidge of a kitty named Mittens has invaded the rectory. Can you believe it? I am now a father figure (no pun intended) to my new little brother three months old!

He is so cute. I hope people don't think he's cuter than I am. Okay, so it's a close call. Here's another pic of cuteness in the extreme.

Okay, okay. That's enough. I can do cute, too, buster!

I think everything is going to be just fine. Julie says there hasn't been a kitten in the house for more than fifteen years. (She's always taking pity on us older cats) Mittens came from a shelter all full of p#** and vinegar. I have to hang onto the wall when he darts in and out of the rooms like a little rocket.

I can't wait to teach him altar tricks and sanctuary etiquette--oh, and then there's introducing him to nip, basketfuls of clean clothes and cat box editorials.

Hey, Mitty, where are you?? Hey, little buddy!

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Tom and the Fly

"The time has come," the walrus said, "to speak of many things."

I don't think the walrus had in mind what I'm about to tell you. First, I want to say that being a cat of the cloth means I can talk to anybody about anything, and they can talk to me.

The other day, I was sleeping, minding my own business

when along came this tiny winged creature who wanted to talk

and talk, and talk, and talk, naturally of many things. There wasn't even a confession in there to keep my interest.

Oh, my Cod, I was losing my patience.

But, I listened and I listened.

I wasn't even able to get a word in edgewise.

Finally, I'd had enough.

I didn't mean to, honestly, and this has been weighing on my conscience ever since. What do you think I saw when I removed my paw?

He was still there.

Talking..and talking..(hehe) Although, he might have pawsed for a moment.