Notes from a parish cat and his author Julie Mackenzie

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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, March 26, 2011

Oh, the Randyman Can..

I said awhile ago that I had some posts mentioning Vinny. For his fans, there's this:

I heard there's deadly bacteria in a cat's mouth. I am appalled. How did anyone come up with that, anyway? Did they get deathly ill from a cat kiss?

All these years I have led the chastest of lives, complete with sanitary habits. I got snipped long before the urge struck me to spread my seed like Vinny Blackwhisker. The only thing I have been busted for is marking my territory with my back-ended signature.

You see, we cats have a problem. We are neither right-handed nor left-handed. But, we are back-ended. We leave our mark on the vertical dotted line of life. So, if there are germs to speak of, they can be found on surfaces that belong to us anyhow.

All of my anointings have not been a bed of roses. The housekeeper went nuts when she found out one morning that I had marked the cat box room in one corner. I was almost afraid I'd be turned out. I don't know what made me do it. I honestly wasn't even thinking. I sniffed around, then, wham-o.

Anyhow, back to the germs. People have had cats for eons and survived. But, I think the next time I see Vinny, I'll lick him just in case!

* * *

We haven't had a joke in awhile. There's been scratching at my inbox for a good one. Here we go:

A big Texas fat cat 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 was quiet for a moment, then said, "Well, there was Paul Revere." The Texas kitty snorted, "Paul Revere? Isn't he the one who ran for help?"

Have a good weekend!


Saturday, March 19, 2011

Moon No Match

It has no special powers despite its huge size. There is no magic. Mystical messages are not expected from it. Some higher tides will occur in those areas prone to be affected, but overall, no need to worry; unless, of course, the object falls in. We don't want to think about that, though. All we want to do is take in the rare beauty and magnificence of the sight.

It is a rare phenomenon that will render us speechless. It is an unbelievable 16 percent bigger than normal and brighter. Every living creature will behold its wonder, will tremble at its enormity:

"Le chou grande!" (the big cabbage!)

"Is Goodyear stamped anywhere?"

* * *

Mary Lou thinks I should go on a diet. I say pish-posh. Bigger is better. Ask the moon!


Saturday, March 12, 2011


Shhh! Men are in hot pursuit, old folks are screaming, and Mary Lou can't find her article on cat grooming..oh, hi, everybody!

I thought it might be a good idea to share what's on the nightstands at the rectory. I found the following:

In Jack's room is American Brutus by Michael W. Kauffman. Being a former history teacher, Jack always grabs the historical stuff. The book is about John Wilkes Booth, Abraham Lincoln's assassin.

In Will's room the old folks are screaming..well, not really. He's reading 61 Hours, a Lee Child thriller featuring hero Jack Reacher. I love to cuddle and feel Will tense up when Jack gets the bad guys along with a strong cup of coffee and fifteen sugars.

In Mary Lou's space, there's just about anything to read. She has a bunch of stuff lying around all the time, so it's hard to say what's she's reading.

Wait a minute...what the heck?!..I'm reading a book, too? Who put this next to me when I was minding my own business, sleeping??..Huh?...Jaaaaack...!

Well, to all the readers here at the rectory and out in cyberland, have fun, don't read anything I wouldn't read and always keep one eye open when you snooze so somebody doesn't pull a fast one!


Saturday, March 5, 2011

WWII in Braids

More of these sun puddles are cropping up and am I happy! Look how nice I look against the braided rug!

It was pretty torn and dirty when Julie purchased it at a garage sale, but it became part of my novel. Wait 'til you hear its story revealed in this scene when parishioners Beth and Foster came over to visit:

"Her mother made it? The whole thing?"

Beth admired the stitchwork and the rhythmic colors in the braiding as it swirled around in an Americana display--deep reds, blues and a rich green woven along the edge. In its center, each color broke up into speckles, clipped and scattered like confetti. It wasn't just functional, it was a work of art, and hard work at that. The entire rug had to be at least eight feet wide and thick.

"Beautiful!" Beth moved her feet over to the side. "I hate to step on it!"

"Look closely at the dark green part around the outside of the rug," Will pointed out.

"What about it, Will?"

"Mary Lou's mother took her father's World War II uniform and weaved it into the rug."


Foster and Beth looked closer at the outer ring and the deep green of the army wool.

"Talk about recycling," Will said.

"That's a really special rug." Foster had done his share of military service and preserving memories like this was as unique as he'd ever seen.

The part about the army uniform was not made up. That is actually what is sewn along the edge. If you were to count the "braids," from center to edge, you would find 57. You didn't know I could count, did you? The rug measures over nine feet diagonally. According to its previous owner, it was entirely hand-braided and sewn together by his mother.

It's a very special rug, I know, but it took me the longest time not to sharpen my claws on it. Talk about ballistic! Mary Lou went nuts the first time I stretched with my claws extended.

Imagine if cats could make things like this. I might have thumbs, but I wouldn't even try. I'll just have to sit on it to make it look its best!