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, August 25, 2012

Senility and Peas

Things around here have been hectic as we're still pimping primping our house for sale. You know, cleaning, polishing cabinet knobs (I kid you not), updates and other stuff. Everything has to be just so..

 ***********!!!SENILITY ALERT!!!***********
(we might want to add that sound that comes with TV interruptions for national emergencies..)

Just to show how bad it's gotten, at suppertime the other day, Mom Julie was getting out a bag of peas from the freezer. They had been opened already, put into another bag, but she forgot to zip it up and when she dropped it..

Oh, my Cod! There were peas everywhere! Peas to the left, peas to the right, peas up my in my ears

How do you approach a thousand tiny, green balls?

I know I wasn't much help. She was standing with her mouth wide open, not believing her eyes, I guess. I did scout beneath cabinets to make sure she didn't miss any as she cleaned up. Can you imagine a buyer finding a bunch of peas under the fridge or a stray one behind the door?


Finally, after the initial shock, they were finally swept away.

I don't know if this has happened to you, but accidents in the kitchen really are a hoot. People running around like their pants are on fire. Of course, you and I just try to stay out of the way, keep a level head and call it good.

 So long, peas!



Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Friday, August 17, 2012

My Special Toy

Most of my toys are the usual--various little buddies filled with catnip, feathers at the end of a string, jingles, jangles and other things we cats like to bat around and pounce on.

There is one toy that stands out from the rest and has become, paws down, my favorite. I've named him Inspector McCheese.

If you meet him, you'll see he wears glasses and looks highly intelligent

He also has wheels, really cool!

And he's tasty for the occasional fun-nom

 Wait a minute! That's not even me! Untooth that mouse this minute!

Caught red-pawed, Mitty with my McCheese!

My favorite toy..I can't even say it..being someone else's best friend!

Cheesie, how could you??


I got to thinking.

Maybe it isn't his fault.

Could it be he just needs new glasses?


Friday, August 10, 2012


I promised an excerpt from Mom Julie's book in today's post and I will not disappoint.


Before I put it on MY blog, I want to mention a couple of things.

We still have Father Will, the good-looking priest. (I wouldn't know, I just see him from the ankles up, from my pillow, or from his lap, and he's ok.) but, this book reveals more of good ol' Father Jack, the cussingest priest you'll ever meet who's trying not so hard to mend his ways.

Anyway, this HIGH FEATHER book is not only leaner, it's meaner and shorter than the first one. I won't go into why that is, just that a good story started up and revved itself all the way to the end. Mom Julie is happy with it, except for one thing:


Nobody we get to know really well or anything, but still--

That sets the entire parish condo community on its ear. Not only because of it being the first death under mysterious circumstances at Temptation Arms, but a sweet, little old lady is implicated!! My friend Patsy, mom to the late mancat Vinny Blackwhisker!! You might remember him from posts a little over a year ago. Can you imagine?

Anyway, here's the excerpt from when she finds the former headmaster of the parish school dead outside her door and runs to get Father Jack. He's in the middle of a celebration in the Arms' atrium and is alarmed when he sees her trying to get his attention, agitated and very upset:

(The following is copyrighted material from the book HIGH FEATHER by J.R. MACKENZIE)

Chapter 8

The Body
    Jack took Patsy’s elbow and steered her into the hall.
    “What is it?”
   With head shaking, the elderly woman gestured for Jack to follow.  There was no one around, everyone still inside enjoying the last few minutes of the night’s festivities.
    Having the priest now by her side did nothing to calm Patsy. She looked up at him and said, “I just killed someone!”
    With calming hand on her shoulder and heart in his mouth, he said, “Patsy, that’s impossible. Tell me what happened.”
    As they made their way toward her apartment, she went back to the very beginning of the evening. “Well, after everyone arrived, I closed up the cloakroom and I had my dinner. Then, I got up to use the bathroom at my place since it’s right here on the first floor—“
    They rushed past closed doors, windows looking out onto the courtyard and darkened benches.
    The priest was trying to catch his breath. “Patsy, slow down!”
    About halfway to their destination, Jack could see a shock of hair partially hidden and the sole of a shoe facing him. He reached for her hand. It was like ice.
    As they approached the alcove, it was clear a man was lying in the darkness. His body was contorted, neck twisted. Jack was no expert, but he had seen the departed too many times not to know when he was facing death.
    “My Fred!” Patsy sobbed at his side.
    It was hard to see who it was. As he knelt down and reached for the man’s wrist, still warm, he stared into the face of the former headmaster of the parish school, their honored guest for the evening, their new friend; but certainly not Fred, as Patsy claimed. Jack paled and, dropping the man’s hand, arose and stood back.
    “My Fred!” she repeated. “It’s all his fault!”
    Confused, the priest shook his head. He had no words. The poor woman was obviously in shock, standing behind the priest, as if he were a shield to protect her from some unknown evil lying before them. She was whimpering words unintelligible.
    “Patsy,” he began, moving so he could put his arm around her shoulders,“Your Fred has been dead a long time, now. He had nothing to do with this, and neither did you."
    Jack himself bringing up her late husband’s name only increased the anguish and brought on more tears. “You don’t understand!”
    “Patsy, dear, you are confused and in shock.” He patted her head as the woman pressed her face into his jacket like a child. He could feel the rhythm of her jerking motions against his pocket. He pulled out a handkerchief and a half-eaten bar of chocolate.
    As he glanced down the hall where they had just come, he saw a couple of people step out of the atrium. They looked curiously in his direction, moving to stand over by the coatroom.
    The only thing the priest wanted to do right now was get her out of sight.
    “Patsy, Patsy.. it’s all right. Let’s get you inside.”
    He reached over to her condo door which was open, and entered. She was still clinging to him.
    “Go over, sit the hell down.” He felt like he was being choked by a vine that wouldn’t let go. “I’ll take care of this—“
    “I’m so sorry. So sorry.”
    “Patsy, it’s not your fault.” He added, under his breath, “Nor his.”
    Jack deposited her on the couch, gave her a glass of water which she left sitting on the coffee table, then returned to the hall.
    He pulled out his cell phone and punched in the emergency number. “Yes, I need an ambulance right away.” He gave the address and exactly where they could come in with the least commotion. “And, please, no sirens approaching the school!”
    The next call Jack made was to his best friend on the force, Detective Lieutenant Ed Bryson. He had his private number and made quick work of filling him in.
    “Yeah, Ed, a fine kettle of fish. Patsy claims her husband who’s already dead just murdered our newest resident.”


 About the feathers:

At the same time the police, Will and Jack are attempting to solve the mystery, Will is trying to put together a celebrity auction to raise money. An independent theater and film star, known for her red feather boa reaches out to Patsy and helps clear her name. I know EXACTLY what happened all along, and I find a way to help the feathered thespian and Patsy connect.  I CAN'T SAY ANYTHING MORE!

One more thing:

It's only going to be published on Kindle, available for the sum of what you might put in the poor box. Meanwhile, there'll be snippets of the book here for your reading pleasure :)

Coming soon!


Mom Julie gives me extra treats (chick-hen, skipjack tuna or nip) in exchange for the free publicity on MY BLOG!!


Wednesday, August 8, 2012

World Cat Day: Love You!

This is why I know I’m gonna make it
Charm and affection and they don’t fake it
They’ll purr and trill right to the end
Heart and soul always to mend
Life’s scratches, growls and haunting nights.

All my life they've been adorable and filled my heart with joy.


Mom Julie, Tinker (above), Mitty, Tom, and Anastasia

Friday, August 3, 2012

Hey, Up Here!

As cats, we love to take naps, sit in windows and gaze out at the world, always reflecting on what it would be like if we ran things. Half asleep and right in the middle of this happy thought--

A rude awakening!


Gasps coming from outside!

I what??

Great Granny's cotton socks, I'm pushing out the screen with my butt and putting a big hole in it?

It was all awfully embarrassing. I tried to look cute because Mom Julie wasn't sure whether to laugh or freak out.

She came inside and reinforced the whole thing so it would be secure. Now, all that was left to do was get upset over the hole, but she figured since she's replacing the screens from our going after bugs and stuff over the years, it was going to be okay.

So, all of me is still in one piece.

Secure in knowing my particular human is running things just fine.


Don't forget! We'll have an excerpt of "High Feather" as our post next week. I'm so excited helping Mom Julie decide which part we'll use. There's a blurb about the book on the sidebar.

I'm so glad she makes me a little cat priest in her stories :)