Pelham and MaryHarper Collins reached their total of $3,000 for Liz Carlyle’s charity of choice.  Thanks to everyone who commented.  The kitties thank you, too.

Liz Carlyle is taking over the blog for today – for a very good cause. In honor of her new release, One Touch of Scandal, Harper Collins will donate one dollar to Cat Angels for every comment made here and at other Romance land blogs up to a total of $3,000. There’s never been a better reason to leave a comment! (Pictured are Liz’s two rescue kitties, Pelham and Mary. Aren’t they lovely?)

Thank you all for helping bankrupt Harper Collins on behalf of Cat Angels!  My regular readers know that I just love to include animals in my novels—usually cats, but occasionally dogs.  From the outset, however, I knew that Lord Ruthveyn—my hunky hero in One Touch of Scandal—would be unequivocally a cat-person.  After all, he’s dark, sleek, elegant, and a little mysterious—and a lot stubborn.  But what kind of cat?  A black cat?  Too traditional.  A calico?  No, too cheerful.  So I pondered it . . .

Meanwhile, just before digging into OToS n a big way, I bought a new chair—my husband calls it the Pelham Chair.  For weeks our cat Pelham had taken to the new habit of gazing longingly at me when I’d sit in my “work chair” tapping away on my new MacBook.  They were the same elegant, silvery color, so maybe that had something to do with it?  It was a mystery, as is so much of a life lived with cats.  In any case, I would respond by patting the chair arm invitingly—no, ecstatically—because this was a wonderful step in Pel’s development.

You see, Pelham is a feral cat who, as a half-grown kitten, was trapped by the dogcatcher and deposited in a kill-shelter.  By the time we rescued him and his sister at about four months of age, they were already set in their slightly insecure feral ways.  Pel is tame and gentle now, but like most ferals, he can still be painfully tentative; ever a tad uncertain of his welcome.  So even though I slowly realized what he was asking, I had to pat and cajole and when finally, finally I could persuade him that yes, it was fine to come up, he’d leap—only to find he couldn’t get his claws into the leather quite securely enough.

Claws are a paramount security issue for a feral cat—well, to any cat, really—and sliding off that red leather chair was an unbearable indignity for so elegant a gentleman.  So I simply went out and bought a new chair.  Me, the unabashedly house-proud, the woman without a mismatched thread or piece of modern furniture in her house, brought home a hideously ugly, extra-wide reclining chair with fat, steroidal arms and deep, squishy upholstery.  It was going to be my Cat-Catching Chair.

I never knew a cat’s face could light up, but Pelham was utterly in alt.  He was out of hiding and clambering up before the delivery truck was out of the driveway.  He just knewthe ugly chair was his. And every day thereafter, Pelham sat with me while I wrote—sometimes on the arm, sometimes on the back, and sometimes tucked in the seat beside me, which was previously unheard of for Pelham.  And when I came at last to the point where I had to decide on Lord Ruthveyn’s cat, Pelham put his paw on my arm and said, “Me?”

Well, what he said was, “Feed me,” because it was half past seven in the evening—but that’s not how it sounded to me at the time.  Then I looked down to see that Pelham’s sister Mary, who is even more reserved, was gazing up at me from the floor, looking longingly at the ugly chair, and wondering . . .

And I decided then and there that Lord Ruthveyn would have two cats—shy, elegant silver tabbies who disdained much of humanity, but who longed to be with their One Special Person.  I’m proud to be Pelham’s One Special Person—and after all these years of living in a house with me instead of a dumpster in an alley—Pel seems finally to have learned that I—and my big ugly chair—will always, always have room for him.

So, are you somebody’s One Special Person?  And did he or she come from a shelter?  A dumpster?  The side of a busy highway?  Or by some more conventional means?  A dog or a cat or something more exotic?  Tell us who, and tell us how you met.

-Liz Carlyle

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I've been at AAR since dinosaurs roamed the Internet. I've been a Reviewer, Reviews Editor, Managing Editor, Publisher, and Blogger. Oh, and Advertising Corodinator. Right now I'm taking a step back to concentrate on kids, new husband, and new job in law...but I'll still keep my toe in the romance waters.