Our guest poster today is NYT Bestselling author Rebecca M. Hale! Rebecca writes the “Cats and Curios” mystery series. The newest, HOW TO PAINT A CAT, debuts today in your local bookstore! The subject of her post, Humphrey, is pictured above! A dashing cat - almost as dashing as yours truly....
Hope your readers enjoy mypost!
HOW TO PAINT A CAT: How a Cat Became a Human (Character)
The Cats and Curios mystery series features my two cats, Rupert and Isabella, their anonymous owner (a woman who looks a lot like me), and their adventures in San Francisco’s Jackson Square. As the series has progressed, a number of secondary characters have wandered into the Green Vase antique shop and populated the storylines that involve San Francisco’s City Hall.
HOW TO PAINT A CAT features the return of newspaper reporter Hoxton Finn and his unlikely sidekick, a hairdresser named Humphrey. (The news station has tasked Humphrey with making Hox presentable for his station-mandated television appearances.)
While many of the Cats and Curios characters are inspired by famous political figures or other San Francisco celebrities, the character of Humphrey is derived from a completely different source.
Humphrey is based on a male domestic shorthair. In other words – a cat.
Humphrey the cat has lived with me since he was five weeks old. He’s a slender black and white tuxedo, very stylish and always impeccably dressed. He has a single white stripe down the center of his chest that looks just like a necktie. White caps cover the toes of his feet, giving the impression of little white shoes.
Humphrey is a cuddler; he purrs when you pick him up. He’s the perfect sidekick: chatty, good-natured, and pleasant to be around.
Unfortunately, there’s one aspect of the feline Humphrey’s personality that didn’t translate over into the human character.
Humphrey the cat loves his tail. Even as a kitten, he would sit for hours holding his tail in his front paws, staring at it with wonder and adoration. I often find him in the same position today.
To be honest, the tail isn’t all that spectacular. It’s a long black skinny thing, kind of pointed at the end. But in Humphrey’s eyes, there has never been another tail to match it. It’s his most prized possession.
He was thrilled to learn that I was writing a blog post specifically about him and his book character – until he learned that the human Humphrey had no tail.
The conversation went something like this:
HUMPHREY (curled up in my lap, holding his tail): “So, tell me about this human Humphrey.”
RMH: “He’s artistic, refined, stylish – just like you.”
HUMPHREY (grooming the tip end of his tail): “I like the sound of that. Tell me more.”
RMH: “He’s a good listener. And he has a fun sense of humor.”
HUMPHREY (thinking for a moment): “I have a fun sense of humor.”
RMH: “Yes, yes, you do. You’re a funny little guy.”
HUMPHREY: “And tell me about his tail.”
RMH (sensing trouble): “His tail?”
HUMPHREY (slightly perplexed): “The book Humphrey, tell me about his handsome tail.”
RMH (stammering): “Well, uh, actually, you see, since he’s a human, he, uh, doesn’t have a tail.”
HUMPHREY (staring up at RMH in shock): “The book Humphrey doesn’t have a tail???”
RMH: (winces and shakes her head)
HUMPRHEY (an expression of sheer horror on his furry face) “Get your publisher on the phone. We’re going to have to discuss some rewrites…”
MEOW! Humprhey sounds like a cat after my own heart! I help the Human with her writing as well…..
Folks, if you haven’t tried the Cats and Curios series, you are missing out! Check them out today!
Coming up….Roberta Islib, Heather Graham and Brenda Novak! Meow!