Dear, sweet Blaze—a tuxedo cat of fine distinction!
In my new cozy mystery, Ghost Cat of Ocean Cove, Blaze is the feline companion who has accompanied septuagenarian Camelia Collins on her move from the city of Portland to Ocean Cove, a tiny town on the Oregon Coast. Here’s an excerpt:
“Making a second trip to the car, she hefted a large cat carrier from the back seat. Its sulking inhabitant, her big tuxedo boy Blaze, gave a rauw of displeasure at the joggle.
“Can’t be helped,” Camelia told him. “I know how much you kitties hate change, but you’ll like this one, I promise.”
Camelia lugged the carrier, along with a tote full of cat things, directly into the little bedroom. Once inside, she closed the door and opened the carrier gate. Blaze inched his way out, first a pink nose, then a white paw, then finally the whole black and white cat. He looked up at his cohabitor with eyes green as an old-fashioned 7Up bottle as if to say, “What in the world have you done?”
“You’ll be fine,” said Camelia. “I’ll get your box and food station up directly. Be a good boy and hold it for just a few minutes longer.”
Blaze shot her a dirty look, then hopped onto the bed and proceeded to scrutinize his new digs. Camelia pulled a small, pre-filled litter pan from the tote, pulled off the cling wrap covering, and placed it on a towel on the floor. Going into the bathroom, she filled a travel bowl with water.
“Food’s coming.” She gave the cat a pet and left him to it.” —Chapter 1, Arrival and a Surprise.
But Blaze is much more than that.
Blaze was my own dear cohabitor until November of 2020 when he passed away at the age of twelve and a half. Blaze was only with me for a short two years, a foster cat who came to stay. After nursing him through the healing of a brutally broken leg, he was my cat, and I was his person. We were never to be parted. I thought we would have so much longer, then cancer.
But now Blaze can live on in a story. Before he crossed, before I even suspected it was his time, I’d been working with another cat as Camelia’s companion. Then Blaze took his place as my hero’s sidekick as naturally as water. Now when I write about Camelia and Blaze napping the couch, playing with a string, or encountering the ghost cat Soji, I can jump into Camelia’s sensible shoes for a few seconds and be the one to feel his soft cheek against mine once more.
Bits from the Blaze Album.
GHOST CAT OF OCEAN COVE,
A Tenth Life Cozy Mystery #1
A ghost cat and a cold case murder turn a septuagenarian’s beach house dream into a nightmare.
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