Let's Talk with Debra H. Goldstein

Respect your cat day

March 28, 2024

I have a confession to make. When I began writing One Taste Too Many, the first book in the Sarah Blair mystery series, I understood that because it was going to be a cozy, the inclusion of a pet was highly recommended. My research showed that the preferred cozy animal was a cat. No problem. If I could invent male and female characters, I could throw in a cat. Well, there was one issue – I didn’t know anything about cats except that one scared me when I was a child.

Growing up, we always had small dogs.

If I was going to introduce a cat, it had to be one that readers found credible. My cat wasn’t going to read minds, talk, or do anything that a real cat wouldn’t do. Taking this into consideration, I spent hours researching different types of cats. I concentrated on their behavioral characteristics, the care they needed, and the interaction between cats and humans. Soon, I was a walking cat encyclopedia, but I lacked the ability to translate my reading to the page. It was time for a more in-depth manner of research.

I called a friend who had a Siamese cat and asked questions about how her cat interacted with her. After we talked for a while, she invited me to spend an afternoon with her and Suri. I took her up on her offer and spent hours making notes as I watched her cat be aloof, playful, affectionate, mischievous, and the alpha player in their relationship. By the time I left the two of them, I had a sense of who RahRah, the alpha male cat in the Sarah Blair series, would be.

Arriving home, I found an email from my friend. It was a picture of her cat, which I printed out in full color. Days later, my Kensington editor called to discuss cover ideas. I told him I wanted a simple cover that focused on the cat. He asked if I had a description of the cat. At a loss, I pulled open my desk drawer and staring at Suri’s picture, I described him in detail to the editor.

The cover artist caught Suri’s essence perfectly. So much so, that when my friend saw the cover, she thanked me. That was wrong. We both owed our respect and gratitude to Suri for being the model for RahRah.

Although I personally don’t have a cat, I’m delighted to use National Respect Your Cat Day to honor RahRah and Suri. Do you have a cat? How will you show your cat a little extra love or respect today?

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Posted in Let's Talk, with Debra H. Goldstein • Tags: , , , |  16 Comments


16 thoughts on “Respect your cat day

  1. I used to have a cat but she died on 2-12-2024(Feb. 12, 2024) but I would have given her extra cuddles and treats to show her I respected her more.

  2. My upstairs neighbor has two Cornish Rex cats named Biscuit and Eloise. They are adorable, smart, affectionate and playful. I definitely respect them.

  3. I had two rescue kittens in my early twenties. They were both consummate mischief makers. I came home from work one night to discover the living room drapes in shreds because they had spent the day climbing them. I eventually discovered cats were a prime source of my massive sinus problems. By then, one had passed on to kitty heaven. One of my husband’s coworkers gave the other a new home.

    1. I don’t think I would have been thrilled to find the living room drapes in shreds. Wow!

  4. I do have a cat (her name is andi, but I call her P because she is such a sweet little pea) and she has already gotten extra treats – although I didn’t know it was “Respect Your Cat Day,” that seems like a good excuse to use 😉
    I love and respect how much time and effort you put into creating RahRah – that is truly commendable that you put that much thought into creating a realistic feline character ❤️

    1. Your cat sounds darling. Do give her extra treats for RESPECT. Thank you for your kind words.

  5. After our last dog passed away it was difficult for our family. We weren’t sure if we would adopt another. One day in 2007 while sitting on our patio 4 cats showed up and were hungry. They all looked alike. Unbeknownst to us one was pregnant. We took them to the vet and they were spayed, neutered and had shots. The pregnant one had 4 kittens. All but one is still alive. Patrick had his 17th birthday on St.Patrick’s Day. We have learned so much about them over the years. So thankful they chose our patio so many years ago.

  6. I had a cat Rosie she was loveable when she wanted and when she didn’t she hid away.

  7. I have several cats and each have different personalities. You have to give a cat respect and they will show you respect. I always look for mysteries that have a cat, but I will read a good mystery that has a dog

  8. I have two cats. I grew up with cats and dogs. I have never not a cat and the only reason I didn’t always have a dog is because I lived in an apartment that didn’t allow dogs. I still had cats, though. They don’t need to go out for walks so no one seem to notice.

  9. I’ll play with my cat and theifavorite toy tonight and givethem some of their favorite treats.

  10. I had cats as a child. The first was a black tom cat that I named Panther Muffin. He let me dress him up and everything. Then I got a Siamese as I wanted one ever since the movie “Bell, Book and Candle” as I loved Kim Noak and Pyewacket. That cat was awful though. It bit my mother’s ankles all of the time and peed in the sink. We found it a good home. I was sorry to let it go, but there was no option. Since then, I have been a dog person. I had two after the cats and then we got one in 1982 when we bought a house. We have had one ever since and still do. Turns out I am allergic to both cats and dogs, but you get over that if you are around them all of the time. I now have no problems with them. Research is the key. I loved how you developed your cat.

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