Cat Confessions, a Book Review by Me and Mewsette

page spread from Cat Confessions

Mewsette and Jelly Bean are stars!

(Mewsette attempts to write a book review.)

“You see my photo here all the time, but you don’t know I’m famous.”

“I’m famous too, Mewsette, I’m in the photo with you!”

“Shut up, Jelly Bean, you’re sitting behind me in the photo so you’re obviously not the subject.”

“But I’m cuter than you, everyone says so!”

“Jelly Bean, the only thing you’re good for is being cute. Go away and be cute!”

“Our photos are in the book too, Mewsette, stop acting like you’re such a star!”

“Who asked the two of you?! Everyone go away! Just let me finish what I’m saying!”

(Mewsette shoves her brothers, they shove back, a four-part wrestling match ensues.)

ENTER: MOM

Well, so much for Mewsette and her book review, but she’s young, I think she can learn. I’ll finish this one for her since she’s otherwise occupied.

cover of cat confessions book

Cat Confessions: A "Kitty Come Clean" Tell-all Book

The book Mewsette refers to is Cat Confessions: A “Kitty Come Clean” Tell-all Book by Allia Zobel Nolan, a book that does just that—allows kitties the chance to come clean about all the naughty things they do behind their humans’ backs!

“All we did was tell Mommy’s date how old she really is. We don’t know why he left,” say Sugar and Spice from Duluth, Minnesota each bearing totally innocent round-eyed expressions.

And many more in this beautifully-designed 64-page book, thoughtfully written by Allia after her years of observations of her cats and others’.

A sweet little hardback gift book, Cat Confessions is a great way for both new feline aficionados to find out what to expect from their new housemates and long-term human slaves to felines get a good laugh at what they know to be true. At just under 5″ x 5″ it’s a great stocking-stuffer or anytime gift. That way, whenever your cat or any other  is wearing an expression that can’t be determined, you and your friends and family can check this book to find a clue.

And in among all the true confessions from kitties all over the world are indeed my Fantastic Four in two separate spreads in the book. Mewsette and Jelly Bean are seen above looking innocent in the tub, and below are Mr. Sunshine and Giuseppe checking their Facebook pages on my computer when I’m not around, though Allia had to disguise their names so not to get them in trouble!

two-page spread from Cat Confessions

It's Mr. Sunshine and Giuseppe!

About Allia Zobel Nolan

And I’m a proud cat mom to have had my Fantastic Four chosen to be published by such a distinguished author as Allia Zobel Nolan.

Allia Zobel Nolan is an internationally-published, award-winning author of over 170 children’s and adult trade titles with close to three million books in print. Her books reflect her two main passions, God and cats, and include such varied titles as The Dreamy, Fishy, Happy Bible Storybook, The Ten Commandments for Little Ones, and The Worrywart’s Prayer Book as well as Smelly Feet Sandwich and Other Silly Poems; Purr More, Hiss Less: Heavenly Lessons I Learned from My Cat; The Joy of Being Single and Women Who Love Cats Too Much. New releases in 2011 include The Lord’s Prayer for Little Ones; Thank You, God; Hugs & Kisses, God; The Bible According to Kids, and an as yet un-named kitty book.

Among other places, her work has also been featured in The New York Times, The International Herald Tribune, The Irish Independent News, The Hartford Courant, The Washington Post, and The Los Angeles Times.

Allia lives and writes in Connecticut with her husband, Desmond Finbarr Nolan, and their three feline children, Sinead, McDuff, and Angela.

We won’t tell her kitties…but she’s currently working on Dog Confessions.

Visit her website for more information about her books and information on where to purchase them, especially Cat Confessions!

About my photos

five black cats at basement door

We do many things together.

Allia and I met through the Cat Writer’s Association and began to correspond as Allia began to mentor me in the ideal of publishing my own books. Seeing the photos I’ve used on this site and in my greeting cards and other merchandise she asked if she could use a few photos for a book she was currently composing, briefly describing Cat Confessions. I pointed her to my gallery of photography, specifically my kitty images.

“Bernadette’s photos were so wonderful, I had a hard time choosing. I wanted to use them all. The ‘gotcha’ poses she managed to snap of her puddies…whether they are playing ‘get-the-moth’ in the bathtub, or lined up one through five to look out the door, are completely natural, yet so entertaining. They’re the kind of photos we all wish we could take of our babies…if we only had the skill, and if only they’d stand still. And she has a gazillion to chose from.”

Well, my kitties have to earn their living somehow! If you’d be interested in using one of my feline photos for your book or magazine article, please feel free to contact me.


My Cats are Truly Stars Now

photo of kittens in the tub

Two in the Tub!

I know they’re the perfect models because I’m photographing and sketching and painting their images all the time.

But what a great thrill when someone else thinks they’re great subjects too, and their images are published in a book!

These photos are baby photos from the Fantastic Four as they explored the house at a few months old; at left are Jelly Bean and Mewsette, below are Mr. Sunshine and Giuseppe. It’s pretty funny now to see them this little; they’ve all grown to be quite big cats.

Author Allia Zobel Nolan is a friend through the Cat Writer’s Association. She’s written, um, 150, 175…books? I’m not sure at this point, but in her career as an author and editor, including children’s editor at Reader’s Digest Books, she’s written more books than we all have fingers and toes to count on for children and adults with humorous, educational and religious themes and several specifically about cats.

photo of cats watching computer

My Assistants

This book is Cat Confessions: A “Kitty Come-Clean” Tell All Book, which gives out cats the opportunity to admit that they really did lick the salt off potato chips, and that they do know how to use the computer and do so when we leave the room.

The book is due for release this summer, published by Harvest House Publishers. Read about the book on Allia’s website and click to Amazon.com for information on pre-ordering.

And to see more photos of my famous cats, visit my website photo galleries and find “my cats” under “animals” in the menu.


Peaches Says, “Thanks for all the good wishes, they worked!”

photo of cat on table

Your 42 minutes is up.

Well, I think I lost a few days in there, but at my age I don’t really care about time, except for when it’s time to eat, which is still every 42 minutes.

But I felt pretty bad for a while there. My mom kept waking me up and looking at me and smelling my breath, and then she’d follow me around and watch me in the litterbox—please! some privacy for a dignified older kitty! Then we would go into the kitchen, and I would get up on my counter to eat but I just felt crappy and even though I was hungry nothing tasted good. Then I’d go back to sleep some more, but I wouldn’t get any peace because mom would wake me up again.

Even before this I’ve had some bad days now and then. My tummy would gurgle and I’d throw up everything I ate, and it would be really hard to do, you know, number 2. I always thought that was the way it was supposed to be because I was 15 when I came here and it had been that way for years, even with my other mom when my sister was still around.

But this mom would have none of it and let me out of the room here but left my sister in so she could watch just me. I thought I had gotten used to my sister pushing me around and stealing food, but no one did that here and finally I could eat a whole meal and use the litterbox without anyone chasing me in the middle of…you know. Wow, I really started to enjoy mealtime and not worry so much.

cat peaking over blanket

If you don't get up I will dig you out.

Then my sister was gone and my mom started feeding me all sorts of different food “to see what works for you,” she said. That was nice. I really liked everything, but anything with salmon was the best. I felt very special, and I could eat whenever I wanted, well, almost.

Still, I would have days when nothing agreed with me and mom would hover. I just wanted to tell her to leave me alone and I would be okay.

And that’s the way this started out. I was comfortable curled on mom’s lap and she seemed relaxed about it. I had contacted Eva about the job opening for an office assistant and it seemed like that was going well, and I was trying to keep it a secret. Mom was at her computer all day, Cookie was mad because I was on mom’s lap all the time so she walked on me, and I figured I would be okay again in a day or two.

cat on blanket

Will you please get up?

But it went on longer than usual. I knew I felt bad when Giuseppe tried to curl up with me on mom’s lap and I just didn’t feel like moving to make room, and he licked my face but I didn’t even have the energy to look up at him. About that time I started losing track of things and I knew I was really sick.

All I wanted to do was sleep, especially after mom and that lady that smells funny and the guy that comes with her were talking about “kidney failure” and all teamed up on me in the kitchen and tried to make me into a kitty sacrifice or something, sticking needles into me and filling me up like a water balloon. When I woke up later, I was really hungry and ate for the first time in I-don’t-know-how-long, and I felt a lot better too. Mom was so happy when I woke her up the next morning. I was hungry!

cat at top of stairs

The kitchen is this way.

But it didn’t last all day. Mom tried to do the same voodoo thing to me and I said there was no way I was going to put up with that again so she didn’t get too far with it. Later my mom pulled some stranger in off the street about whom she said something like “vet tech school graduate” and “glad to find her and she lives just around the corner” to help her but I stopped that before they were done too. I may only be 5.4 pounds, but I know how to fling all four paws at once and throw everyone off. Mom said that was probably enough and they talked about how kitties “had to get used to this”—as if we’d ever get used to torture like that! Enough torture, just bring on the salmon pate! I’ll eat already!

I started out okay the next day and got right back to work pushing papers around on the desk and walking on the keyboard, but by later on I felt crappy again. It was really dark and everyone else was sleeping and I heard mom on the phone telling someone that she really didn’t want to wait until the next night when she’d “have someone to help her”, and suddenly I was in a plastic carrier with a warm blanket and we were moving!

cat on landing waiting

I am losing patience.

I never did figure it out, but we ended up in a strange place with lots of lights that smelled like more things than I could figure out and we were doing the needle thing again. Many hands were petting me and telling me how cute I was and what a strong kitty I was to have lived this long and they were sure I’d be fine. I wanted to tell them they had no idea what I did all day, that I am one hard-working kitty! And at my age yet!

I think we had a little snack when we got home, then the next morning I sat on mom until she got up and this time I was good all day. In the evening the same stranger came around who had tried to torture me with the needle a few days before, but she and mom just talked and petted me, and then they petted everyone else and I knew I was off the hook.

cat on crochet project

Peaches keeps my crochet project from getting away.

So I got to eat some pretty good stuff, that pureed chicken in the little jar that mom feeds me off a spoon, and all sorts of salmon pate, even little bits of cooked real salmon and, most exciting, real raw meat, little slivers of salmon and venison that mom warms up in her fingers. Mom gives me this now and then already, and I can’t eat too much of it but I don’t need to. I feel supercharged after I eat it.

And I got back to work and worked all week, helping around the house and I don’t know if mom would ever stop dawdling upstairs in the morning if I didn’t coax her down. Mom kept an eye on me, and that was a problem because I could barely get back to Eva to tell her I was well again and we should get back to our interview thing.

Near the end of the week, though, I started to slow down again and mom kept pulling at the skin around my shoulders and frowning and saying, “Hmmm.”

peaches and Kelly on the butterfly rug

Peaches and Kelly

Then Kelly, who usually eats with me and curls up on the butterfly rug with me, wasn’t feeling well and I discovered she was upstairs in the bathroom. Mom called that stranger, who I guess isn’t a stranger anymore but this time she didn’t just visit, they did the voodoo needle thing again, both me and Kelly.

Maybe I really am getting used to it, and I also remember that after I had a nap and slept it off I felt really good, so I just put up a little fuss so they wouldn’t think I liked it or anything but I didn’t make them stop. Mom had me in a death grip against her chest, anyway, so I couldn’t even wave a paw, and she kept talking and talking which was really nice because she was warm and it felt like she was purring.

cats on desk

Dinner, now.

So now I’m waiting for dinner, and not only do I have to wait longer than usual but one of those annoying young cats is taking up her entire lap. The only good thing about them is that they are warm and soft and don’t mind when I touch them, not like Cookie or Kelly who can sometimes be prickly, but when I try to walk on him he squirms around and I land on the keyboard and mom picks me up and puts me back on her desk.

But it looks like mom is getting up now and dinnertime looks imminent.

And I got get well wishes from Daniela and Eva and Ingrid and Amber and Marg’s Pets who sent us “lots and lots of purrs, 2 woofies, 2 Heehaws and 1 Baa” and Allia and Bogey from My Three Cats who always sends us cool toys and everyone else who wished me well and so many others, and it made me feel so good that everything seemed normal again. Read the comments in “Get Well Wishes for Peaches”. What’s a kitty to do without the internet these days?

I’ll be in touch Eva!

Read about what started it all in “Get Well Wishes for Peaches”.

P.S. Peaches’ mom thanks everyone too! Your support was just as important to me as it was to Peaches!


Life Lessons My Cat Taught Me

Sure, we start out with a kitten or puppy or bird or other animal companion juvenile or adult, and we think we need to teach them how to live with humans. In some important ways, we do teach them a few household manners, but in the end we who love animals know that our animal companions teach us more than we could ever hope to teach them. That is, if we are willing to listen…and admit that we needed to learn the lesson.

photo of allia zobel nolan

Allia Zobel Nolan with Angela and just a few of her recent titles.

Author Allia Zobel Nolan, friend and fellow member of the Cat Writer’s Association, was published on Beliefnet.com, completely unashamed to admit that living with her three angel cats had taught her seven important lessons that she was compelled to share with others. Silly human that she is, Allia had a little “prodding” from Angela , Sinead and McDuff (can you tell there’s a nationality thing going on here?) who apparently “kneaded” her until she was convinced to share the story.

Not that Allia needs a whole lot of prodding to write something. She’s the author of over 170 books for children and adults, was a Senior Editor for Reader’s Digest Children’s Books for almost ten years and just three years ago went freelance as an author and writer. Her illustrated books about cats (actually, I think her cats used her as a medium) include Purr More, Hiss Less, Heavenly Lessons I Learned from My Cat, Why Cats Make Great Kids, and the series expounding the virtues of living with cats beginning with 101 Reasons Why a Cat is Better Than a Man, and that’s the short list. To see all of Allia’s feline-inspired volumes, visit the Cat Books page on her website.

Energetic and overflowing with a non-stop sense of humor, she’s been busy working on what sounds like five books at once and she managed to work a few of my kids into one that will be published this year, Cat Confessions. We’ll write more when that book is released. Seeing all this experience, I’m glad to have her generously coaching me as I write up my first book proposals and look for publishers.

So here’s a link for you—see for yourself what kind of teachers her three wonderful puddies are: http://www.beliefnet.com/Love-Family/Pets/2010/01/Cat-Life-Lessons.aspx

To see more about Allia, her cats and her books, visit her website at www.alliawrites.com, and her blog at kittyliterate.blogspot.com.