Tuesday, 22 January 2013

Author Interview - Christine Wilson!

Welcome to the first of our Author Interviews!

Our first author under the spotlight is

Christine Wilson

Author Interview

Can you tell us a little about yourself?

I am someone who has always wanted to write from early childhood. I had imaginary friends from a very young age and started writing little stories as soon as I would put words on paper.  I trained as a journalist but stumbled into TV and then stumbled out again to try to make it as a writer. After over 20 years living away in London and then Bath I moved home to County Antrim, near Belfast in Northern Ireland and am enjoying the craic once more.

If you had to do it all again, would you change anything about your latest work?

Yes!  We had originally had 9 authors on this and I worked very hard, first to get the story into some sort of half decent shape as we had originally written it online. I found us a suitable publisher, then liaised with all the authors to get their agreement, did several more drafts of editing and proofing and kept everyone up to date with developments. At the 11th hour when we were ‘home and dry’ (almost) we had a fall out which was too severe to fix. I regret that I didn’t manage to keep the whole team together right till the end.

What was the very first book idea you had, did you write it and did it get published?

No easy answer. The first book idea I had was for Meeting Damian Lewis - a romantic comedy about a woman (Ruby) whose life had hit a bad patch. She wanted to meet the actor Damian Lewis because she believed that somehow her fate was to meet him. She goes off, learns to write and writes a book in order to attract his attention.   Does she meet him? That would be telling and does she find love --- you’d have to find out for yourself.! But it funny, sweet and sad and I loved my main character of Ruby Reed.  I also like that Damian Lewis loves the story.

I did get an agent on my 2027th attempt (felt like!) and she tried to get a bidding war going on the story but fate played a few bad cards and I got impatient and tried to self publish. I used the wrong publisher and despite my best efforts the book went out not at all as I wanted, typos and mistakes. It broke my heart to have to finally have the book deleted in its current form. The time has now past and the story is dated. I am no longer the writer I was and it has been trapped in time so it was and is the one that got away. The best seller that never happened.

How long does it take you to typically write a novel?

Possibly too quick! I would say that when I am fired up I write with massive discipline and due to my years of writing under pressure to deadlines in journalism and in television I can write very fast indeed. Meeting Damian Lewis, first draft was written in about eight weeks which is embarrassingly fast but I believe that first drafts should just flow out of you and that is what it did.  I redrafted it many many times although the story and structure never changed, just tidying up and acting on feedback from readers and agents.  I am a very fast writer and I think that is both good and bad.

What is the most challenging aspect of writing for you, if any?

I think now that I know that it is hard for writers to sell novels it does inhibit me a lot. If I had known how hard the writing process is AFTER finishing the novel - finding an agent and a publisher and dealing with all the disappointment around that - I would probably not have done it. Writing Meeting Damian Lewis when I was so driven was the most happy experience of my life but all that followed was the most disappointing. You have to deal with heartbreak as an author and a great deal of knocks. You have to love your own work because chances are that you may be the only one who loves the way you write and your story. That is why writers love praise and feedback so much!

If asked to review a novel and you didn’t like it at all , would you?

Yes, I would and I do all the time. I always review what I have read on Amazon and I often don’t like the books as much as I might have done. Being an author myself I usually find a way to say something positive because there very often is even if you hated the story - with a very few exceptions. I’d would hate to upset an author with a bad review. If I really couldn’t find anything nice to say I would have to decline but normally there is something.  I am used to working in television where we rarely get to work on television programmes we like so normally you work to the strengths and weaknesses of what is there.

Do I have any advice for the newbie author starting out?

Yes! Write every day. I often hear people saying ‘I would write but I don‘t have the time‘.  They make it sound as if authors only write because they have time on their hands. If you want to write - you will but like any skill the more you do it the better you will get. So write something every day and try to set yourself a target of 1,000 words. Or whatever you think you could stick to and just get on with it.  Thinking about writing a novel is very different to actually writing it.  Don’t be put off by the size of the task and prepare to work hard once the story is complete. Also read a lot and see whose styles you like. Oh and don’t read any of those ‘How to write a book,’ books 

Also don’t discuss your idea with anyone. Not because they may steal it but because once you tell the story to another person, it is sort of told and you will find it less easy to put the ideas to paper as it will feel a bit ‘done’. Don’t discuss what is in your head - keep it for the paper. A good example is the anecdote you have told a dozen times. I bet it doesn’t sound as fresh as it did the first time you told it? Well that is what discussing the novel will be like when you go to write it. Also you run the risk of your friends not reacting as you would like to what you are writing s and that can be very off putting as it might just make you abandon or change a good idea.

Tell us the worst book you have read in the last few months and why didn’t you enjoy it?

As I say I can usually find something positive in a book even if it is not my cup of tea but I really hated The Slap so much. I disliked the imagery of the first chapter and the characters and I hated the way that all the characters seem exactly the same. I hated their values, the dialogue and found it depressing and rather pointless. After about half the book I took great pleasure in throwing it in the bin where it belongs. I also hate 50 Shades of Grey.  It annoys me that a badly written book has become such a big seller.

What was the best book you read in the last few months and why did you love it?

I loved Wolf Hall by Hilary Mantel. It is a very clever book and really takes you into the period of Tudor England. Her style is totally unique and is the only time I felt as if I had been taken in a time machine back to the period.  She has devised a new way of writing, I believe.

Are you a pre planning plotter or a go with flow writer?

I am not sure! I did have a plan when I wrote Meeting Damian Lewis. I knew that I was going from point A to point Z and I had a fair idea how it would work out but my synopsis is about 1,000 words and the novel is about 70,000 so I think we can safely say I went with the flow a bit and grabbed opportunities as they arose.

With Clawless a group of us wrote it so I wanted to go with the flow but it would be impossible with so many writers so we did a bit of both.

Are you working on anything right now? If so can you share the details with us?

Yes! I am trying to get ‘Divine’ together. A soap opurra starring our cats set on Rainbow Bridge and featuring many of our cats who are no longer with us. I like the challenge of writing when literally anything can happen. We could make our own rules and the imagination knows no boundaries.  We are slightly stalled right now but watch this space as we will get going again soon!

I also have another idea to write about my long fought for driving licence so I can pass on advice over the whole experience. I found very few helpful books on the subject and what is around tends to be either patronising or for teenagers.

I also have a third Kimmy book written and just needing editing.

I would also like to put some TV ideas together and I want to dust off Meeting Damian Lewis again.

 How do you come up with titles for your novels, do you get the idea for the story first or does that come to you after the title?

Again having worked in television I am .used to the titles of the programmes more or less telling you the content and I think books should do the same. I think that if you get a good idea the title goes hand in hand and then a good title helps you write the book as you get a strong idea of what it is you are writing. It gives it identity even before you have managed that.  But it is also no big deal to change the title if somehow the emphasis shifts and it becomes something else. I wouldn’t judge a book by its cover but I might by its title. I think titles are important.

Have any authors influenced your writing style or your chosen genre?

No.  That is the simple answer but if you read Meeting Damian Lewis closely you may spot that I was watching a lot of ‘Friends’ at the time and there are a few bits that stray into that territory …! I was also lucky to do an Arvon writing course where I had both Jimmy McGovern (TV playwright extraordinaire) He said he ‘loved the way I wrote and wished he had written ‘as well’ as me when he first started. I think Jimmy’s writing style is as far away from mine as it comes for content but what we do share is a real love for it and we both love writing and admit it which isn’t being big headed - it is appreciating our own hard work!   (and likewise I can also despair of my own work when it is not coming together).

What’s the worst job you ever had?

There is no such thing as a bad job! They are all fodder for writing and there is generally something good about the job even if you have to dig deep to find it! But I have had some television jobs that I haven‘t enjoyed. I will not reveal here what they were! I might if you ask me again.

If you could choose any author to mentor you, who would it be and why?

I think it would be Jimmy McGovern because although his style and his settings are very different to mine and he writes gritty Northern dramas  that have a real punch and I tend to write lighter stuff - I really admire his way of twisting a story and how he shapes his central characters so even if they are ‘baddies’ you can still relate to them in some way. His passion for writing is his greatest asset and I think that he would inspire me on a daily basis to be the very best I can be.

I also love Charles Dickens as the man is a genius. Can’t imagine him mentoring me though!  I have too many favourite authors to mention. I love so many different genres including, detective/crime/thriller, historical fiction and non fiction and contemporary fiction.

 Thanks Christine!!!

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Here's a little more information about Christine and Clawless

Christine Wilson’s Blog


Book Cover 

Book blurb   Cats in fashion written by cats, for cats!-
ISBN  978-07552-0657-5

Youll never be able to take fashion seriously again.

The story begins on a dark and stormy night as the last will and testament of Wee Jock MacTartan is read aloud to his grieving family.  His two sons, Clawde and Arfur and their respective wives, the feisty (and slightly over acting), Clawdette and the tiny, kitten-less Furnella. Clawde and Clawdette have one daughter an unlikely Burmese called Purrdita. 

Their main rival is Solange the wicked stepmother who married Wee Jock just days before his final demise to Rainbow Bridge and she has plans to take as much as she can and leave the House of Le Claw destitute.  Her attempts are aided and at times, hilariously hampered by a lawyer with a serious catnip habit, Furry Faceon who has embezzled a large amount of the Le Claw cash and is keen to hide the fact from all of them.

Also, if they havent got enough to worry about, up pops the evil and sinister Monsieur Le Fluffy. His dastardly intentions are to strike the company while it is vulnerable, with the sole purpose of taking it over completely leaving the Le Claws out in the cold.

Clawdette visits Solange to confront her about her evil conniving ways but instead steals the designs which Monsieur Le Fluffy has sent to Solange in advance of the next seasons fashion shows, but is this a double bluff or indeed a triple bluff and will Clawdette be able to remember who knows what by the end of it all?

Furnella hides a dark secret which she has managed to keep well hidden until a tiny little ginger kitten appears at the front door - seemingly abandoned - and she nearly reveals what it is that troubles her so deeply. Clawdette calls in the pest control but they take her to the pound instead of the kitten and she gets into some very bad company before finally being rescued.

Then, much to Clawdettes despair, she manages to get catnapped and is embarrassed to find that she was held in just another part of the mansion something the police dont seem very sympathetic about.

Meanwhile, Clawde and Arfur discover they have a secret brother who is in fact a catpire who lives in a castle in Catsylvania.  The entire family suddenly decamp over hill and dale, across ocean and stream, river and rill, and deep into Catsylvania, over the forest, over the torch lit village, above the howling of the wolves and the neighing of the horses where the story takes on a slightly surreal quality as the Le Claws battle to stay ahead of the game and just why do the villagers always carry torches and garlic when they come near the castle? Also what happens when Clawdette takes Clyde to Transylvanias IKEA and why do they the end up being featured on Furry Springer as I accidentally married my own brother!

Featuring, Clawde, Clawdette, Tomcat Ford, Furnella, Arfur, Clyde,  Solange, Cat Moss, Furry Quant, Anna Winpurr and others


After wasting years fighting her way up through the television food chain and to the dizzy height of Producer, Christine decided it wasn’t worth it, jacked it in left London, moved to Northern Ireland via Bath and took up writing books. Her novels include The Circle, Meeting Damian Lewis, (using pen name) and she found success writing cat books - The Kimmy Diaries, Kimmy’s Irish Diary and Clawless, co-written. She is now a devoted ‘Mum’ to two cats, cares for an elderly mother and runs a busy house but is always working on the ‘next idea’.

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So there you have it, our first ever interview.  We do hope that you've enjoyed it and we'll be back soon with another author spotlight!

Until then... Keep Calm and Clawless!

Friday, 4 January 2013

Divine: Kimmy is sitting on Rainbow Bridge right by the ri...

Divine: Kimmy is sitting on Rainbow Bridge right by the ri...: Kimmy is sitting on Rainbow Bridge right by the river with the big rainbow over it. She is with her friend, purrsonal assistant and genera...

Thursday, 3 January 2013

The Clawless Climax!

Anna looked around. "Where is Mogue! I have given my life to Mogue! I HAVE Mogue!"

"Uh, no mew don´t. They replaced mew. Nobody is irreplaceable. Mew certainly aren´t. They hired someone more approachable and compassionate. Everybody loves Furrnando, the new Editor in Chief" said Monk removing an imaginary flea.
"What about my friends?"
"Exqueeze me? Firends, mew said? chuckled Monk waving his foreclaw at Anna. "Can mew name one?"

"Er.. no"

"Well, there mew have it. Alone, jobless, your fur is matted, your fellow residents at the retirement villa purrtend they are dead when you enter the room and nobody loves you. That is your furrture. But... furrture is the only thing mew can change....So, what is it going to be?"

"Okay! Okay! You win! I´ll change! now please take me back! Please! Please!" Anna begged.

"As mew wish!" With that Monk whisked her back to her room. Anna felt relieved to see the familiar furrniture, her Tiffany lamps, the fireplace... She licked her fur and started purring. "Now, remember, this is your chance! Go do something nice!"

Monk disappeared into the air and Anna looked around her. "I had better do it now then..."

The bell rang at the McTartans´. Clyde opened the door and was surprised to see Anna Winpurr carrying a truck load of purresents.

Clawde scampered up the stairs and whipped up some pressies for Anna on his sewing machine.

"Arfur, Anna is here.....with.....with Presents? Is she drunk, honey?? Furnella was totally confused. The power of Catmas and Miracles and all, but really! "Maybe she would like to adopt a kitten?" Arfur asked.

Giggling Clawdette quickly wrapped up a purrsent ´How to dress sensationally´ by Clawdette Le Claw´ and added a label on ´To Anna´. She was wearing a little (very little) Mother Catmas outfit complete with wings.
Clawdette threw some music on the stereo and begins to dance to ´I wish it could be Catmas Every Day´ by Wizzard´ and wondered if anyone fancied Spin the Bottle?

Teddy blinked when he saw her - she was thinner than the thinnest feral he had ever seen. Was she homeless but if she was why then is she wearing jewels? He plucked up courage to kiss Purrdita under the mistletoe.

The cast of Clawless gathered round the piano with Tex and Marmalade playing and broke into their rendition of ´White Catmas´.

And outside the snow fell.

We wish mew a Happy and Merry Catmas!!!

Tiny Teddy blissed out by the fireplace raised a glass and said ´God bless you every one´!


´MEOWY Catmas everybody, from the cast, crew, writers, directors, and producers of CLAWLESS, the only ALL-CAT SOAP OPURRRA!!!
"Come on Arfur, lets deliver those presents to the cat shelter before Anna changes her mind...or sobers up! Furnella puts on her Santa hat and waits for Arfur to join her.

The voice of a narrator

“So nightfall er, falls on our intrepid cats as another day ends at the house of Le Claw - except for some the day is about to turn into a NIGHTMARE”.

Clawdette carried on sleeping but wonders who the voice belongs to?

Tex & Marmalade muscle in on the action!

Clawdette felt herself being pulled back to her basket at the castle, the fat reappearing faster than as if she had eaten 20 good dinners. She was dropped somewhat violently back into her basket and she scowled to camera. Really ... couldn´t this flashforward be done with more finesse? All that acting was making her hungry and she went off to fix a snack for herself and Clawde.

Clawde did not understand the flash forward. He got rich and famous but he couldn´t eat all he liked any time he liked? What was the point then?

Furnella stirred in her basket with dreams of kittens all around her.....
Arfur was right in those dreams with her, changing tiny litter boxes and cleaning up the kids after their two o´clock nursings.

The she-cat was standing and looking over the railing of a bridge. Below her the river was a raging torrent. She was wearing a tattered coat and her beautiful golden eyes mirrored her distress and her fear. Looking around to see if there were any cats about she stood mesmerized by the swirling water, She shivered at the thought that had just crossed her mind, but she valiantly tried to resist the voices inside her head that were telling her to jump....

Anna Winpurr´s eyes widened in horror at the sight. "Who is she? And why does she want to jump. Most cats hate water, especially water as clearly life threatening and as dangerous as that."
Monk lifted a quizzical eyebrow "You don´t recognize her, do you? It´s you. And this is what will become of you if you don´t listen to me. Your future will not be glorious or glamorous. You will be lonely, unloved, bankrupt and afraid. You will come full circle and return once more to poverty and despair. Listen to me now and avoid this tragic end..."
Anna Winpurr´s fiery temper exploded. "You are crazy! Stark-raving mad! All of you ghost-cats are certifiably nuts! I am Anna Winpurr! How dare you show me such preposterous nonsense! There´s no way this will ever, ever happen to me! Bah Muggerbug!!! Enough is enough! "

Monk remained calm throughout Anna´s tirade. "Ah, you are wrong, my gorgeous furriend. Your future will be filled with sadness and despair, if you don´t heed my warning tonight and find a way to stop saying "Bah Muggerbug" to the purromise of love."

Back in the castle the whole of the Le Claw family were eating breakfast noisily. Presents lined the hall (and Clawdette got a few more online to make it really interesting). she was regaling them with some hilarious story which they listened to whilst they loaded food onto their plates. Tiny Teddy realised that he was not cold - for the first time in his life and his little feral eyes filled with tears of happiness. Clawde squeezed Clawdette´s paw - glad to see all the food after the strange flash-forward. Even Purrdita had taken off her headphones and put her mobile phone down. She caught Tiny Teddy´s eyes and smiled at him.

Clawde was indeed very relieved to see the Catmas din din. No being svelte and stylish just yet, thank mewness!
Tex and Marmalade waved at the camera.... They had forgotten their lines but just wanted to be part of it all.

Clawdette, Snoozing & Tiny Teddy!

Tiny Teddy snoozed on in his bed unaware of the drama playing out around him. For the first time in his life he allowed himself to dream and to feel safe. Oh this Mctartan family were sooooooo exciting and kind - especially the junior members.

Clawde thought surely he must be starving and reduced to adject poverty but his mewing was interrupted by the harsh if whispurry voice of a ghost saying, "Shut up or you´ll ruin everything. Your diet worked and mew are no longer morbidly obese, but on a healthy nutritious diet complimented by regular vigorous exercise. Mew are very, very rich and very, very famous and must show a youthful and handsome face, tail and everything in between to your public. Your designs are worn by royalty and world leaders´ cats, actresses and authors, all of the rich and famous who don´t design as well as mew do. So stop bawling and get out there and look prospurrous."
Furnella swore she could hear mewing coming from down the hall.
Arfur asked sleepily, "Is the kitten monitor on, love?"

“Yes, yes, it is“, she tossed in the basket. What a restless night.

Clawdette heard something similar to Clawde and purred happily. The voice was telling her that she was not only stinking rich but was a successful interior designer designing homes for the rich and famous who just couldn’t be bothered going to IKEA themselves. The collar around her neck was indeed diamonds and she was certainly a size zero. A real size zero - not one of those ones that Clawde and Arfur made for her with the ´large´ label taken out. She purred with joy and looked around her at the palace that made their mansion and Castle Clydula look like a garden shack. Tabithia shuffled around but wore a proper uniform and not the dirty old apron she wore at the castle. ´Oooooh I like this flashback/forward´ she thought happily. ´I think I will stay here´.

Ikea Furniture, Cattie Awards & Tom Cat Ford!

Clawdette was arranging furniture in the castle´s now comfy but looking- like- an IKEA- catalogue, drawing room. She sneaked a look to see if Tom Cat Ford was looking before putting up a whole row of Catties on the mantlepiece Best Actor, Best Actress, Best Character, Best Fight Scene, Best Storyline Best kitten, Best Baddie, Best Guest Artist .... was there enough room for them all ! She shoved that stupid pregnancy test of Furnella´s and a few family photos of them with the kittens out of the way to fit them all in. Then she smiled contentedly.
Now it´s a Happy Catmas - she purred.
Snuggled in his fur lined bed by the roaring fire Tiny Teddy dreamed of Purrdita.
Clawde tossed and turned in his sleep. He felt like he was being watched!


Back at Anna´s "Bah! Muggerbug! Muggerbug! Muggerbug! Can´t a cat get some sleep in her own house? I can live without food but not without my daily 3 hours of sleep!!!"
"Don´t mew mean 18? Uhm... cats sleep 18 hours... " pondered Willow-Maya.
"I need 15 hours of self grooming! I can´t go around looking like... a domestic cat!"
"OK!. Anyhoo, think about all I said. I´m leaving you now. You will be in great company in a while. Use your time wisely" And with that Willow Maya left the building, leaving Anna in a very foul mood.
She decided to get comfy in a basket by the fireless fireplace. Just when she was about to fall asleep, a cold wind came through the chimney into the room. The already chilly temperature dropped a few degrees. A thick white fog wrapped around Anna, and she suddenly felt a gloomy purresence.
"Mother.... is that... you?" she asked, trying to reach around her.
“Nope, I am not your Mother, although I hear interesting stuff about her. My name is Monk, I am the ghost of your Catmas future and trust me, Ms Anna Winpurr, it won´t be a pretty future if you carry on with this "Bah Muggerbug" stuff. Tis the season to be jolly, ya know. But that´s another story...come with me now...come with me and see the future..."

Anna groaned and hissed at the morose face of Monk , " Go away! I don´t like you. I am getting mighty sick of all these ghosts invading my dreams."
Monk, the Ghost of Catmas Future gazed at Anna ominously. "Going away is not an option for me. Gotta do what I gotta do to knock some sense into such a gorgeous feline."
Anna cringed just a little at the sound of an organ, it could have been bagpipes too...either way it was an eerie sound...and as it died away Ms. Anna Winpurr and the smokey-gray, Ghost of Catmas future, Monk, disappeared into the mist once more...


Clawdette rolled her eyes again as she lay in the basket with Clawde. ´Gird yourself Clawde we´re off to another flashback if I´m not mistaken´.
Clawde groaned - in the last one his clothes felt far too tight and he had woken up feeling sore as if he´d been .... dancing? As the ghostly paw snatched his ruff and plucked him from his basket however, pwinking him forward into the future (as opposed to back to the future) he felt his cat´s pyjamas loosening, his frame grow lean, and he felt a strange and yet familiar feeling, though it was amplified many times over--what was it? Oh yeah! HUNGER!!! For some reason, though he clearly remembered downing a can of Fancy Feast moments before he popped into his basket, he was suddenly STARVED. "Meeyew," he said in a small hoarse kitten voice. "Mi Mi Mi Meeyew."
Clawdette too was picked up by ghostly paws and pwinked forward. She felt her tum tum deflating like it did after her wonderful beauty treatment with the boys (note to self - must do it again) And what was that sensation around her neck? Was it a diamond collar? Could it be that she was slim and wearing extra bling? Whoooooosh! CLAWDEYKINS!

Castles, Kittens and Uncle Clyde!

Back in the Castle, Anna, invisible to everyone except Willow-Maya, checked out the luscious Catmas decoration. Lego and Domino were running up and down the tree, and suddenly Domino knocked it down by jumping on it in a moment of excitement. "Those pesky kittens. But here comes the hunky one with the hot accent. " said Anna. As Clyde approached the fallen tree, he licked little Domino on the back of the ears and picked up the tree with his supercatural strength. "Oh! Next time, then" Anna said.

"Can you see that love? It´s all about forgiveness. No need to be ugly to others. Look, the kittens are now sitting on his lap and he´s going to read " ´Twas the Night Before Trystmas" to them. and look in this room..." said Willow Maya leading Anna into the study where Arfur, Furrnella and Furrnando were. Anna rolled her eyes as if really bored. e

In the mean time Uncle Clyde finished his story and left the wee kittens on the couch, as they had fallen asleep--or so he thought!
The moment he was out of sight Domino nudged Lego with a paw and whispered, "Come on Brother," as she lept off a cushion and back into the Catmas tree.
Pouncing with 'visions of sugar plumbs' and all, Lego landed on top of one of the gifts under the tree, shredding the wrapping with his sharp lil kitten claws, which made an amazingly loud "Ssshhhcrippppsh" sound.
Domino, from a branch above her brother, paused and then giggled as she slid down the front of a huge present! "Ssshhhcrippppsh," went the wrapping!
The sound was so exciting that the kittens ran round the tree for what felt like hours, pouncing gifts and shreding the wrappings until suddenly they were both so tired they thought they would pass out--as kittens do after such a raucus play time.
Before resting her head on a bow, Domino, being the observant one, suddenly with wide eyes shouted, "Lego!"
Lego looked in the direction Domino's eyes were facing and spied a small tag lying on the tree skirt which read "To Clawdette, my love. From your dearest Clawde."
They both *giggled* and went to work rewrapping, and swapping tags on all the presents.
When Uncle Clyde emerged from his dungeon later that evening, he smiled at the sleeping kittens curled up together under the tree. "Oh the innocence," he whispered to himself. He had to pause and wonder at the dreamy giggle coming from his napping niece, but just shrugged his shoulders and went about his business.....
Arfur was sitting at his desk, going over the books. Furnella was humming "Santa Claws is Coming to Town" as she put the finishing touches on her purresents for her beloved husband and kittens. She looked up at her husband and smiled at his intensity and took a moment to reflect on just how much she loved her dashing husband, Arfur. She placed the gifts under the tree and padded over to him and gently nose kissed him. Furnella purred. Arfur purred, and together they shared in each others love-purrs. Willow-Maya watched the scene and smiled a tender smile and then she turned her gaze onto Anna. who was watching as well. Anna was grimacing, and in a valiant effort to bite back the tears that were threatening to overwhelm her once more, she turned to Willow-Maya in desperation, and said, "Get me out of here, I beg of you please, Willow-Maya, get me out of here."

Clawde and Clawdette were in the kitchen stuffing their faces with a selection of Fancy Feast and Whiskas. Tiny Teddy was watching them amazed. He had never seen cats eat as much. Clawdette burped and Clawde laughed and nose kissed her. Clawdette licked his ears back and left Fancy Feast all over them. They both purred happily.

Anna stared amazed. How could they eat like that? But it did look like fun ...and how could they love each other when they were so .. so FAT.

As Furnella wrapped a catmas present for her Arfur, she wondered how to tell him about the "extra special" Catmas present they will both recieve. She patted her tummy and hummed a little tune. "I wonder how the whole house is going to react!"

"How´d the shopping go, dear?" Clawde asked.
"Fine, Clawdey, except that Tiny Teddy had to run back into the shop because he furgot his mittens or something. At least he has mittens to furget now." Clawde smiled and didn´t mention his visit to the cold offices of Mogue, where the poor cats were slaving away. Anna did not seem to be around right then. She might have been off peeing on someone, he supposed, but he had really wanted to invite her to the castle for Catmas. She needed some real fun. He had left her a note and another fruitcake--with anchovies.

Tiny Teddy lay dozing by the fire, groaning with happiness at being so warm and cosy on such a cold day when normally he´d have been sleeping in a damp hedge. Earlier he had slipped back into the shop and spent the tiny bit of money that kind Uncle Clawde had given him on some fluffy toys for the kittens, some ribbons for Furnella, Clawdette and Furnella, and Fancy Feast for Clawde and Arfur. He´d bought raw liver for Clyde. He sighed again happily.

Anna Winpurrs present... a great gift or just right now?

Meanwhile back in Anna Winpurr’s present, Willow Maya said "Come, Anna. let´s go inside together.. Look closely at what has been created by the Great Jock MacTartan. He is a quiet hero. In each and every cat inside these castle walls he has left a great and wondrous legacy, the legacy of love, not just on Catmas but all year round and for this he is greatly respected and honored by all who have descended from his loins. Here, the full spectrum of cat emotion resides be it naughty or nice. This is an amazing castle.. Look Anna look closely and watch even more closely. See once again and with your eyes wide open, the feel and the look of LOVE..... 

Wee Jock´s ghost glided up to peer over Willow-Maya´s shoulder. She had it all wrong, of course. The castle never was his. It belonged to Clyde´s vampire mentor Count Catula and nobody much loved him. But it´s a good story and she was saying nice things about him so who cared about the facts? He sounded so good to himself that a wee tear trickled down his nose thinking of that kindly cat who had passed on--such a lovely laddie! (he really should have been nominated for at least ONE Catty, but that´s another story)

Meanwhile back in the flashback, Purrseys, NY, Clawdette and Peckham were eyeing up the toms and totally ignoring their department - fashion accessories. Clawdette was thinking of the big party she was going to that night at the very wealthy Wee Jock McTartan´s. It would probably be dead dreary as he had to be 10 at least!
Clawdette noticed a very plain queen cat sidling up the counter. She was thin and wore thick glasses and when she spoke she had a broad Scottish Highland Fling accent.
´Ouch ay the noo ...´ said the cat.
Clawdette looked puzzled and then saw a gorgeous tom standing nearby. ´Quick - get rid ... gorgeous tom at 10 o’clock´.

The cat, who was of course Annie as she was then, was holding a little blue silk scarf and trying to ask if they could charge it to her 10 credit cards - just a ´wee bit´ each ...

´Ooh take it!´ screamed Clawdette throwing it in a ´Small Purrsey´s bag´ and then preening herself for the handsome tom.
Annie shuffled off with a store detective in close pursuit and cleared Clawdette´s view.

Annie may have been shuffling but she was secretly clicking her back heels together and jumping up with joy. She had her purrecious Catmas gift as a Catmas gift from the kind shop girl! How wonderful! Catmas really was miraculous!

Ghostly paws picked Clawdette up and returned her to the village shop where she found herself, once again, sitting in front of the Old Crone who worked there. Tiny Teddy was staring at her strangely - so was the Old Crone but as she was so odd it was hard to tell the difference.

´Oh Peckham ... it’s a hunk. Quick!´ Er ... Clawdette saw that she was in a village shop in Catsylvania and not a department store in Mew York. She blinked. ´Oh I feel odd´ She sank into a small basket nearby, placed there for customers who need to take a ´moment´ and the elderly ….

´Just wrap my packages and deliver them to the castle WRAPPED will you old crone. I am exhausted and need some fresh air´.

The Old Crone nodded obligingly but secretly decided to ´forget´ the order just as soon as Clawdette left. She was afraid of the castle.
´Come Tiny Teddy ... let us go to Pawbucks across the road and have some light snacks before we go back´.
Tiny Teddy obediently followed Clawdette marvelling at the sophistication of the local village.

Tiny Teddy and a Crone??? Whatever next???

Clawdette had reached the village shop with Tiny Teddy and the Old Crone who
worked there was once again pretending to hide but Clawdette reached down behind the counter and pulled her up by her scruff .
Old Crone - we wish to buy presents. This is Tiny Teddy, my er ... well he is a guest´.
´At the castle?´ asked the Old Crone as lightning crashed and flashed overhead and a bolt of thunder narrowly missed the store.
Teddy watched in amazement and hoped she would not say the word ´castle´ again but she did and the same thing happened.
Clawdette waved a paw ´I want a boring jigsaw for my sister in law. With a piece missing´. The Old Crone reached up and pulled down a dusty box, she blew the fine layer off it opened it and tossed a piece out. Tiny Teddy sneezed. ´A new sketch pad for my beloved mate, Clawde the famous fashion designer´. The Old Crone found one of those as well. ´Some catnip toys for two very naughty and tiresome kittens´. These too were found. ´And a map of the world for Arfur as he likes to explore´. The Crone climbed up a very tall ladder to get that while Clawdette studied her list. She had planned to get Teddy his own cellphone but how could she with him standing beside her? And what would she get Purrdita? Such a difficult girl. Teddy’s eyes lit up when he heard Purrdita‘s name.
The Old Crone seeing her hesitation sighed as if tired and bored.
´Old Crone ... do not sigh when I am addressing you! I am a customer and the customer is always right. I used to work at a shop once myself.´

Then as if in a dream Clawdette could feel ghostly paws picking her up and flying her to Purrseys in Mew York where she had once worked to supplement her tiny income as a new model.

The much younger and (much) slimmer Clawdette was behind a counter chewing something and looking around her excitedly. ´Peckham ... Peckham ... there are so many handsome toms in here today. We just bag ourselves a purrdner’ Peckham took a discreet slug of a drink concealed in a water glass.

"How´d the shopping go, dear?" Clawde asked.
"Fine, Clawdey, except that Tiny Teddy had to run back into the shop because he furgot his mittens or something. At least he has mittens to furget now." Clawde smiled and didn´t mention his visit to the cold offices of Mogue, where the poor cats were slaving away. Anna did not seem to be around right then. She might have been off peeing on someone, he supposed, but he had really


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