The real cat who appears in SHADES OF WRATH is a yellow tabby who found his way to our outside feeder. From the first moment I looked into his beautiful gray/green eyes, we seemed to have a bond. He was a sweet soul who was a lover not a fighter. Yet, he didn't want to come inside as our other rescues had. After we got to know each other, he only wanted to be close on his terms.
When Sunnybud first appeared on my patio at the outside stray cat feeder, he was wary and scared. I couldn't get too close. But he was hungry. So by the end of the summer, we had a date each night around 5 p.m. when he would stop by for wet food. I would sit quietly on the patio while he ate nearby. We have a sunroom, and come winter, we put heat pads in it along with a shelter or two and left the door open for him.
Sunnybud began inhabiting the room a lot in the cold weather. He'd sit on a chair in the sun or nap in the heated bed at night. I would find him there in the morning. We started visiting with each other twice a day. He was off on his travels in between. I could catch sight of him crossing the field or following a row of decades-old pines in the distance.
Sunnybud was afraid of feet. If we moved too close or too fast, he would run. But in the last two years he came everyday for visits, he would follow me to the sunroom. There he would hop up on a high piece of outdoor furniture so I could pet him. Whenever I went downstairs to visit with Sunnybud, I changed clothes and used lots of Chlorox wipes. I didn't want to carry anything to our inside cats.
Last February we lost Sunnybud to an infection and FIV. I love our inside cats dearly. They are rescues and each has her own story. They are my everyday buddies and nap companions. But when Sunnybud would lay in my arms and look up at me, when he'd let me massage him so he could burp, when he'd let me run my hands through his fur to check his health, he had my heart. I miss him terribly. Giving him a happily-ever-after in SHADES OF WRATH is my memorial to him.
Karen and Paddy
Readers often ask her about her pastimes. She has herb, flowers and vegetable gardens that help her relax. In the winter, she cooks rather than gardens. And year round she spends most of her time with her husband, as well as her four rescued cats who are her constant companions. They chase rainbows from sun catchers, reminding her life isn't all about work, awards and bestseller lists. Everyone needs that rainbow to chase.