Friday, January 10, 2020

Cat Gifts by Karen Rose Smith

I was excited by all the new electronic devices my husband and I received for Christmas to help make our daily routines (like preparing a shopping list) a little easier.  However, my favorite gifts are those which are cat-related. Since I love cats and always try to feature them in my cozy mysteries, when I receive a "cat" gift, I feel that the gift was chosen personally for me and that the giver took the time to consider what I enjoy receiving.

Since I write the Daisy's Tea Garden cozy mysteries (and of course love cats!) the Merry Catmas teapot pictured above was the perfect gift from my pet sitter.  It perfectly combined both of my "loves."  And it perfectly complements my Lenox cat cookie jar, a gift from Christmases past.

My son always tries to find a personalized cat gift featuring one of my felines, but this year he gave me a black mug!  Oh, did I forget to mention that the mug turned into a cat mug when it is filled with hot liquid? The image on the mug resembles the original paintings in my vet's office...which I always take a photo of and post on social media when one of my cats has an appointment.

Utilitarian gifts can also be made more personal by adding cats!  I have a collection of decorative canes which I always take with me when I go out.  But until this Christmas, I did not have one that featured cats.  At a distance, it just looks like a multi-colored cane, but up close, various breeds of cats with their expressive eyes bring a smile to my face. 

I saw the new drip-proof umbrellas advertised on TV before the holidays, but I was not aware they came with cats decorating the whole underside of the umbrella.  Now all I have to do is look up on a rainy day and the sweet cat faces staring down at me will chase away the rainy day blues.

I also enjoy giving cat-related gifts.  My husband has quite a collection of "cat" T-shirts.  I added this one to his collection this year.  The cat looks very much like Halo, the pregnant stray we took in who had her kittens in my office.  She and hubby have a special bond.

Gift giving from the heart is always immediately recognizable when the gift is opened.  The smile on the recipient's face shows appreciation for someone taking extra care to choose the perfect gift.

Now it's time to start shopping for next Christmas so I can give everyone on my gift list the perfect gift that will brighten their day.



Keith Rebert is homeless with a sad story that includes the death of his wife and medical bills that decimated his finances. Daisy and her friend Jonas Groft meet him through one of Daisy’s employees and offer help. But soon Keith is caught up in a murder investigation. He was supplying the shop Pirated Treasures with antiques, including Gettysburg Battlefield memorabilia. The nephew of the shop’s owner, Barry Storm, was lowballing merchandise that Keith brought in. One day Keith and Barry vehemently argued. Soon after, Barry was found dead, killed with a marble rolling pin that held Keith’s fingerprints. Daisy’s special for the month, cherry tarts, was found spilled on the floor next to him. Keith is the number one suspect.

Keith finds a job on a farm where he can live in a cabin with his daughter Mandy. A friend of Barry’s lived and worked there before the murder, then suddenly moved out. As Daisy finds clues that give insight into Barry’s life and prepares for her daughter’s wedding, she faces danger, verbally battles with the detective on the case, and tries to figure out what part Jonas Groft plays in her life. When she finds the ultimate clue that tells her exactly what Barry Storm was involved in, she almost loses her life. 

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