Flit: 1997-2011

I was at work this morning when I got the call from my wife that our cat Flit had died. This was not unexpected. She was 14 years old, and her liver and/or kidneys were failing.

I had taken her in to the vet on Saturday, where they hydrated her and gave her a shot of steroids to give her a few more days so we could all say goodbye. She perked up a bit, and I planned to bring her back in this week once the drugs wore off. Apparently Flit didn’t want to go back to the vet…

Flit was one of three kittens I got back in 1997 before heading off for grad school. (I asked my mother to get two cats who needed homes from the vet where she works, but Mom was never that good at math when it came to needy pets.) Flit was a cute little gray poofball who flitted all over my bedroom like a manic butterfly as she explored her new home.

She was a gorgeous cat, and dumb as a rock. She was the best hunter of the three … when she could remember what she was doing. I once watched her sprint across the living room in pursuit of a vicious fly, only to stop halfway and sit back, head tilted to one side. You could actually see the thought leaving her brain as she forgot what she had been doing…

I’m pretty sure she was part Maine Coon, although she was always a relatively tiny cat. She had the Maine Coon look, and she loved the sink, where (in the words of Janet Kagan), she waged a neverending battle against the evil water snake.

She was a ridiculously happy beast, purring at the slightest sign of affection. She had a tendency to forget about her tongue, and would sometimes lay there with her tongue poking out of her mouth, looking around like she was trying to figure out why the humans were all laughing.

Toward the end, she had pretty much stopped eating, and was almost as light as she was back when she was a kitten. But she didn’t appear to be hurting. She still jumped into the sink to see if her arch-enemy the water snake had returned. She still purred at the slightest provocation. She was still happy, and as far as we can tell, she died peacefully.

I’m going to miss that goofy cat.

Cats vs. Dogs

A few follow-up links to last week’s post about rape in fandom:


The First (Pro) Novel Survey is up to 151 responses.  I’d love to break 200 if possible.  I’ve posted information at the following sites:

  • My blog
  • SFWA (Newsgroup and Discussion Forum)
  • Absolute Write
  • Codex
  • SF Novelists

Any suggestions for places I’ve missed?  (Or feel free to pass the link on directly, if you know someone who might be interested.)


So I was chatting with Seanan McGuire this weekend about book releases and pancakes and such when she mentioned something fascinating.  Apparently every time she posts a picture of her cat, her Amazon ranking improves.

Forget book trailers and contests.  The key to writing success is cute animals.  But it got me wondering … would a dog picture have the same effect?  Can we prove once and for all whether cats or dogs have the superior selling power? Can we finally put an end to the age-old cats vs. dog dispute?

I believe we can!  I spent Sunday afternoon chasing our poor pets around until I got the following pictures.

This is our new dog Casey.  As you can see, Casey has a lot of toys, but she’s most possessive of that copy of The Stepsister Scheme [Mysterious Galaxy | B&N | Amazon].

And this is my cat Flit, all curled up and ready to go to sleep on her copy of Goblin Quest [Mysterious Galaxy | B&N | Amazon].  (Just as soon as she gets her belly rubbed, that is.)

So there we have it.  Having posted two animal pictures, my sales should now go through the roof.  I’ll compare this week’s Bookscan numbers to last week’s for both books and figure out the percentage change.  So tune in late next week for indisputable scientific proof of whether cats or dogs are better.

Monday Pics

Saturday was my wife’s birthday, so much of the weekend was spent doing things like making breakfast for her and the family, going out to birthday dinner with my parents, then going out to lunch the next day and watching a movie with just the two of us.  As a result, I spent zero time on things writing-related.  Nothing on Snow Queen, nothing on the new series proposal, and nothing for the blog.

Instead, have a picture of Flit with multicolored eyes beneath the Snoopy-infested Christmas tree.  (Is anyone really surprised by the Snoopy addiction?)

And as long as I’m posting pics, here’s the artwork Socchan did from my story “The Creature in Your Neighborhood.”  She drew this during my reading at Icon, and I’m most impressed.  That’s Rolly (after his breakdown), the Mall Rats, Peter the Pretendisaurus, and poor Tommy the Tuba.

Jim C. Hines