Cats In Clover, p.1
Cats in Clover
Copyright 2009 by Lea Tassie
Cover Photo Copyright Lea Tassie
All rights reserved. No part of this book may be used or reproduced in any manner without prior written permission except in the case of brief quotations embodied in reviews.
This book is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places and incidents are the product of the author's imagination or are used fictitiously, and any resemblance to actual persons living or dead, events or locales is entirely coincidental.
Table of Contents
1 A New Year, a New Life
2 The Coming of the King
3 Assuming the Throne
4 The Royal Mouth
5 Glory of the Chase
6 Big Game Hunting
7 Uncaged Cousins
8 Revamp Camp
9 The Black Plague
10 Life's Little Lessons
11 Fall Surprises
12 St. Francis
13 The Royal Lavatory
14 The Colonel and the Corporal
15 The King's Apprentice
16 Candidates for the Couch
17 Lese Felinity
19 The Royal Infirmary
20 The Imperial Bedchamber
21 Winter Games
22 Midnight Rambles
About Lea Tassie
More Books by Lea Tassie
I A New Year, a New Life
I had to yell to make myself heard over the nightclub's orchestra and the shouts and laughter of other New Year's Eve revelers. "If you insist we buy a farm, I insist on having at least two or three cats around!"
"I don't want cats on our farm," Ben shouted back across the table. "They're boring and brainless. All they do is sleep and shed hair."
"That's not true! Cats are a lot of fun. And they catch mice. Didn't you listen to all those stories I told you about how funny they are?"
"I listened; I just don't believe it."
This ritual argument had been going on for the entire fifteen years of our marriage. We lived in a condo near Beacon Hill Park and pets weren't allowed but I'd managed to partly assuage my longing for those furry, cuddly, crazy little characters called cats by visiting my Aunt Peggy, who always had two or three in residence.
Now my life was changed completely. Ben had just taken early retirement so he could fulfil his life-long dream of living on a small farm. Aunt Peggy, much to my sorrow, had passed away in November. She'd left me the house but her cats had gone to a friend. I'd tried persuading Ben to move into the house, where I could keep Peggy's cats in their familiar territory and he could have a big garden in the back, but he was determined to have his farm, far away from city noise, traffic and hectic work schedules.
Reluctantly, I'd rented out the house and quit my job. I wouldn't miss the job, but I didn't know how I'd survive without the city, my friends and my bridge group. I had to keep telling myself I'd finally have enough peace and quiet to write the short stories I'd been playing with for years. I wouldn't have to get up early or wear pantyhose. I could have as many cats as I wanted and prove to Ben, once and for all, what wonderful animals they were.
Rusty, who had been Ben's ex-boss for all of five hours, tapped my arm and said, "This farming fantasy of Ben's won't work, you know. You're both city people."
"That's right." Jean, Rusty's wife, shook her head at me. "Holly, you don't have a green thumb; you can't even grow house plants."
That was true. My thumb was so brown it was darn near black. It was Ben who loved gardening and wanted to grow carrots and peas and potatoes, not me.
"I grew up on a farm," I said.
"And I've done a lot of reading," Ben added.
"Doesn't matter." Rusty signalled the waiter for another round of drinks. "You don't have any experience and that's what counts."
"We've agreed to give it two years," Ben said. "If I can't make a go of market gardening, or Holly really can't stand country life, we'll be back."
"I'll bet you're back within a year!"
"Wanna put your money where your mouth is?" Ben winked at me.
"Sure!" Rusty pulled a bill out of his wallet and waved it around. "Fifty bucks says I'm right. And I'll even give you your job back so you can pay me off." He looked at me mournfully. "Best cost accountant I ever had and he's gonna go raise chickens and goats!"