Why I love The Mean Kitty Song

I’m guilty of watching way too many cute animal videos on YouTube. It’s addictive. My favorites at the moment are:

Tillman, the skateboarding bulldog (I cannot believe the skill of this animal!) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CQzUsTFqtW0

The showjumping bunnies (the owners take it sooo seriously) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cNPOdffkkLo&feature=related

 But the one I return to every time is “The Mean Kitty Song” (“Hey Little Sparta”) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qit3ALTelOo&feature=channel_page

“The Mean Kitty Song” makes me laugh out loud every time – and with more than 18 million visitors, I’m not alone. What works for me is: adorable kitty (Sparta); catchy tune; and cute guy (Cory Williams).

In real life I find it difficult relating to people who don’t love animals. It was love at first sight for me when I met my husband – not least because he spoke so fondly about his dog and his horse. In my books too, I could never have a hero who didn’t like animals and want them to be part of his life. In my romantic comedy, Love Is A Four-Legged Word, Tom finds Brutus the millionaire mutt less than appealing. But I establish straight away that he likes animals – just not this one, just yet.

Cory Williams is so sweet with Sparta – not just in this video but also in his other Mean Kitty videos. Sparta became so popular with YouTube viewers, he had to have a site of his very own. But handsome, funny Cory (he has Ricky Martin-type looks) is also a romantic. He proposes to his girlfriend Stephanie on video. Cheesy? Maybe. But the proposal seems genuine and the emotion real. I’m sure I’m not the only viewer looking forward to the videoed wedding. Cory Williams is my kind of romance hero!

But talking about emotion, Cory’s most recent posting about Sparta reports that the Mean Kitty has been diagnosed with feline leukemia. I know I’m not the only fan praying for his recovery…

WHAT I’M READING: I’m privileged to be friends with Avon author, Anna Campbell. Right now I’m engrossed in her latest Regency Noir, Tempt the Devil. Anna writes passionate, deeply emotional romance. In this book, the intense relationship between the secretive courtesan Olivia Raines and the jaded Julian, Earl of Erith, makes it an un-put-downable read. A happy-ever-after ending is a given with a romance, but in Tempt the Devil, Anna puts so many obstacles in the lovers’ way she has me turning those pages desperate to find out how it’s going to happen!

On banana bread and The Lily Wallace New American Cook Book

 Today I argued with my husband over bananas. “Rotten,” he said, attempting to toss them on the compost. “Ripe,” I retorted, tussling with him to retrieve them, “perfect for banana bread.”

And they were perfect: skin blackened, flesh soft and ripe and sweet. Just right to mash and blend with not-too-much sugar and eggs and flour and toasted walnuts to make a perfectly textured bread that was delicious warm and even better a few days later toasted.

It got me thinking about how many recipes must have originated with a “waste not, want not” imperative.  Thrifty ways to make use of over-ripe fruit, stale bread, leftover rice, vegetable plot gluts (hello, 101 Ways to Cook Zucchini!), egg whites and ham bones that became family favorite soups, desserts and preserves.

And it made me wonder how in these tough times more of us will be hanging on to those squishy old bananas to make our own banana bread rather than paying upward of $3 a slice to takeout with our coffee.

 WHAT I’M READING: The Lily Wallace New American Cook Book circa 1943.

 I give my heroine Maddy Cartwright in Love Is A Four-Legged word a copy of this vintage cook book, she has it sitting on her coffee table. Of course I own it too, handed down from my mother. My copy is ancient, yellowing and falling apart. It has smears and stains and annotated notes through it, not only from my mother but also from myself starting from about age 11. I loved cooking and used to read this old book as avidly as a novel. I still go back to it for inspiration – and a recipe for banana bread.

 

My First Entry…

So I plan to write my first-ever blog. Something witty and succinct that might appeal to other writers and potential readers of my debut novel Love Is A Four-Legged Word. Impressive. Thought provoking. Controversial even. Something worthy of a maiden blog.

That was last night. No blog.Instead I ended up helping my daughter with her urgent, last-minute assignment for Design & Technology that if she didn’t hand in this morning she would get zero marks for. I try to be positive and focus on the joy of helping her.  To appreciate the opportunity to learn about how screen-printing worked. And tonight I will blog.

But tonight there was another urgent last-minute assignment. This time it was on analyzing a chick lit book and a chick lit flick. This is a subject I know lots about! I think we’ll do okay in this essay. I write romantic comedy. I write women’s fiction with a chick lit tone. Help with math? Forget it. But chick lit…

To help her, I pick from my bookshelf both Pride and Prejudice and Bridget Jones’s Diary. Start reading. Get immersed in them. Get annoyed when my daughter asks questions – I want to read on! But that’s okay. Because I want to start my blogs with a note on What I’m Reading. One of the things I love about the Internet is the ability to connect with other book lovers. Google the title of the book I’ve just finished and there I find a community of people who’ve read the same book and are keen to share their opinions. So tonight I can start with:

WHAT I’M (RE-) READING Pride and Prejudice and Bridget Jones’s Diary.

And I guess I’ve learned  that my daughter has inherited my own tendency to procrastinate and that I should let her do her own homework if I’m ever to finish the new book I’m writing.