Training Cats with Betty Bolté and #Win a GC

Greetings from New Orleans! I got in late Tuesday afternoon after a looooong drive caused by a big wreck on the high-rise bridge coming into the city. It took more than an hour to get over the bridge (rush hour, of course). Don’t really miss that part of the city! I have a couple more days before heading home but should be getting things back to normal next week.

Before we get on with today’s special guest, don’t forget to head over to Lady Scribes today and weigh in on your favorite funny scene for a chance at a gift card!

Please help me welcome my friend Betty Bolté back to Preternatura. Betty’s latest book is Hometown Heroines: True Stories of Bravery, Daring, and Adventure, a collection of historical fiction tales based on the lives of 19 girls living in the 1800s in America. These stories were inspired by the fact that each of these girls have a landmark dedicated to them in America as a result of their efforts.

Betty is pleased to announce that her new novel, Traces, the first book in her Ghosts of Roseville series, will be released on April 28th.

Betty writes both historical and contemporary stories that feature strong, loving women and brave, compassionate men. No matter whether the stories are set in the past or the present, she loves to include a touch of the inexplicable (i.e., supernatural or paranormal). The first edition of Hometown Heroines: True Stories of Bravery, Daring, and Adventure won Honorable Mention in the 2003 Writer’s Digest International Self-Published Book Awards and 2000 Writer’s Digest Writing Competition. She’s the author of several nonfiction books and currently marketing a romantic historical fiction trilogy. You can learn more about Betty by visiting her website, on facebook or by following her on twitter.

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ABOUT TRACESLove is never lost … it haunts the heart. Architect Meredith Reed is determined to bury her grief by demolishing her family’s ancestral home. But her conniving sister, a hunky lawyer, and a spectral lady all have other ideas. Will she be able to carry out her plan before they have the time to teach her the lessons of family and love she so desperately needs? Betty Bolté presents Traces, Book 1 of her new paranormal romance series, Ghosts of Roseville.

And now, let’s hear from Betty…

Ode to a Cat

Felines have been part of my life since I was a baby. Currently, I am owned by a tortoise shell cat, Calliope. I say that as though she is all about me, but I’m not her favorite human. Nope. That would be my hubby. Whenever he sits down she comes from wherever she’s been holed up to be on his lap, for as long as she permits him to hold her, of course. But when it’s just her and me, then she likes me well enough to do the occasional scritch or have her on my lap so I can reach her chest easily. Then she’s off for a nap or a snack, perhaps watching out the back sliding glass door at the birds perched on the feeder. Or more fun, even, chasing away from the back door our medium-sized Chow-cross dog!

Cats and their independence counterpoised with their dependence betty bolteintrigues me. Think about how they only come when they want to. I have “trained” Calli to come when I call, but it doesn’t always work. You know what I mean? One thing that will summon her is opening the sliding glass door. She has to know who is entering or leaving her domain, after all! But she is dependent on us to provide her food, clean her cat box, etc. She’s not shy about reminding us it’s time to eat!

In my debut novel, Traces, a calico cat named Grizabella plays a role in alerting my main character to the presence of the Lady in Blue, the ghost who haunts the Twin Oaks Plantation. Here’s an excerpt describing the feisty feline:

      “Meooww.” The carrier wobbled on the tiled floor as the yowl echoed in the room.

      “Okay, okay. Hold on.” No dangers lurked in the corners and shadows as far as she could tell, so she’d let her feline loose. “Just don’t go getting lost, deal?”


       Laughing at her vocal companion, Meredith slid the latches open and lifted the carrier’s lid. Grizabella’s white, black, and orange head popped up and swiveled like a periscope surveying the unfamiliar horizon. She leaped out of the confines of the plastic box in one fluid arc. Griz picked her way across the floor, lifting and placing each paw, nose and tail both twitching at the apparent onslaught of new scents and sights. …

       The light thump of cat paws sounded in the back hallway. Meredith kept one ear tuned to track where Griz explored, just in case she needed to rescue the cat from her own curiosity. Which had happened when they first moved into their little apartment in Baltimore, overlooking the Inner Harbor. Griz had sniffed out a hole in the wall between the kitchen and the living room. Meredith hadn’t known anything was amiss until the cat’s plaintive cries came from within the wall. Ultimately, repairing the wall was easier than trying to lure her back to the small opening. Of course, if she were to repeat that performance at Twin Oaks, there’d be no need for repairs.

 This cat is my way of paying homage to my dear departed mother-in-law and her cat of the same breed and name. Our love of cats was one of the many loves I shared with her (her son being the main one…). In fact, when she decided to adopt a kitty, I went with her. Now my father-in-law will always “blame” me (he’s joking; I think) for permitting her to bring home two cats – Grizabella and a silver tabby named Tabitha – instead of one. But she’d fallen in love with both and I simply couldn’t talk her out of them.

Grizabella had very unique coloring for a calico. She was mainly a dark gray with orange and white patches. Her personality was quixotic to say the least and don’t even try to hold her. However, she’d occasionally allow herself to sit on a person’s lap for a few minutes. But only a few minutes! She was lithe and fast and skittish. Although the Grizabella in Traces is not an exact replica of my mother-in-law’s cat, I still feel that Griz lives on in the pages of Traces, and its sequel, Remnants, that I’m currently writing.

Have you ever been owned by a cat? Have you ever managed to train a cat? If so, what did you teach it to do?

Leave a comment for a chance to win a $10 B&N gift card so you can buy a book of your choice, but I naturally hope you’ll purchase an e-book copy of Traces when it’s released on April 28. Good luck!

Thanks for stopping by and sharing your thoughts and opinions!

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If you’d like to be in the know about breaking news and contest winners, please subscribe to my newsletter. As a thank you, each quarter I’ll draw one name at random to win a gift, too. I promise to not overload your inbox, but only send out a broadside when there is news worth sharing. The next drawing will be June 1, 2014, so subscribe today!

Betty Bolté

Thanks, Betty.  It’s always a pleasure having you stop by.  As Betty said, leave a comment for your chance to win. And, yes, I have been owned by a cat–a fictional cat! Sebastian was supposed to be in only one book of the Sentinels series, but my editor loved him and there he is, still hanging around in book four!


30 thoughts on “Training Cats with Betty Bolté and #Win a GC

  1. I’ve never had a cat but a neighbor of mine used to have a cat that decided it liked me. It would sit outside in my yard every evening waiting for me to come out and do yard work. It’d follow me around until I started watering plants. It didn’t like the hose.

  2. I’m currently owned by two cats, having just lost one in January. Mokie, who died in January at 14 years old, trained me to not move an inch in my sleep because she’d be cuddled next to me. If I moved, my skin was pierced by her nails until I stopped moving. Gabby, 16.5 years old, has trained me to feed her with a spoon as she doesn’t like getting her whiskers dirty with wet food. Webster, 15, has trained me to hurry up and give him treats before he knocks the whole world down trying to open the bag himself! 🙂

  3. I have been owned by all my cats, always. Are you serious ? A human being the master of a cat !!!! Yes, well trained might be a big word, but I had a cat I had “trained” to beg for his treats, just like a dog, he came when I snapped my fingers, he jumped wherever when I said “hop”. But he still owned me !!!! A cat owner, now that’s a laugh !!!!

    • Ha, Monique! That’s so true!!! I think the only thing I ever trained my cats to do is to stop whatever they’re doing and look at me when I snap my fingers. That started when I was pregnant with my first child and had just gotten a new kitten. I figured the time would come when I couldn’t jump up and get after the wee thing, so I started snapping and then jumping up, until the association was made in the cat’s mind. Worked like a charm! Thanks for sharing!

  4. I was owned by three cats at one time, but right now I’m a free woman, just waiting for a new owner to come along. I did train one of my cats to play fetch. Actually, I think she trained me. 😀

  5. Aren’t we always owned by our cats? I feel like that’s just part of the deal 🙂 I am currently owned by 2 cats plus another foster from our local shelter that we’re hoping to get adopted to a good home. They’re my furbabies!

    • Yes, Mary, I agree. We might pay for the privilege of sharing our home with them, but this “owner” label is misapplied. Do you remember Grizabella in the Cats musical? That’s where my MIL adopted it from anyway. Thanks for stopping by!

  6. I always been a cat person. One of my current cat is like teaching me to be a girl. She thinks I just too rough around the edges.

  7. Congratulations on your new book! Traces sounds fascinating. I have never had a cat, but I have had several dogs who definitely owned me.

  8. No my family has never had cats do to my mom being severely allergic to them. 🙁 I’ve always wanted one though. My one dog who thinks shes a cat rules the house. She likes to lay on the back of the couch and bats her food around.

    • I know many folks who are allergic to cats. 🙁 At least you can pretend to have a cat, though, right? Sorta? In my house, my hubby is allergic to dogs so we can only have them outside as my alert when someone drives up the driveway. Enjoy your pup!

    • Hi Tere! Great to see you here and thanks for persevering! Our outdoor cat, Precious, lives in the barn and does a great job of catching rodents out there. Thankfully, he doesn’t leave the catch on our doorstep but in the barn aisle so we’ll see it when we feed him.

  9. I have definitely been owned by a cat, when I was growing up. It was a big-headed orange striped Tom cat. He ate all the goldfish out of the backyard pond (after politely stalking them for a week), and made a habit of getting into the fireplace, getting covered in soot, and then scratching me silly when I tried to give him a bath! So, no, I was never able to train him! LOL.

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