About the Author

Christina lives in Texas with her husband and their cats, Dagger and Glyph.

 

She's worked all kinds of jobs--from retail to waiting tables to warehouse to massage therapy to management. She has earned her Associate Degree with focuses on Creative Writing and History. Through all of it, her dream was to see her work in print on someone's shelf.

 

Christina's hobbies include playing board games, role-play games, video games... basically most types of games... reading, and traveling. She's always up for a ren faire, exploring an ancient ruin, or taking a cruise.

 

 

When she was younger...

Now that she's older...

Christina lived in Michigan, where she earned a black belt and took archery classes. She loved running through the forest, climbing through sand dunes, and swimming in Lake Michigan. She started writing in the fourth grade, with a story about her big, orange tabby cat wanting to be a rock star.

In Memory

Amulet was the sweetest, loudest cat you could ever hope to meet.

 

Terence and I found him fourteen years ago at a gas station on our way home from an air show. We were hours away from the DFW area, and I'd gotten out to use the restroom. This cat was sitting in front of the station, meowing. Every breath he took, he meowed again. It was constant, like a ticking clock. Meow, meow, meow, meow, meow...

 

My curiosity piqued, I stopped. He came up to me, no fear, stretched one paw up and hooked onto my pant leg. The other paw, he stretched toward my face, almost beseechingly. I was allowed to see that his front limb was severed nearly to the bone. I froze for a moment. I was absolutely in love with this helpless but completely trusting kitty. The tears welled up. I looked to my then-boyfriend. He still hadn't seen the wound. He went inside the station to see if they knew anything about the cat outside.

 

When he returned, furious at the station attendants that hadn't wanted to get involved, I pointed out how hurt this friendly kitty was. With no more delay, we scooped him into the car and drove two hours to a 24 hour vet. They cleaned him up, and we had to call our parents to come and pay the bill (something over $1000).

 

That night, my boyfriend and I got promised. I asked him. I knew anyone willing to go that far for a cat was worth keeping.

 

As a joke, I said we should call the cat Amulet, as he was so lucky and amulets are mystic tokens of good fortune. It kind of stuck.

 

Since that night, Amulet has been a constant companion. He was the cat that slept next to my pillow at night, sat with me in the kitchen while I cooked, and rested in between my arms when I wrote at my laptop. He was the kind of cat that never met a stranger. Everyone was his friend, even if I was always the lap he returned to. No matter where you were in the house, if he wanted your attention, you would hear him calling.

 

I will always love my otter kitty. He was special.

 

 

Amulet

Mad Cat

Mad Cat, or Mad Kitty as I often called him, wasn't really named Mad Cat. His name was Mutually Assured Destruction. Terence got to name him, and I assured both of them that I'd never call him that. 

 

Mad Cat came into our lives twelve years ago, during my then-fiancé's birthday party. We were having a pool side bash (not our pool) and a neighbor's kid came over with this tiny, awkward kitten. She was pleading for someone to take him because her big brother's friend had threatened to kill him. It was two years after we'd acquired Amulet and just like before, Terence and I locked eyes and knew we'd just adopted somebody.

 

Mad Cat moved in and almost immediately started living up to his name. He would rampage. He would mark. He would shred. I told Terence he wasn't allowed to name pets anymore.

 

Despite our beginnings, Mad Cat did eventually calm. He never used claws on purpose, he rarely hissed. Even as his health was waning and we had to ply him with all sorts of injections and droppers, he didn't swipe at me once.

 

He was a brave kitty, unbothered by sudden noises or vacuum cleaners. He would plod over to his more skittish brothers when the noise would start and keep them company, making sure I took notice of how unbothered he was the whole time. Mad Cat's one big fear was the dark. Prior to having him in my life, I never would've thought a cat could fear the dark. But he needed a light on at night or he would cry like he was being murdered. 

 

Because he needed a light, Mad Cat had his own bedroom. Every night, we'd do the equivalent of tucking him in after the cats had dinner. We'd escort him to his room, he'd either go directly for his night time food dish or his bed, and we'd say the same sorts of things every night:

 

Good night, Mad Kitty.

We love you.

Have good kitty dreams.

Scythe

Scythe came into my life before I'd even left Michigan. He was given to me as a freshly weened kitten. I chose the name Scythe because, three years prior, my 3.5 RPG druid named all her animal companions for weapons. One of my fellow party members' cats had kittens. A small gray tabby was placed in my lap and as a joke, I called the kitten Blade. Since I named him, I ended up with him. Blade had a heart murmur. He died a few weeks before Scythe got placed in my care.

 

I wasn't ready for a new kitten. My heart still ached, and Scythe looked a lot like Blade. Still, Scythe had an incredible stubborn streak. Whether I was ready for him or not, he was determined to claw his way into my heart. I slept on a loft bed at the time. This tiny little gray lion would climb a ladder not designed for cats (let alone kittens) up to the window sill where he could turn around and jump the rest of the way up. I would wake up with him burrowed under the covers next to my legs. When I was awake, he would perch on my shoulder and release this squeaky little mew, but it looked like he was trying to roar. He liked to sit on my collar bone and kneed my hair.

 

As the years passed, he grew out of the hair kneeding and the crawling under my covers. It took him a bit to warm up to strangers. There was only a handful of people he would let pet him, let alone hold him. The best sign of Scythe's acceptance was him sitting on you. He liked sitting on people's butts especially. Nice and cushy. Limited risk of unsanctioned pettings.

 

No matter how antisocial he was feeling, I just had to call his name a few times and he would come running.

 

When we lost Amulet, Scythe designated himself as my nanny. He followed me around in the late hours and meowed at me until I went to bed. Once I was in bed, he'd plant himself where he could watch me. Any time I shifted, he'd glare at me until he was certain I wasn't trying to get up. If I went to the bathroom, he'd follow me and escort me back to bed.

 

Despite our start, Scythe was more than just another cat. He was my companion. My first furry son. We were together the whole seventeen years of his life. No one will ever out-stubborn me the way my Scythe did.