Hey. My name is Eddie. Yeah, just Eddie. I’m a cat and cats don’t need last names. Of course, I’m also getting to be known as the bookmobile cat, thanks to Miss Minnie, my person of choice. Due to circumstances beyond her control (i.e., my decision to stow away on the bookmobile) I’ve become a fixture on the traveling library. Of course, her boss, the library director, doesn’t know I’m a member of the bookmobile team, and Miss Minnie seems to prefer it that way. Not sure why. How could I be anything other than a tremendous asset?
Take the other day, for instance. The bookmobile, Miss Minnie, her teenaged summer volunteer Thessie, and I were stopped in a parking lot that was three naptimes away from where we’d started out that morning. I was sitting on the passenger’s seat headrest, keeping an eye on all the activity in the bookmobile, when there was a sudden commotion at the back, loud enough to jerk me out of the light doze I’d accidentally fallen into.
There were half a dozen people milling around, looking at books and DVDs and magazines. It was what Miss Minnie would have called a nice demographic, since their ages went from ponytail-hair all the way up to white hair. But it was the small child in the back who was making the noise.
“I’m lost!” he wailed, long streams of wet dripping down his face. “I went down to the big road to get my granny’s mail, but I can’t remember how to get back. Where is my granny and poppy’s house?”
Miss Minnie and Thessie exchanged glances. Clearly, they didn’t know what to do. Just as clearly, it was up to me to take care of things.
I stood, made a quick backward and forward stretch, then jumped to the floor. The kid was wailing on about being lost, about how all he’d wanted all winter was to visit his granny and poppy on the lake, but now he was lost and would never get back and they’d forget all about him and he’d never get to learn how to water ski.
Right at the end of his shriek about water skiing, I bumped my head against the back of one of his knees. He stopped shrieking and looked down. “It’s…it’s a kitty,” he said, gulping on his tears a little. “Can…can I pet him?”
Miss Minnie looked down at me. I looked up at her and did my best to communicate that I’d take care of the kid.
“Sure,” she said. “His name is Eddie. What’s your name?”
The kid crouched down to pat me. I winced. He was stronger than he looked. “Michael,” he said. “My name is Michael Beringer, but they call me Mike. This is a nice kitty cat. Is he yours?”
In short order, Mike and Thessie and I were sitting on the carpeted step that ran in front of the bookshelves. Thessie was reading a story about a different Mike and a steam shovel while the flesh and blood Mike turned the pages and petted me.
I endured Mike’s whacking pets and watched as Miss Minnie questioned the other people on the bookmobile. She nodded at their answers, took out her cell phone, made a few quiet calls, and just after Thessie started reading the book the second time, Mike’s granny and poppy ran up the steps of the bookmobile and scooped the boy up into their arms.
Tears all around, but this time there was no shrieking involved. Much better. Granny and Poppy thanked Miss Minnie, Miss Minnie smiled and said it was all in a day’s bookmobile work, and Mike made sure to thump me on the head one more time before he was carried out. “Bye, bye, Eddie!” he called. “You’re my favoritest part of the bookmobile!”
And Miss Minnie’s worried about what her boss will do when he hears that a cat is on board the bookmobile? Please. All bookmobiles should be so lucky.
You can read more about Eddie in Lending A Paw, the first book in the new “Bookmobile Cat” mystery series, published by Obsidian. Books are available at retail and online booksellers.
GIVEAWAY: Comment on this post by noon EST on December 5, and you will be entered to win a copy of Lending A Paw. One winner will be chosen at random. Unless specified, U.S. entries only.
Meet the author
Laurie Cass grew up in Michigan and graduated from Eastern Michigan University in the 80’s with a (mostly unused) Bachelor of Science degree in geology. Currently, Laurie and her husband share their house with two cats, the inestimable Eddie, and the adorably cute Sinii. When Laurie isn’t writing, she’s working at her day job, reading, yanking weeds out of her garden, or doing some variety of skiing. Laurie also writes the PTA Mystery Series under the name Laura Alden.
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