My automatic alert usually wakes me up just a few minutes before I want to get out of bed. Honestly, I don’t know why I even set an alarm clock. Quincy, my rescued tabby buddy, is more reliable than electricity. He always smooths over my morning grumps with his purrs and his head rubs to my face.
We breakfast together in my kitchen, which is above the shop I co-own with my dear Anna Larson. She’s more than a business partner—she and her husband raised me after my parents both died, so she’s like a mother and a grandmother, rolled into one.
Anna is usually in the kitchen of the Bar None by the time Quincy and I go down the back stairway. Her cheerful periwinkle blue eyes always sparkle when she sees the butterscotch cat we both love.
“Good morning, Charity!” she called from across the room where she is already mixing up a batch of Hula Bars, our delicious pineapple coconut concoction that tastes like the South Pacific and makes you forget you’re in Minneapolis when it’s winter.
Anna is the only person in the world who calls me Charity, although that is my given name. My best friend, Julie, says that if I wasn’t already nicknamed Chase before I got Quincy, my name would have had to change. That cat! He’s always getting out of wherever I put him. He stays in the office during the day—except when he gets out. He travels in a carrier to the vet—except when he unzips it. He’s an indoor car and always stays in the building—except when he sneaks out the back door to explore the dumpster and the parking lot.
Julie has been talking to us about setting up a booth at the Bunyon County Fair this fall. There have been complications, though. What would I do with Quincy? Inger, our new employee in the front sales room, has said she doesn’t mind looking after him in the least. How could we bake enough dessert bars to stock the Bar None plus a booth? Anna dismissed that quickly. She would work extra and make them ahead of time. That woman has more energy than I ever will, even though she’s a good forty years older than my thirty-two! Is it fair to our sales employees to leave them to handle the shop while Anna and I go to the fair? Again, Inger and Anna worked that out. We would be open limited hours and Inger can handle that, she says.
This has all been discussed with the aid of leftover dessert bars and herb tea after hours. I think it’s settled. Looks like we’re going to the fair!
You can read more about Chase in Fat Cat Spreads Out, the second book in the “Fat Cat” mystery series, published by Berkley Prime Crime. The first book in the series is Fat Cat At Large.
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About the author
Janet Cantrell is a pen name for Kaye George, Agatha nominated novelist and short story writer. She belongs to Sisters in Crime, Guppies, and Austin Mystery Writers. Her cozy Fat Cat mystery series features Quincy, a pudgy, adorable cat who is an accomplished escape artist. Especially when he’s on a diet and hungry. Leave it to Quincy to lead his human, Chase, co-owner of a Minneapolis dessert bar shop, into trouble. Fat Cat at Large debuted in September 2014 as a national bestseller. The second in the series, Fat Cat Spreads Out, appears June 2nd, 2015. Janet lives in Knoxville TN with her husband. Her recently departed feline, Agamemnon, is a source for some of Quincy’s antics. Visit janetcantrell.com for more details. Check out her blog at janetcantrell.blogspot.com.