Grimms Furry TailI wake to the sound of rain hitting the roof of the seaside cabin I call home. I slowly open my eyes and lean onto one elbow as I assess my situation. My kitten Emily is sleeping under the covers with her head leaning against my thigh, while my dog Max is asleep atop the covers. Both animals begin to stir as they sense my wakefulness.

I glance out the window next to my bed. The sky is dark and the sea, which on a clear day is visible from my current vantage point, is masked in a shroud of clouds and fog. I uncurl myself from the tangled mass of limbs and pull back the covers. I roll out of bed and begin my morning routine.

I let Max out the side door, toss a match on the fire, and start a pot of coffee. I fill Emily’s food and water dishes and, once the coffee is done, I fill my favorite Garfield mug. Emily follows me to the sofa, where I curl up with my coffee and the quilt Aunt Maggie made for my birthday. I find that at times life is hectic and unpredictable. My morning routine, however, is comfortably habitual to the point of being static. I find that it is these small rituals that keep me grounded when everything else in my life is spinning out of control.

I sip my coffee and close my eyes. I feel a sense of contentment as the warm liquid slides down my throat and warms me from the inside. I listen to the predictable rhythm of the waves as Emily begins to purr in synchronicity. Max, who has wandered back in through the side door, curls up at my feet, and I allow myself a few peaceful moments before the hectic day begins.

I can remember my dad telling me that as long as you begin and end each day with a moment of quiet reflection, you will be able to deal with everything that comes your way. My usual routine is to quietly drink my coffee in front of the fire on cold days or on the front deck overlooking the ocean during the warmer summer months. Once I am fully awake, I take Max for a run on the beach so that we can both receive the fresh air and exercise we need.

At the other end of the day, as the sun sets over the horizon, I watch the whales breaching in the distance and thank God that I have been blessed with my own piece of paradise. I love living on Madrona Island, with its white sand beaches and crystal-clear water. I love Coffee Cat Books, the bookstore/coffee bar I own with my best friend Tara. And I love Harthaven Cat Sanctuary, the rescue operation my aunt and I founded to shelter the feral cats who live on the island. But most of all I love that I share my life with others who are tethered to the island with roots planted as deeply as my own. Life on Madrona Island is much like a continuum. Generations flow one into the next, creating a community of friends who are family, and family who are friends.

You can read more about Caitlin in Grimm’s Furry Tail, the third book in the “Whales and Tails” mystery series, published by Kathi Daley Books. The first two books in the series are Romeow and Juliet and The Mad Catter.

GIVEAWAY: Leave a comment by 12 p.m. eastern on March 27 for the chance to win a paperback or Kindle copy of Grimm’s Furry Tail–winner’s choice. The print giveaway is open to U.S. residents only. The kindle copy is open to everyone. Winner will be notified within 48 hours after giveaway closes and you will have three days to respond after being contacted or another winner will be selected. Make sure to check your SPAM folder.

About the author
Kathi Daley lives with her husband, kids, grandkids, and Bernese mountain dogs in beautiful Lake Tahoe. When she Kathiisn’t writing, she likes to read (preferably at the beach or by the fire), cook (preferably something with chocolate or cheese), and garden (planting and planning, not weeding). She also enjoys spending time on the water when she’s not hiking, biking, or snowshoeing the miles of desolate trails surrounding her home.

Kathi uses the mountain setting in which she lives, along with the animals (wild and domestic) that share her home, as inspiration for her cozy mysteries.

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