Diary of Alistair, the Witch’s Cat by Delia James

By Familiar Means12:00 AM
Finally got the new human to sleep. Honestly. Why do humans have to sleep all at once instead of taking regular naps like rational beings? I mean, if she keeps staying up this late on the phone talking about dead people, how is she ever going to get up in time to fill my food bowl? I’ve got places to be and she needs to respect that. I explained this this through a series of conversational remarks and interpretive song while she was doing that thing where she sticks a brush in her mouth. She made no rational response. Sigh. Humans. Will try again later.

1:00 AM
Nap. Groom. Time to go out. House opens the door. Good House. The night awaits.

2:00 AM
Quality time with Miss Boots.

2:30 AM
Nap. Grooming.

3:00 AM
Check on human. Check on house. All good. No one says thank you at 2:00 am, not even House. Or fills the food bowl. House is useless. House laughs at me. Stupid House.

3:30 AM
Quality time with Col. Kitty.

4:30 AM
Nap. Grooming.

4:00 AM
Check on human. Check on House. Check on food bowl. Empty. Consider waking human, but last time that did not go so well. She is not very sympathetic at four in the morning. Sigh. Well. That’s a basic human character flaw. Poor creatures. They can’t really help it. They’ve got little natural stamina and don’t take enough naps.

5:00 AM
Quality time with Ruby.

5:30 AM
Nap. Serious grooming.

6:00 AM
Garden patrol. Just missed the rabbit. Must keep closer eye on that rabbit. It’s got plans, I can feel it in my whiskers. Inform house. House says I am paranoid. House does not seem to realize I am a cat. We are not paranoid, we are just very, very alert in extra special ways not immediately evident to other beings. Attempt to demonstrate point by running back and forth very fast. House, as usual, fails to understand. Stupid House.

6:30 AM
Human is awake and engaged in the terrible ritual of the running water. This is a superstition sadly common in humans. She could at least fill the food bowl first. It’s been a long night. Pacing and sitting on slippers is doing no good. May have to resort to sitting on damp feet and singing the saddest songs so she knows I am serious.

6:45 AM
The bowl is full! The bowl is full! Human tells me she’s going out for a run to clear her head. I wish her luck. She seems to understand. The bowl is full!

7:00 AM
Nap in sunbeam.

7:30 AM
Shift position to fresh sunbeam, continue nap.

8:00, 8:30, 9:00 AM
Nap. Don’t judge me.

10:00 AM
Quality time with human. She is very good at scratching ears and very responsive to purr-rewards, but she keeps trying to get up. Something about work. Which she does with her hands, usually before I am properly scratched. Sigh. Training her properly is proving an uphill battle.

11:00 AM
Human still at her drawing board. Batting gently at her wrist elicits no useful response. Will have to come up with another tactic. Complain to House. House suggests that I should relax. If all I had to do was stand around and keep the doors shut, maybe I could, but somebody has to keep that rabbit out of the garden.

12:00 PM
Nap. Groom. Nap. Human still working. How much paper is there in the world? And how much of it has to be covered with colored lines?

2:00 PM
House patrol. Garden patrol. Evidence of rabbit’s return. Curse that rabbit. Inform house. House is unresponsive.

5:00 PM
Guide two ferals toward friendly homes. Good luck, brothers, but this one’s mine.

5:05 PM

6:00 PM
Red-headed human is here. So is human partner of Maxamillian and Leopold. Dogs, both of them, but I am broad-minded and do not let that color my opinion of them. They cannot help it if they talk too much and have no respect for boundaries. It’s just who they are. House keeps letting them in. There is much talk of mystery and magic. Many laps to be sat on. Extra patrols required. Exhausted.

8:00 PM

9:00 PM

10:00 PM
Human has remembered to get more tuna, AND put it in the bowl. I give her extra lap time and purring to let her know she is a very good human. I tell House believe she is demonstrating her basic teachability. House laughs at me. Stupid House. I am going out. House opens door. Good House. Night awaits. This time, I will get that rabbit.

By Familiar Means is the second book in the Witch’s Cat mystery series, published by Penguin Random House, September 2016.

In the latest from the author of A Familiar Tail, a witch and her familiar find trouble brewing at a coffee house.

After discovering her mystical heritage—and being adopted by furry feline familiar Alistair—artist Annabelle Britton has decided to make picturesque Portsmouth, New Hampshire, her new home. Now, she can take the time to figure out her new abilities and welcome her grandmother, who is visiting Portsmouth, and her old coven, for the first time in thirty years.

But being a witch doesn’t magically put money in the bank. When she’s hired to paint the murals for a new coffee house, it seems like a wish come true. But then a series of spooky sounds and strange happenings convince the owners that their new shop is haunted. They want Anna and her coven to evict the restless spirit before the grand opening.

Annabelle is certain the haunted happenings at the shop are just hocus pocus. But when her search reveals hidden smugglers’ tunnels beneath the shop—and a dead body—Annabelle, Alastair, and the coven suddenly find themselves in a cat and mouse game with a killer. . .

# # # # # # # # # # #

Meet the author
Delia James has been a writer almost as long as she’s been anything. She started putting stories on paper by drawing stick figures comics based on Maurice Sendak cartoons and never stopped. These days, she writes her magical mysteries from her home near Ann Arbor, Michigan, assisted by her loving husband, Tim, her magnificent son, Alex, and her vocal cat, Buffy the Vermin Slayer. Connect with Delia at deliajamesmysteries.com, on Twitter, and on Facebook.

All comments are welcomed.

Giveaway: Leave a comment below for your chance to win a print copy of By Familiar Means. US entries only, please. The giveaway will end September 25, 2016 at 12 AM (midnight) EST. Good luck everyone!

38 responses to “Diary of Alistair, the Witch’s Cat by Delia James

  1. Loved the first book and can’t wait to read this one!

  2. Okay Dru, I just finished the first book in the series and gave it FIVE STARS… I managed to find a copy to put on hold out in Howard Beach, but since I own the first one it’s only fair to own the next one too.

    Toss my name into the magic hat please.

  3. This is such a cute synopsis…and the book sounds great…Me for the Halloween sounding reads and thank you for the chance.
    Marilyn ewatvess@yahoo.com

  4. Oh what a super duper awesome book this sounds like just from the short excerpt here….absolutely love, love, love how Alistair the kitty is telling the story! I love all of Delia James books and so looking forward to reading this new one. Thanks so much dear Dru Ann for the chance. God bless you!

  5. Sounds great! Thank you for the giveaway.

  6. Love this Cat Diary. It is so “Cat!” Thank you for reviewing this book.

  7. Sounds like I’m behind on this series. The cat diary was very funny. Looks like with all the good reviews I need to check these books out. Thank you for the chance.

  8. I loved reading the cat’s schedule – this sounds about like our cat’s schedule. Thank you for the chance to win

  9. I love Alistair, the cat of a witch! Love the diary !

  10. Thanks for the giveaway. I have just found a new author and series to read, thanks to you. I can’t wait to go look for the first book. Would really enjoy the second book.

  11. Love Alistair!

  12. With the temps hopefully cooling down next week this would be a great way to jump into fall!

  13. By Familiar Means sounds good. Thank you for this chance.

  14. Patricia Sarka

    Love the first book. Would like to win the second one.

  15. The first book was great. looking forward to the second one. Thanks for the chance to win this book.

  16. Barbara Hackel

    Thanks Dru Ann for telling me about this series-I’d missed it somehow. Della, the blog was great-loved being inside the cat’s head! Funny 🙂
    Thanks for the chance to win a copy of this book!

  17. Wonderful series. Thanks for this intriguing giveaway.

  18. What a great cat diary!

  19. I would love to read this book. It looks very interesting. Thanks for the opportunity to enter the giveaway. robeader53@yahoo.com

  20. This book sounds magical. And fun. The POV from the cat is fascinating.

  21. Nancy Schwenkner

    I’m off to get a copy of the 1st book in this series!! Thanks for the review that reeled me in!! Would love to win By Familiar means. Thanks for the chance.

  22. The Cat sounds just like my 2 cats! I’d love to read this new book–thanks for the contest.

  23. elainehroberson

    Just finished reading the first book in this series. I loved it. Thanks for a chance to win a copy of book 2.

  24. Sounds delightful! Thanks for the review Dru.

  25. Another new to me series, I’ll have to look into getting the first one. Thanks!

  26. I’ve meet the author twice now. She’s awesome! This was cute.

  27. I agree with everyone… Cat diarys are awesome! Thanks for sharing this with us today. I really got a kick out of it. Thanks also for the giveaway. Would love to win this one too. Great week Dru Ann. Lastly thank you for your hard work!

  28. Pauline Barlow

    Oh, another cat mystery series that I will have to begin reading. I liked the cat’s daily schedule as you gave as it was so funny and so true. I hope my library has the first of this series.

  29. Loved this fun post by the cat! What a hoot! Would love to read this series, thanks for the chance to win.

  30. Sounds like a great fun read!

  31. I haven’t read this series yet, but it’s next on my list. Sounds amazing from the excerpt and review. Can’t wait to read.

  32. Nancy Roessner

    I loved the cat-ersation! The book must be really good!

  33. Jamie Rasmussen

    I read the first book in this series. It was awesome. I like Alistair’s diary. I really want to read the second book in this series. Thanks for the giveaway.

  34. LOVED the 1st book!!!!
    Cannot wait to read this one…..
    Thank you for the giveaway….

  35. This series sounds intriguing and I love the cat diary! Sounds just like a cat! Hope I can find the first one of this series and get started meeting Alistair and friends. Thanks for the chance to win.

  36. Great series, and so much fun. Thanks for the giveaway and review!

  37. Loved the first in the series, can’t wait for this one. Thanks for the chance to win.

  38. The first book of the series was my favorite book of the year. Loved it!