Books by Debi Ennis Binder

Fantasy worlds. Magical inhabitants. Timeless battles between Good and Evil.

Category Archives: Cats and Kittens

Mouse in the House and other News


It’s mouse season again. We have several cats… well, a couple more than several, so one would think the mice could smell or sense them throughout the house, but they don’t seem to learn. Take the night before last…

Our daughter came running through the house in the wee hours of the morning and awakened me (I’m nearest the door), as she ran into our bathroom. I’m too groggy to even wonder why—she has her own bathroom, plus another in between the two. But anyway, she says, “Wally has a mouse!” So she freed the poor beast, chased off her cat, and locked the mouse in our bathroom. Thank you, dear. To make it better, she traps the creature under a bowl in our bathtub. And she goes back to bed, leaving me staring at the ceiling wondering what to do. Because Wally, being a clever young cat, knows his legally gained mouse is in that bathroom. So he starts scratching on the door. And scratching. I wish I had that much stamina.

What happens to most people awakened in the middle of the night? Yes—mother nature calls. Now, how do I get into the bathroom while fighting off the nimble SuperMouser, Wally? It would have been more than fair to shout across the house to daughter, “Come get your cat!” But at that time of the morning, I didn’t think of that. I grab my slipper to fight off Wally, who though not the youngest cat in the house, is the smallest. The little guy is also the most timid, but he worked hard for that mouse! Note: all he’ll do is play with it, we have only one mouse-eater, Cookie. But Wally seemed emboldened. He earned that mouse! He backs off when I approach the door and doesn’t try to get in. I do my business, block the door with my foot, close it, and return to bed. Mouse is still in bathtub under bowl.

The next morning, daughter reports the details of the midnight marauder, Wally, plus how she trapped the poor, terrified, cowering mouse under the bowl. We both look to hubby/father to remove said mouse. As he wanders toward the back, he asks what kind of bowl it’s in. He’s still half-asleep too. “The only bowl in the bathtub,” I call back. “The one with the mouse under it.”

With the mouse let go outside (where it scurried away), life returns to normal—but what’s normal in a house full of cats?

We have two cats who hate each other. Fred is ours; Riker belongs to our daughter. From the first day she moved in with him, these two refused to breathe the same air. There have been scuffles, hissing, growling—all leading up to yesterday, when they had a momentous, and really loud, fight that lasted from one end of the house to the other, then outside to the catio. Riker, normally the timid kitty, handed Fred his fluffy white tail on a platter. Riker came running back in with a mouthful of white fur. It was awful. There was so much white fur in the living room it looked like we’d been shearing sheep in there. We’ll probably have to take both to the vets tomorrow to get them looked over, neither is acting normal (that word again), but I hope this is what it took for them to at least respect each other’s air!

I’m working steadily on “Summerbird’s Quest.” the sequel to “Summerbird Rises.” I’m beginning to realize it might be a bit too long. But isn’t that what Epic Fantasy is all about? Our intrepid travelers (the Quest part of the title) will meet a tragically cursed woman who turns into a savage monster to eat, a plant that also wants to eat them, an evil despot who doesn’t want to eat them, but definitely wants to kill them–wait, back up, I forgot about the troll, ditto—kill and eat. Plus the wolves, the giant birds… Thank goodness for the enchanted Riddle Tree—and Hanne Holten’s magnificent riddle—whereby he tries to trick them, cagey tree. Oh, and as they reach their destination, a river tries to drown them! That’s a lot of epics to describe! And I’m having too much fun to try to cut any scenes. They’re all important! We’ll see what my alpha readers have to say.

After SQ is finished, I’m leaving fantasy for a hand at science fiction/fantasy. And then, I’m going to finally finish and edit a time-travel romance set in now/then Louisiana and do a final edit on a completed mystery romance set in 19th century Virginia. I’m looking forward to branching out. If I can struggle through all that and not give in—I have a sequel started for the “An Act of Entreaty” books (where Summerbird isn’t the main character) and one started for the “Ring-Witches of Nesht” series, with Mayra, Wolfe, their kids, and young dragons who are growing up.

Looking forward to hearing from you!

Goodbye, Elliot


Dear Elliot, our oldest kitty, had been getting weaker, finally to the point where he couldn’t eat any longer, could barely walk, and had trouble breathing. We had to find out if there was anything to be done for him. There wasn’t. We’ve just returned from having his suffering put to an end. He was a sweet boy, born in our living room 18 years ago. Of course, it’s very sad, but he was so old and went downhill so far in the last few days. It’s a difficult decision to make, a guilt-ridden one, even while knowing he’s suffering. Ignoring a sick, suffering pet is far worse.

Elliot was the cat who let Steven know it was time to eat by standing on the end table and staring at him until he got up to feed him. No matter if there was food in their dishes, when it was time to eat, it was time to stare. When he was only a couple of months old, he dove under my chair just as I sat down, and there was a horrible screech. The daughter and I rushed the whimpering baby to the vets, where he was pronounced ok and adorable. Seriously, the vet brought purring Elliot back to us and said he had nothing broken, maybe just pinched, and he was the cutest kitten he’d ever seen. I don’t remember how much that cost, but it was a lot for a professional to proclaim the obvious. Elliot was an adorable kitten. He also got into a lot of trouble.

We brought him home and set the carrier with him in the living room for the other cats to say goodbye. Non-pet owners may scoff at this, but we’ve lived with cats for all our long-married lives. We speak from experience. Except for the two newbies, if the others don’t get to say goodbye, they’ll soon start looking for him and crying. The reactions of the other cats were sad yet intriguing. They recognized Elliot. Winky is six months old. He batted at Elliot as if asking why he wouldn’t come and play. Bob is Winky’s littermate, and he is clearly wigged out. He keeps approaching the carrier like he’s terrified, crouching, and licking his lip. After getting close to him several times he finally left. So far, the other cats have come by and sniffed him. Only PeeWee, his longtime friend and now the oldest, stands by, just staring at the carrier. He and Elliot were always friends, with PeeWee giving Elliot a bath at least once a day. He’d cry the most, as he did when Moggy, Elliot’s brother, died. They know!

And we have our memories, while he suffers no more. We’ll miss you, Elliot!

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