Pilar is a six-toed Abyssinian cat, whose forebears lived with Ernest Hemingway at his house in Key West. When she and her owner, Ryan, move up north, they both have a hard time getting accustomed to the cold weather—until Ryan starts to get pointers from his lovely coworker, Lisa.
In true feline fashion, Pilar can’t resist sticking her six-toed paw into the budding romance between Ryan and Lisa—with charming, and sometimes surprising, results, in the first two stories in this collection.
In “The Temple of Lights,” efficiency expert Robert Lehmann discovers just how much havoc a woman can bring to his life, while the funny-naïve heroine of “You’re Pretty When You Smile, Ima Jean” goes out in search of her life and finds something she wasn’t looking for. And in the final story, “The Cat Who Ran Away,” the sleek, regal Rajah leads Susan to figure out that perhaps you really can go home again.
Men and women meet, fall in love and stumble over obstacles in the five charming stories included here from award-winning romance author Neil S. Plakcy, but the ending is always a happy one.
This title is published by Neil S. Plakcy and distributed by Untreed Reads Publishing.
I started to worry about the cold after we crossed the border between from North Carolina and Virginia. “I don’t know about you, Pilar,” I said to my cat, who sat comfortably in her carrier on the front seat next to me, “but I’m starting to feel a chill.”
We were both Conchs, natives of Key West, Florida, where the coldest it ever got was in the low forties for a few days in January or February. It was only mid-November, and the weather guy on the radio said it was sixty-two degrees in Richmond, and heading down.
“I’m not sure about this,” I said to Pilar. Since she had adopted me three years before, I had developed the habit of thinking out loud, and addressing my thoughts to Pilar, a red, gold and black Abyssinian with a soft purr, a loud growl, and a strong personality.
Pilar was a descendant of the cats that had lived with Ernest Hemingway at his house in Key West. The woman who sold Pilar to me had explained that to be a Hemingway a cat had to have at least one extra toe on one paw, and the cats were priced accordingly – an extra charge for each extra toe.
By the time we got back to my apartment, I’d decided to name her Pilar, after Hemingway’s boat, and after the heroine of For Whom The Bell Tolls. She had liked the name, and accepted it.
“What do you think, Pilar? Should we turn around and head back to Key West? After all, this is only a job. Do I really want to work and live in Philadelphia?”
“Well, it is a good job.” After years of struggle, working at every hotel position from bellhop to dining room waiter to front desk clerk, I had settled in as the marketing director for a property on the island that was part of a national chain. I’d done a good job, and eventually been offered a promotion, as director of marketing for a much larger hotel in the chain in Philadelphia. I was going to be making real money, for the first time in my life, and I thought it would be exciting to leave Key West, where I was born and raised, to live in a big, fascinating city like Philadelphia.
But as I drove farther north, and the weather got colder, I was starting to have my doubts. “There’s an exit up ahead,” I said to Pilar. “I could turn around and start heading south again. We could make it to Georgia by dark.”
Pilar was silent. “You’re not being much help. Tell you what. If you don’t say anything, I’ll turn around. If you think I should keep going, then say something.”
I turned to look at Pilar, curled up in a corner of her carrier. She yawned, and rolled onto her side. “What was that?” I asked. “Was that a yes or a no?”
Pilar went to sleep. “I guess I keep going.”