Meg's Diary

Report from Downton Cabot: Life Goes On

This isn’t the blog entry I was hoping to write to start off the new year, but life doesn’t always go the way we plan.

As many of you have already learned via Twitter and Facebook, Lady Fussypants, also known as Henrietta, passed away peacefully in her cat bed two weeks ago. Cause of death: Old Age.

Please do not feel bad. Henrietta lived from 1993-2013. Twenty years is a very long life for a cat, especially for a cat found as a tiny kitten in a trash can in Brooklyn, or as the natives call it, the 718.

Henrietta

According to the “cat years calculator” a cat that lives 20 years is 97 years old!

No wonder in her later years Henrietta became a bit fussy.

Still, like the Dowager Countess on Downton Abbey, we loved her very much, and she will be missed.

Meg and Henrietta
The one time Henrietta ever voluntarily posed in a photo with me.

Henrietta’s likes were drinking from the caps of water bottles at the side of the bathtub . . . .

Henrietta

. . . and sleeping under piles of pillows. If you attempted to remove these pillows (such as, to get into bed), Henrietta’s claws would dart out from beneath them and give you a mighty thrashing. It was easier simply to sleep in a different bed.

Henrietta

Her most violent dislikes were my desk (she liked to poop under it. Reason behind this dislike remains a mystery), and “Downstairs.” As a one-eyed cat who had lived most of her life in a New York City apartment, when we moved to a house in Key West with a second floor, Henrietta decided the concept of “Downstairs” was simply too much for her. She chose to ignore it, and remain “Upstairs,” guarding it vigilantly from outsiders, for the rest of her life.

Henrietta
“I know I look sweet, but I weel keel you if I don’t know you and you come up these stairs.”

When our secondary cat, Lady Slutty-McSlut-A-Lot (also known as Gem), noticed my husband on the street one day and then attached herself bodily to him, Henrietta made it known that this new cat was not allowed “Upstairs.” Slutty was to remain “Downstairs” at all times.

The few times Slutty attempted to come “Upstairs,” she received a mighty thrashing from Henrietta for her efforts. After that, Slutty knew always to remain “Downstairs,” or face the wrath of Lady Fussypants.

Henrietta
“I am the queen of this house. Now scratch my spotted belly.”

Now that Henrietta has gone permanently to the Great Upstairs in the Sky, Slutty has not once attempted to venture “Upstairs,” even though we’ve tried to show her that it’s now safe to do so.

For our efforts, we received a mighty thrashing from Lady Slutty, who then streaked back “Downstairs,” which she clearly believes is her right and proper place in this world.

I guess this would be like if someone tried to get Daisy from the kitchens of “Downton Abbey” to come live in the Dowager Countess’s rooms. Daisy knows “t’would not be proper.”

Henrietta
“More water please in my tiny bowls. NOW.”

Henrietta’s remains are where she would have wanted them, close by, and I thank you for allowing me to entertain you with stories about her for so many years. Thank you, too, for the many messages of sympathy you have sent via Twitter and Henrietta’s Tribute page on Facebook. They are truly appreciated by He Who Shall Not Be Named In This Blog and myself, as are the many funny stores we have received from those who knew Henrietta personally.

Henrietta
“This is where I do all my best sleeping . . . and evil plotting.”

Meanwhile, life for the living at Downton Cabot goes on, as it must. I have many projects keeping me busy, including but not limited to the purchase of a boat, fulfilling my lifelong dream of forcing others to call me Captain Meg, a la Captain Kirk.


Andrew Newman/Getty Images

Ha, ha, just kidding, I’m not getting that kind of boat.

But guess what? In the state of Florida, you don’t need a driver’s license to operate a boat or personal watercraft. You just need to be over 14. Shocking but true!

I will, of course, always stay within sight of land, not run over any snorkelers, dolphins, manatees, or sea turtles, and require all of my passengers to know how to swim, just in case we have to abandon ship due to encountering Klingons.

I’m also working on Awaken, the final book in the Abandon series, which will be out in US and Canadian stores (and on e-readers) on July 2, 2013.

Awaken 3

And Book 5 of the Heather Wells series, Size 12 is the New Black, will be in US and Canadian stores (and on e-readers) in September 2013.

A lot of people got excited when a certain gossip blog posted that there might be a new installment of The Princess Diaries series coming soon. That was pure conjecture on the part of that blog (though I appreciate the enthusiasm, and it certainly could happen someday).

But I’m definitely adding a 7th installment to the Mediator series (though it’s not written yet, so don’t expect it anytime soon)! Sometimes inspiration hits when and where you least expect it.

My amazing friends and colleagues, Janey and Ann (who designed the Henrietta Tribute Page), have also been busy, putting up a Meg Cabot Tumblr.

Post your favorite quote from a Meg Cabot book on Twitter using the hashtag #megcabotsays and then keep an eye out… it could end up on my Tumblr!

And as I’m sure you’re aware, Valentine’s Day is around the corner (not that it matters to those of us who will never receive a Valentine from our romantic partners, who, like Michael Moscovitz, believe that Valentine’s Day is a commercial scam . . . which of course it is, but who doesn’t love candy?).

We’re hosting a writing contest here for those of you who wish to vent your feelings about the holiday, pro or con. Keep it to 1,000 words and choose from one of the 5 sentences we’ve supplied (don’t worry, you’ll find one you like) as your first line. Good luck!

And as always, thank you for your support, and for reading. Remember, if there is something in your life that is bothering you, take some advice from Lady Fussypants, and simply poop on it. You’ll feel a whole let better.

In the meantime, be safe, be happy, and be yourself!

More later.

Much love,

Meg

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