In the car right now, I am listening to the latest Rita Mae and Sneaky Pie Brown Book – Cat of the Century, and I love it. I find the books interesting because 1. They are set a county over from where my parents live in Virginia. 2. They are mysteries and, thus, are perfect for car rides after long work days. 3. The three pets – Mrs. Murphy, a tabby cat; Pewter, a silver, “rotund kitty”; and Tucker, a very Corgi – talk to each other and make me smile each time they speak.

I love animals – especially pet cats and dogs – and so the charm that comes from hearing someone put words to what I imagine happening makes me happy in a very simple place within my soul.

I always imagine my cats talking to one another, each of them with a distinctive voice – Oscar is kind of sweet and a little simple – if “doh, dee, doh” could become a voice, that would be what Oscar sounds like; Charlotte talks only in whispers; and Emily, well, she’s like one of those crochety old ladies in British movies, the ones who make us crazy and endear us to them at the same time. My friend Susan’s teenage children always tell her when she tries to impersonate one of her five felines (beautifully named Tempest, Persephone, Narnia, Elwood, and ROAR-y – can you tell she’s an English professor) that SO and SO “doesn’t talk like that.” You’d think after all these years Susan could at least get their voices right. Does anyone else have voices for their pets, or are Susan’s family and I the only nutty ones?

But when it comes to true, basic joy, talking animals make my day. And by the way, you’ll find me in line on opening night (with Dave at my side – can you see why I love this man?) to see Cats and Dogs: The Revenge of Kitty Galore. Oh boy!!

Cats and Dogs: The Revenge of Kitty Galore – To see the trailer, click here.