First, I need to say I’m honored to be involved with such a talented group of writers. A special thanks goes out to Laura Benedict for thinking about me and to Carolyn Haines for accepting me into the Cat Women Collective. I’m looking forward to sharing Trouble and the Bridal Caper with everyone in October 2018.

I have to be honest, I don’t have a cat and I never have. My father had three and he wasn’t very creative with the names. He had a black cat named… Friday. Can we be anymore cliché? And a Siamese cat named Sammy Cats.

He did get a little more creative with his calico tabby cat, which he named Spitz. The logic behind this name: the cat spit at… well… at me!

My dad didn’t even get very creative with his dogs, which he named Wako and Dallas.

Personally, I had fun with some of my pets names, like my hamster that was so soft I just had to name it Puffs, as in the tissue paper.

I named my German Shepard Shasta, after the soda. Another dog was Casey because my husband vetoed that name for a child, LOL. We had a dog named Gizmo because it looked just like Gizmo from the movie Gremlins.

FL Blog Jen Talty graphicA lot of thought goes into naming a pet, whether it be a rock, a hamster, a cat, or a dog, the name has to fit the animal. It just has to and I think the most memorial pet name I have had was for my pet rock.

The very first pet I had as little girl in the seventies was a pet rock and not the kind you bought in the stores, this was the real deal scoped up from the wilds on the side of Pilot Knob Road in Lake George, NY.

I was nine years old and away at Gymnastics camp. After practice, we all walked back down Pilot Knob Road and this particular day, I’d been picked on by some of the older girls and was feeling very blue. Dave Gotzmer (everyone called him Gotz), the Intermediate Unit Director of Camp Chingachgook walked next to me and asked me what was wrong.

I shook my head. “Nothing,” I said.

He then tried to make me laugh. He got a slight smile. But then, he picked up a rock from the side of the road and when we got pack to the senior unit, he drew a funny face on it and handed it to me and told me that anytime I felt bad, if I didn’t want to talk about it with a person, I could talk about it with my pet rock.

I named my rock Gotz.

I had that rock for YEARS and it always made me smile and feel better. Even today, forty years later, I think about that rock!

I’m sure Dave has long forgotten the little girl he helped feel better, but his single act of kindness is something that I carry with me each day, especially during the holiday season when I stop to smile at someone, say hello, help someone to their car, buy a random person lunch, or any other small gesture.

jen1Jen Talty is an award-winning author of Romantic Suspense. Dark Water hit #10 in Barnes and Noble and her books have been in the top 50 on Amazon. Jennifer grew up in Rochester, New York. She recently retired from being a full-time hockey mom as her children hung up their skates. She and her husband still live in Rochester while her children travel globe. Jen was the co-founder of Cool Gus Publishing with NY Times Bestselling Author Bob Mayer. For more information about Jen Talty please visit: