Cats and horses are main characters in Dangerous Turf and its sequel, Three to One Odds. Dangerous Turf is scheduled for release in December, published by Black Opal Books. The sequel will follow in May, 2018.
Henry is the more affectionate of the two cats and his moods reflect those of Tonya’s. He is always by Tonya’s side when she needs comfort or company. Henry plays a very important role in Dangerous Turf, when his life is in danger and he is saved by a most unlikely character. Henry and his brother, Clive, were originally called Henry and Alex, a tribute to the two main characters in the Black Stallion series of books. Alex Ramsey and Henry Dailey were the jockey and trainer in the series. However, I had to give the name Alex to one of the women in the sequel, Three to One Odds, for reasons that I won’t divulge here. (No spoilers from me!) So I changed Alex to Clive.
Clive is the more observant and intuitive of the two cats. He is the first to sense danger and is a great judge of character. Clive and Henry are described in the book as pure white with blue eyes and just a patch of blue-gray hair between their ears that made them look like they were wearing skull caps. I knew a pair of cats once that fit that description. I volunteered at the local animal shelter working with the cats. One day a pair of cats, brothers, came into the shelter as owner-surrenders. They were terrified and spent several days huddled together beneath a blanket. I took each of them to the evaluation room and started to do the tests that would determine their personality types. It turned out they were sweet, loving boys who just needed time to adjust. I named them Frick and Frack and spent a lot of time with them. They were eventually adopted and I hope they got a good home. I honored their memory by describing the two feline stars of the novels after them.
The calico barn cat
The nameless calico barn cat appears in the first book and has a role in the second book as well. She shows up first as part of the description of the farm owned by the Warrens. Her laid back, peaceful and affectionate nature became a sort of symbol of the general feeling Tonya, the heroine, gets when she visits the farm. Calicos have that effect on people sometimes, don’t they?