Effing Feline does his taxes #wewriwa

Photos: DepositPhotos

I, Effing Feline, am working on my taxes, and it’s horrible. Why should I, a cat, have to pay income tax? Just because I work for Ed as a blogger? That hardly seems fair.

Ed says I won’t have to pay anything more, and might get a refund, so oh boy, I’m hard at work. I’ll let you know the size of my refund after this message from my sponsor, The Saint of Quarantine Island .

The boat reaches Echo Bay soon after young Billy jumps off the cliff. While dumping her belongings on the supply raft, the boat’s driver realizes the jumper was Billy, who’s a fellow member of the Kwakiutl tribe. That’s pretty much the only reason the driver wants to save him; unlike Kendo Carlisle, the Saint of Gilford Island, he is not going to risk his life to help the people in quarantine.

But Janet wants to catch the virus, so he comes us with a plan.

Janet stared down at the rope in her hand then looked at the swimmer, Billy Seaweed. Surely that wasn’t his real name. “Why the dinghy?”

As the driver untied some ropes, the tiny rowboat hanging from stanchions at the stern of the gillnetter lowered until it was even with the gunwale. “You’re going to row it out there and pull Billy onto it. Then you’re going to row to his floathouse, the one at the base of the cliff, and you’re going to get those wet clothes off him and get him warm before he dies, capiche?”

Capiche? What was a Canadian Indian doing speaking Italian? “But—”

And some extra sentences:

“Get in.” The driver gestured toward the dinghy.


“I said get in!”

He yanked her toward the fragile, swaying dinghy; she climbed in quickly, afraid he’d toss her like a sack of potatoes if she didn’t. “I don’t know how to row.”

“With your life on the line — with a kid’s life — you’ll pick it up real quick.”

Effing Feline here again, and I’m hissed! Did you know that the government’s tax refunds are in money, not catnip? That’s a revolting development!

Unfair to cats! I protest! Write your MP, congressman, or local mafia. Get them to refund everyone’s taxes in catnip!


If you have time after you’re done protesting, visit the other great writers in Weekend Writing Warriors and Snippet Sunday. But only after I get my catnip, hear me!

The Saint of Quarantine Island

Maybe you’ve read about viruses that turn people into zombies. But how about a virus that turns people into madmen, some of whom become creative geniuses?

Spurred by her husband’s infidelity and haunted by abandoned aspirations, a suburban housewife smuggles herself into a wilderness quarantine. By catching the disease, she hopes to write a book that’ll redeem her empty life — and maybe, just maybe, she’ll find love with the man they call the Saint of Gilford Island. She’d once spent a memorable though oddly chaste night with him. Surely he’ll help her build a new life.

But exile on an island of madmen is crueler than any suburban daydream. Instead of a quiet writing retreat, she finds pirates who steal everything but the clothes on her back … an arrogant Cambridge scientist who wants to whisk her away to the London of an alternate Earth … a troubled Indian boy who becomes a surrogate son … a licentious cult leader who kidnaps her.

They’re all periodically insane then sane and back again – and so will she be, if she catches the Fireworks virus. Is writing a book really worth such a risk?

What about true love?



  1. Charmaine Gordon: Ed, I always get a kick from reading your work. Best always from me to you.

    1. I’m sorry about that, Charmaine. I hope the kicks don’t bruise too badly.

  2. Author Jessica E. Subject · · Reply

    Looks like he’s found a way for Janet to get the virus without infecting himself. I hope everyone gets what they want.

    1. Janet is going to get waaaay more than she wants.

  3. Oh boy, lol. That boat driver is a humdinger of a gent. lol I’m really enjoying this book, Ed. 🙂

    Effing, life is just one letdown after another for you. Maybe this year, if Ed is holding back on the catnip–and you can’t get the gov’t to pay in catnip, you might try making Ed write his own posts. 😉 Maybe then he’ll fork over a bit of the herb for you!

    1. Hey, Teresa, do NOT start giving Effing ideas!

  4. Well, Effing – you can BUY catnip with your refund. I can hardly think of a better use for the cash.


    1. Spoken like a true cat lover, Lisabet!

  5. I’d be rowing in circles for an hour. Hope she does better for Billy’s sake!

    My former tax pro’s favorite story was of a female client who claimed three young children for several years on her returns . . . who turned out to her cats when Social Security number were required!

    1. You, that’s where this woman goofed up. She should’ve gotten Social Security cards for them all.

  6. What a pushy driver! I expect she’ll be catching crabs all the way.

    1. Agreed, the driver isn’t exactly the nicest character in the book — but then, he isn’t supposed to be.

  7. That’s a tall order, to drag a crazy guy out of the water, row to shore, take care of him and make sure he doesn’t die. Our heroine is in for some fun times ahead!

    Effing, I’ll support your cause if we can add an amendment that says we can also pay our taxes in used kitty litter. You know how we humans like to collect the stuff.

    1. Oooh what a devilishly cleaver idea. I like it, Alexis!

  8. Everything about this island and the situation is so edgy and different! I like the way you confound the expected at every turn and I hope your heroine is up to the tasks…great snippet, made me tense because I felt like I was there with them.

    1. I caught flack from some beta readers because Janet starts out kind of indecisive and wimpy. To my mind, that just gives her more room to grow. That may be one way this situation is different.

      Another is the island itself. What’s the point of having lived on an essentially uninhabited wilderness island near Alaska if you can’t get a book out of it? The place itself was so very different that it dictated a different set of assumptions, which I guess comes out in the text.

  9. Diane Burton · · Reply

    Effing, I wouldn’t know what to do with catnip, since I don’t have a cat. How about dog biscuits?

    That driver is sure bound to get her off his boat. But a dinghy? To rescue that idiot kid? Great scene.

    1. Effing might not give his blessing, but I do. Diane, you may spend any tax refund you get on dog biscuits.

  10. If one has to, one can do anything 😉 Enjoyed the snippet, enjoyed the no nonsense commands.

    Re tax time … I love this time of the year 😀

    1. You LOVE this time of year? Is that some weird Australian thing?

      1. LOL – naa, i just love tax 🙂 Comes with the job I suppose …

  11. Elaine Cantrell · · Reply

    I don’t know that I could row or not, but I bet she learns quickly.

    1. As Iris just commented, “If one has to, one can do anything.”

  12. Billy would probably drown by the time I rowed us over there. Hopefully she does a better job! Your characters are so vivid, it really brings this island to life!

  13. That driver sounds like he really means business. I’m wondering if Seaweed is really his name, too.

    1. ‘Seaweed’ is a bit of poetic license. A common last name among the Kwakiutl is ‘Sewid’ That always reminded me of seaweed, so when I needed a last name for this Indian boy, I chose Seaweed.

  14. For Billy’s sake, I hope she figures out how to row.

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