Today I'm happy to welcome Vickie Johnstone as she interviews Kiwi, Inspector Furrball of Cat City’s Cat Squad, and the two children, James and Amy, from Kiwi in Cat City and the six-book Kiwi Series. This character interview is part of the Raining Cats & Dogs Tour that Vickie is on with David M. Brown, author of Man vs Cat. Keep reading to the end to find out more about the Kiwi books and to enter the giveaway for an Amazon gift card.
Wow, what a pleasure to have all of you here today. Inspector Furrball, thanks for taking the time away from your duties in Cat City to talk with us. Are you getting any more used to this world since your first visit (in the book Kiwi and the Living Nightmare)?
Furrball: Well, thank you for inviting me here. It’s a pleasure to speak to you, but before we begin do you think… well, do you have any nice biscuits?
Amy nudges James, who chuckles. Kiwi raises her eyebrows to the ceiling.
Furrball: Thank you kitty much, but I don’t suppose you have fish biscuits, do you? No? Oh, ok. Well, these will do!
Kiwi: They’re nice biscuits!
Amy and James: Mmmmmm!
Furrball: Yes, yes, splendid, I think. Mmm. Well, to return to your question. It’s nice to be back in the human world though I have to say that I prefer our own world, Cat City (munch munch).
Furrball: Well, Kiwi, I’m being honest. It’s not as warm here in the human world. In Cat City, it is always summer. The sun is orangey and just lights up the city – everything seems to glitter there (Furrball smiles fondly). I miss the streets – they have blue and white mosaics of cats, you know, and they’re very clean. Not like the streets in the human world where you have to dodge smelly things on the pavement!
Amy and James start giggling.
Kiwi: But you have to admit the people are nice and you met some really nice squirrels on your last visit (in Kiwi and the Living Nightmare)…
Furrball: True, true. Yes, I really liked that fellow, Red. Decent chap. But you know, the food in Cat City is much better and the milk. We have special milk. It’s good for cats, but the milk in the human world… well, let’s just say that my tummy didn’t like it much!
Furrball: And buses… scary things… they go so fast! I never want to ride on one of those again…
James: Especially when old ladies are about!
Amy: But didn’t you enjoy the old ladies tickling your tummy?
Furrball: (coughs) Best forgotten, young Ames and Jimster. That’s best forgotten. An unusual experience…
Kiwi: And one I’ll never forget. The look on your face when they were saying you were so fluffy and cute will stay with me forever…
Furrball: Are you saying that I’m not cute?
Amy and James collapse in giggles.
Kiwi: I think it is best that only Madame Purrfect answers that question!
Inspector Furrball, now that you have been with Amy and James as both kittens in Cat City and as human kids here, which do you like better?
Furrball: Ah, there’s a question. Seeing them in human form was such a shock the first time. I’d never seen humans before. I was scared, I don’t mind admitting. For a start, they’re so big, and they have these long limbs. I think humans are a little odd looking! And they smell different…
James: I think cats are stranger. You’re all furry with long tails.
Amy: And you spit on yourselves to have a bath!
Kiwi (making giggly purrs): I think you might be outdone there, Furrball!
Furrball: But it was a shock - the biggest shock of my life! I was thinking who are these strange giants? I thought they’d eaten you, Ames and Jimster. Then I had to just forget what I’d heard when Moggie explained that you were one and the same, but now not in cat form. I couldn’t have got through that day unless I’d kind of hypnotised myself that it wasn’t really happening!
Kiwi: Really? You did that? I didn’t know! I thought you were kitty okay with it pretty fast!
Furrball: I was sort of pretending! The shock was too much. I just put it to the back of my mind. Otherwise, my right-paw tom, Siam, and I would have just been rolling around on the grass mewing all day like little kittens when we’re actually big, brave members of Cat City’s Cat Squad! We had a reputation to live up to!
James: I loved being a catizen!
Amy: Me too! It rocks!
Furrball: What rocks? Are we moving?
Amy: (laughing) No, No, Furrball, it means that something is great. It rocks!
Kiwi: It’s young human talk, Inspector! You know how our kittens have their own kit speak?
Furrball: Indeed. It rocks. Mmm. Maybe I could fit that into my language. Fish biscuits rock!
Amy and James giggle.
James: Being a kitten rocks! And the Catema rocks! And having a tail sometimes rocks! But not if I’m playing football!
Furrball: What’s football? Could I play? Is it dangerous?
Amy holds her head and shakes it.
How about you, Kiwi, which world do you prefer? Do you think you could live in just one place?
Kiwi: Now there’s a question.
James: No! Kiwi, you can never leave the human world!
Amy: Yeah, you have to stay with us. We won’t let you go!
Kiwi: Well, half of the time (smiles).
Furrball: Our Kiwi has always been a bit of a traveller… gets it from her father, Delphinius, I think…
Kiwi: That’s right, but then my mother was from the human world and my father was from Cat City, so I’ve always felt pulled between the two worlds, I think. I belong in both, but not entirely in either…
James: Like someone is pulling your tail to go back when you go somewhere else…
Kiwi: (giggly purrs) That’s a funny analogy, James, but there could be some truth in it. I love travelling.
Amy: And the falling in the purple smoke between the worlds is such fun…
Furrball: Fun?! Well, I think my ears and tail nearly blew off!
James: And the landing is a bit hard on your bottom!
Kiwi: You know, I think I could never stay in one place. I get itchy paws to explore.
Amy: Where was the first place that you visited? Do you remember?
James: Was it exciting?
Furrball: I remember (chuckles)…
Kiwi: (winking at Furrball) I remember it very clearly. I was a kitten. I think I was roughly your age, Amy, and my first adventure was with my father, Delphinius. He had the wander lust really bad. Moggie was often fed up because he’d be late home for dinner and it would go cold. He’d go on adventures with his friend, Mr Eastwood, the owner of the Catema and Cat City’s only film director.
Amy: Ooohhh, can we act in one of his films?
James: Can we? Can we?
Kiwi: Mmm, well, first things first – did you want to hear about my first adventure?
Amy and James: Yes! Yes!
Furrball just sits and grins.
Kiwi: Well, I was about your age, Amy, as I said, and I’d always ask my father where he was going. He’d tell me these amazing stories, but they sounded like the kitten tales that catizens tell their young ones, so I just guessed he made them up. Then one bright summer’s day, he asked Moggie if he could take me along with him. He said they’d be visiting a safe place – the human world. I remember Moggie didn’t like the idea, but Delphinius persuaded her – he was good at that – and off we went. What a trip! It was the most amazing day of my life so far…
Amy: Were you scared?
Kiwi: Sort of and sort of not. I was more excited, but I was with Delphinius, so I felt safe. He knew the most powerful magic. Moggie is good with magic, but my father… my father was something else.
James: Like a wizard? A wizard cat?
Amy: A mage? A genie?
Kiwi: Maybe something in between. So we went on this magical trip. I remember him saying some magical words and then the purple mist was everywhere. I didn’t know then that I was magical… remember I told you what happened when I was a kitten that made me magical… (in Kiwi and the Missing Magic) Yes, well, it was partly genetic too. I got a lot of my talent from my father. He taught Moggie, too. Anyway, I’m wandering off the subject. So then this purple mist was all around me, I remember. It was so bright and colourful. It became my favourite colour because I felt connected to it. My fur would sometimes shine this same purple, but back then I was a little kitten and I didn’t know it was magic. So, off I went, floating and falling in this magical mist, whisked away from my daily life to … well… I didn’t know where… and then I landed… but I wasn’t scared. Delphinius was sitting there, waiting for me with the biggest grin on his furry face… and I knew I was safe. And then he showed me around the human world.
Amy: Did you like it?
James: How did you find us?
Kiwi: Ah, well that’s a story for another time. But I loved the human world and I still do! Maybe because I was a kitten, but I just took it in. I wasn’t scared. I was just amazed by everything. And I felt at home; strangely at home. It was like part of me had gone back to my roots… Moggie was from the human world, after all.
Furrball: That’s a nice story.
Kiwi: Thanks. It’s a nice memory! Furrball: If only someone had brought me here when I was a kitten – it wouldn’t have been quite so shocking!
Amy and James giggle.
Amy and James, do you ever think you’ll tell your parents about the adventures you’ve had with Kiwi? Will you still visit Cat City when you are older?
Amy: Oooh yes! I hope so. I hope I never get too old to come to Cat City.
James: I never want to grow up really. I want to stay a kid-kitten and nothing change.
Kiwi: Things always change, James. That’s the only sure thing in life, but that’s a good thing. It’s how you approach change that really matters – you should treat it as an exciting adventure and nothing scary!
Furrball: Well, there are other sure things, too. Like you can be sure that Kiwi, Madame Purrfect and I will always make you feel welcome in Cat City! You’re invited to all of our parties!
Kiwi: But it’s very important that we don’t let your parents find out…
James: That’s true. Adults don’t believe in such things anyway.
Amy: They don’t believe in talking cats or talking hamsters… (the Hamster March in Kiwi and the Serpent of the Isle) I don’t think they’d believe us anyway. Does everyone stop believing when they grow up, Kiwi?
Kiwi: I hope not, but I think many people do. Maybe their lives get harder… with grown-up things. They may miss the little details in things as they have responsibilities.
Amy: And work!
Furrball: Work can be very rewarding, Amy. You just need to choose carefully. I am proud to be the head of the Cat Squad, keeping Cat City safe. Think about what career you would like to do and aim for it. I think anyone can achieve anything.
Amy: But I don’t want to grow up if I can no longer hear animals talk.
Kiwi: You just have to remember how to listen, Amy. I don’t think you’ll stop hearing us.
James: Phew! Life would be a bit boring otherwise!
You have all been together in some very sticky situations, what were your scariest moments?
Kiwi: The ghost of the old man in the old house in the Living Nightmare adventure! I never thought I’d be able to escape. I couldn’t move!
James: Eeek, definitely him! But then Loki in Ancient Egypt in the Realm of Ra was scary!
Amy: And don’t forget the spooky witch with the big wart on her nose in Kiwi’s Christmas Tail.
Furrball: I have to say the Serpent of the Isle. I thought I’d never see my dear Madame Purrfect ever again. He was our strongest enemy ever. But then those old ladies on the bus were pretty scary too…
James (in old lady voice): Ooooohhh, Mavis, what a cute kitty!
Amy: Wasn’t her name Mable?
Furrball: Stop it! I’m getting shivers along my whiskers just thinking about them! Also, plunging out of the sky in a purple mist and landing on the ground in front of two giants – you two, Ames and Jimster – was pretty scary! And then my brain turning to jelly!
Amy and James: Sorry Inspector Furrball.
Furrball: Not your fault. Now if only Moggie had warned me beforehand…
Kiwi: Our first adventure together where we tried to solve the Case of the Missing Catizens was pretty tough, if I remember. Don’t you think?
Furrball: Yes it was – a lot of dead ends in that mystery. And when Cat City was going to be invaded in our second adventure together (Kiwi and the Missing Magic) – now that was scary…
James: Especially when we all went into the Cat Crime building and… (BEEP – so as not to give the plot away!)
Amy: And the battle in the Land of Giant Mice… and the maze… that was a bit scary.
Furrball: Yes that was close. If it hadn’t been for the brave actions of… (BEEEEEEP).
Kiwi: I agree, Inspector. That was a close one. I think we’ve had a few close shaves.
Inspector: But, still, I think the Serpent of the Isle was our biggest challenge. If it wasn’t for…
Kiwi: Shush! Don’t give it away…
Furrball clamps his mouth closed and peeks around.
James: I miss the crabs and the fish…
Amy: Shush James…
James: Ooops sorry… (goes red), but what about the excellent bit with the hamsters…?
Do you have any dreams of what you would like to do in the future?
James: I want to be a detective when I grow up!
Amy: I want to work for Greenpeace and save whales!
Furrball: These are both very good choices, kittens. Erm, I mean child..ren. Mmm, such a strange word.
Kiwi: I want to keep on going on adventures and learning new things. I never want to become bored. I always want to carry on exploring.
Furrball: I always want to get the bad catizens and save the good ones!
James: That’s why I want to be a detective, so that I can come and work for you in Cat Crime…
Amy: But you’re human…
James: So? I can do both, can’t I? I want to be a two-world detective – in the human world and in Cat City! I can solve two crimes at the same time!
Kiwi: Ah, this could be an interesting future.
Furrball: Indeed (scratching behind his ear).
Amy: I really wanna see that!
Furrball: Oooh is that the time? (glancing at his gold watch, hanging off his red waistcoat). I’m sorry, but I think I need to be getting back to Cat City. It’s past my teatime you know, and Madame Purrfect will start to worry. And she makes the most kitty good cakes… I wouldn’t want to miss out on those.
Amy sighs and pokes James.
Kiwi: Thank you for inviting us today. It’s been purrfectly good fun! Have a kitty day!
About the Book:
One dark night, Amy cannot sleep and she looks out of the window into the garden to see her cat, Kiwi, transfixed by the moon, which is glowing brightly like a cat's claw. Waking her brother, James, Amy suggests they follow Kiwi to see where she goes... whether it involves a hunt for mice or something else. Little do they know that, with a flick of her tail, Kiwi is going to magically change them into kittens and lead them on the adventure of their lives to a land they never knew existed in their wildest dreams. In the blue-lit world of Cat City, the budding detectives help Inspector Furrball to solve the mystery of the missing catizens and find out what happened to Madame Purrfect.
For children aged 9+, teens and adults. This book is the first in the Kiwi Series.
So far, there are six books in the series.
Buy Kiwi in Cat City on Smashwords
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Buy Kiwi in Cat City on Diesel
About the Author:
Vickie Johnstone lives in London, UK, where she works as a freelance sub-editor on magazines and an editor on indie books. She has a thing about fluffy cats and also loves reading, writing, films, the sea, rock music, art, nature, Milky Bar, Baileys and traveling.
Vickie has self-published the following books:
Kaleidoscope (poetry); Travelling Light (poetry); Life’s Rhythms (haiku); 3 Heads and a Tail (comedy romance); Kiwi in Cat City (magical cat series for middle grade readers); Kiwi and the Missing Magic; Kiwi and the Living Nightmare; Kiwi and the Serpent of the Isle; Kiwi in the Realm of Ra; Kiwi’s Christmas Tail; Day of the Living Pizza (comedy detective series for middle grade readers), and Day of the Pesky Shadow.
The Kiwi Series has illustrations by Nikki McBroom.
Connect with Vickie on Twitter * Blog * Website * Facebook Author Page * Facebook Kiwi Series Page * Facebook Poetry Page * Facebook Editing Services Page
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