Sunday, April 19, 2009

Meet Carranza, Lisa J. Lickel's fictional cat!

My guest today is a fictional cat named Carranza.

As Carranza humbly admits, he's a real hero who has saved the lives of many characters in her mom's books. His mom's name, by the way, is Lisa J. Lickel and she writes Christian/mystery novels aimed to inspire and entertain. She keeps a blog at

Carranza's bio (from his mom's mouth):
He is a fictional cat based on a couple of cats we used to have at home when I was growing up. One was a long-hair gray tabby who was never comfortable inside the house, the other a crazed Siamese we named the Terrible Turk who used to chase my brother and me around. Carranza is obviously not really Spanish, and doesn't pretend to know the language very well. He just thinks being suave will get him everything.

Hola, Carranza, thank you for taking time out of your busy life of fighting crime to join us.

Da nada.

What’s with your name? Who chose it? What has that done to your self esteem and what does that say about Ms Lickel?

Si, Carranza aqui. I was born one stormy morning, when the hour was darkest, when the battle to conquer the story was nearly lost. Ms Lickel beheld my magnificence and plucked me from oblivion to help her beleaguered and misguided brainchild: Senorita Judy Winters, heroine of The Gold Standard. Judy truly needed me, for she could not discern the deceitfulness of others of her kind. It was Judy who accepted my mission and granted me the most highly exalted name of General Venustiano Carranza, the First Chief and reformer of our sister civilization, Mexico. Senorita Judy’s eighth grade history students agreed.

I, Carranza, with the most humble showing of mio gato esteem, solemnly accepted my duty—to expose evil and represent the worthy. I sacrificed myself for the greater good of Senorita Judy, and my benefactress, Ms Lickel, who will make certain that I and my descendants will never be forgotten. And for such, Ms. Lickel has my undying gratitude.

Yes, that's very humble indeed, Carranza. So, tell us about Ms Lickel as a writer and as a pet owner. No sugar coating here. Give us the real deal. This blog is only read by pets, so don’t worry, she won’t find out what you say. In the event that you find yourself into trouble, I can always offer protection. I have a good connection at the CIA.

Bah – as if I, the great Carranza, need protection! I am the defender of computer and farm, of virtue, and of Senorita Judy’s shoes. Ms. Lickel has done me the greatest of honors in freeing me to assist Senorita Judy in any way I see fit. Since I am a virtual aide de camp, I do not worry Ms Lickel by accidentally causing needless and unfortunate allergic reaction in her mate.

Senorita Judy, on the other hand, exiled me to a most wretched and miserable existence with Tia Louisa in a far off foreign land of dirt and strange creatures with crowns and feathers instead of fur. I did not think I would forgive her, until I beheld…her – mia encantadora gata – my beloved Cat. Tio amoro. (Tail twitch.)

When Senorita Judy came to reside with me in my new kingdom after Tia Louisa’s unfortunate murder, I showed her my heart was great enough with love to help her find the killer and save the farm from los banditos. Ms Lickel knew that only I, Carranza, could save Senorita Judy. Ms Lickel, however—she could share a little of the wild catnip from her yard with me once in a great while. There, you—Ms Calvani—put that down in the interview.

Aha! I knew there was something devious about your author mom, keeping the cat nip all to herself! Does Ms Lickel ask your advice when she’s stuck? Does she even listen?

But of course. (Both ears twitch.) She had already borrowed of the elegant persuasive insights of my son, Pancho Villa, to help Senora Judy in the subsequent tale of The Map Quilt, when she realized that I, Carranza, must be allowed my voice and perceptive ways to shine forth first. The fact that her editor demanded a rewrite of The Gold Standard after she had written its sequel, The Map Quilt, had nothing to do with her realization that she desperately needed me to save her first story.

Ms Lickel: “It’s true. I did need him. Carranza helped Judy and Hart immensely.”

Thanks for the input, Lisa! (gosh, these authors are always wanting to steal the spotlight! Who asked her opinion?) Tell us, Carranza, are you happy with the way your mom immortalized you in her novel? Did she show your real character or did she exaggerate it for the book’s purpose?

As you can see in my above answers: in a word, Si. I am the true hero of The Gold Standard, and my son, Pancho Villa, and grandson, Santa Ana, live on. I am most proud. Of course, I deserve it. And, I must tell you, my true nature was splendidly portrayed. I did not even need human words to show all of you my trustworthiness. I saved Senorita Judy not once, not twice, but three times. I even saved Senor Hart, so they could wed and live happily ever after and have more adventures. Ah, if only I and my beloved Gata could do the same. Unrequited love—it is my only complaint.

Of all your mom’s books, which one is your favorite? Why?

I must confess, excuse me while I chase that, er…never mind, that I am most proud of Pancho’s story, The Map Quilt, which he told to Ms Lickel after he helped Senorita Judy find the quilt in the trunk of her attic. (Whisker groom.) However, without me to save the day in The Gold Standard, he would not have been able to tell his story.

(Somewhat disdainfully): Ms Lickel tells a reasonably fair account of my cousin, Memnet, in her Message stories. (Ear twitch and groom.) Naturally, one cannot possibly consider a foreign invader, Egyptian Mau, in the same magnificence as myself, but still, I allow her to continue so—as long as she will never love another as much as I.

Ms Lickel: “Don’t worry, Carranza. You’ll always be my hero.”

Excuse me, but I must go now to gather another boon to present to mia adora Gata.

Gracias, Carranza! Next time, please bring your Gata with you!


  1. Carranza, you are simply the "cat's meow"!
    (to borrow an old expression)
    You also seem to be a very likable and
    intelligent cat, though not seemingly
    very humble.


    Lily-bits, the Tail-less
    (a beautiful gray tabby)

  2. It makes me want to read the book. I love cats.

  3. I see that Carranza tastefully did not mention his barn full of other descendents ;-)Does anyone else hear this is Antonio Banderas' voice?

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