Kelly McCullough writes fantasy, science fiction, and books for kids of varying ages. He lives in Wisconsin with his physics professor wife and a small herd of cats. His novels include the WebMage and Fallen Blade series — Penguin/ACE, and the forthcoming School for Sidekicks — Feiwel and Friends/Macmillan. His short fiction has appeared in numerous magazines and anthologies. He also dabbles in science fiction as science education with The Chronicles of the Wandering Star — part of an NSF-funded science curriculum — and the science comic Hanny & the Mystery of the Voorwerp, which he co-authored and co-edited — funding provided by NASA and the Hubble Space Telescope. Kelly on Twitter, Facebook, G+, ello

Friday Cat Blogging

July 28, 2017 in Cat Things, Friday Cat Blogging, Pets and other friends

Well, obviously!

Home is where lap is.

You McCullough cats are soooooo spoiled.

We are also deeeeelicious!

No, you don’t eat your own foot, you eat the thumb-monkey!

Now that’s funny!

Friday Cat Blogging

July 21, 2017 in Cat Things, Friday Cat Blogging, Pets and other friends

I can quit any time.

You just keep telling yourself that.

Wait, you’re still listening to her.

Ooooh, I like your stylezzzzzzzzzzz

You are such a lazy muffin.

You say that like lazy muffin isn’t a cardinal cat virtue.

*Thanks to Tabby’s Cat Cafe for several guest cats 1 of whom was heading for her forever homes when I took these pics. Rita Rolly-Polly has been adopted. She was my favorite. But Oculus the Tail Master and Martel King of Sleep are both still looking for their people.

Friday Cat Blogging

July 14, 2017 in Cat Things, Friday Cat Blogging, Pets and other friends

Let’s play a mystery game, I’ll be the body.

All your life.

Wait, I thought your name was Bodi.*

Wait, somebody murdered Bodi? Does that mean I’m next?

You never listen.*

Did somboy sayzzzzzzzzzzzzz*

*Thanks to Tabby’s Cat Cafe for several guest cats 1 of whom was heading for her forever homes when I took these pics. Rita Rolly-Polly has been adopted. She was my favorite. But Oculus the Tail Master and Martel King of Sleep are both still looking for their people.

Friday Cat Blogging

July 7, 2017 in Cat Things, Friday Cat Blogging, Pets and other friends

Okay, chill off in 3. 2. Zzzzzzzzz.*

I’m in.

Can’t touch this!

I see and raise—off to my forever home!**

Me too!**

See ya later, cats, I’ll still be here in the garden, lovin life.**

Beat this for chill style!

Chill…whoops, I thought you said be chilling. Dammit!

*Thanks to Neil, Kim, and Jonny for some guest regulars

**And to Tabby’s Cat Cafe for our other visitors 2 of whom were heading for their forever homes when I took these pics. Sherman McSnugglemuffin and Primrose of the Lawn are off to new stomping grounds while the lovely Rita Rolly-Polly continues to entertain the regulars for a bit longer.


Fri…er, Monday Cat Blogging

July 3, 2017 in Cat Things, Friday Cat Blogging, Pets and other friends

The Dread Catpirate Dora is here for your SOULS!*

Holy hell, that’s terrifying!

Nah, it’s just my sister.

Your sister is a bit…alarming.

I can take her.

*With thanks to Kim, Jonny, and Neil for spare cats.

Friday Cat Blogging

June 23, 2017 in Cat Things, Friday Cat Blogging, Pets and other friends

Nothin’. No reason. Why do you ask?

Why does that response make me suspicious?

Because you’re not a trusting soul, like my friend here, that’s why.

You do realize your friend is concrete, right?

That would explain soooo much!

Said the cat in the bathtub. You house cats are super weird.


Open Letter to my Senators Re: ACHA

June 22, 2017 in Politics/Public Service, Speaking Up

Dear Senators Johnson and Baldwin,
I am a county board supervisor here in Wisconsin, Dunn County District 17. I am writing to urge you to vote against the ACHA as presented. The closed doors, secret meetings process for creating this bill has been catastrophically flawed and is a perfect example of the worst of Washington DC.
The American people deserve an open and aboveboard process for the writing of a bill that will impact 1/6th of the American economy and directly affect millions of peoples’ health. They do not deserve to be completely shut out of the process, and passing this bill as it stands and after this process is likely to create a kind of rage against the government that this country hasn’t seen in generations.
As a local politician I have seen the anger of my constituents when they feel their voices aren’t being heard and I can’t imagine how much greater that rage will be among people who will see their healthcare taken away or greatly increased in price by a bill that was produced in silence and secrecy that was then rushed through the process.
All of the polling suggests that this bill is already deeply unpopular and that the more the people hear about it the less they like it. That’s not going to change if it is passed without proper hearings and the chance for the people to be heard. It is going to become infinitely worse.
I believe that this is a bill that will do great harm to your constituents and mine and I am certain that the process that has produced it will generate massive anger in the American people, anger of the sort that is corrosive to the very foundations of democracy. I implore you not to vote for this bill as it stands and certainly not to do so given the process that produced it.
Kelly McCullough

Friday Cat Blogging (+Cat Cafe)

June 16, 2017 in Cat Things, Friday Cat Blogging, Pets and other friends

I suppose you’re wondering why I called you all here today.

Nope, I was wondering if that green stuffs out der is catnip

Hmm your wonders is relevant to my interests, be right over. *

I was wondering if I could kill you with my mind!*

I was wondering about quantum entanglement and string theory.*

I was wondering about why dis cat friend is not very comfy.

*Extra guest cats supplied by Menomonie’s new cat cafe Tabby’s.

Rita the rolly-polly, Primrose of the lawn, & Sherman McSnugglemuffin.

Friday Cat Blogging Farewell to Ash Part 2

June 3, 2017 in Cat Things, Friday Cat Blogging, In memorium, Laura McCullough, Pets and other friends

Laura’s tribute to our much missed Ash plus more pictures below.

Ashbless, my gray girl

Ashbless was the last of our kitty quartet. We had had all four since 2003 or so. When we got her she was a tiny gray cat, and she came home in the same carrier as Nutmeg. Ash never liked to be held, but over her years with us she learned to live with it. She was our writher, flopping down next to a person and rolling about in abandon. Couches were her places. Downstairs she had her preferred couch, but any person on any couch MUST be sitting there to pet her. Upstairs she had her place between Kelly and me on the TV couch. She could get pets from both of us there. Sitting on people wasn’t her thing; she always preferred to be next to someone.

She was the one who got to clean out my cereal bowl every morning. Dairy milk was best, but she accepted soy milk and almond milk. Cashew milk made her turn away. She also got to clean out my other bowls and plates. Never had any food issues, never was trouble.

Ashbless was the lowest cat in rank, beaten up by everyone else. Whenever a rare cat fight broke out, she ran TOWARDS the altercation, because this was her only chance to get in a few hits. She’d swat someone a few times then run away. We built her a little shelf so she could eat up away from the other cats. If there was anyone near, she would insist on getting pets before eating—a sort of petting jump-start. Each morning she would stand on the ledge next to me as I brushed my teeth, asking for pets before eating.

Her face was beautiful, hinting at Russian Blue heritage. Her ears were enormous; I called them her big bat ears. She had prominent fangs until she strangely ejected them—some cats do this though why is a mystery. Until she lost her fangs, she was our best hunter. Bats, mice, moths. One time a bat was flying around in circles in the media room and the other cats were popping up and down like popcorn trying to get it. She simply climbed the cat tower, watched as the bat circled twice, leaped, grabbed it, broke its neck, landed. Then she gave the other cats a look as though to say “you guys are an embarrassment!”

My gray girl had resting anxious face. She always looked nervous, even when writhing in happiness. She had pink jellybean toes and a little pink spot on her gray nose. She loved belly rubs and after not too much petting she would get over-stimulated and start writhing even more, sometimes with a poofy tail. Her sleeping positions were adorable, either curled into a ball or with some legs straight out as if diving. Most of our pictures of her show her on her side on a couch.

Her last twelve hours were very hard. About 9 pm we realized we hadn’t seen her in a while. We searched the house thoroughly, finally locating her in the far corner under the guest bed. I called to her, and she stumbled towards me. When she came out from the bed, she could barely walk or hold herself up. She also could no longer see. An after-hours vet visit meant she got some steroids, which can sometimes help in the case of a stroke.

We brought her home to see how the steroids would do, but she was very upset. If we weren’t touching her, she would freak out and try to run. She ran into a few doors and walls before we figured out we had to keep touching her. So I spent the night on a few cushions, with her curled up in a warm down blanket next to me. Kelly piled pillows against every corner or hard edge in the room. I kept one or the other hand on her all night. When she tried to move, I would either restrain her or help her stand. But she would always fall over again. She ate a little come morning, and drank a little. But there was no real improvement and it was time to let her go.

Having lost two cats quickly and two slowly (all in 19 months) Kelly and I agree it’s easier to lose them quickly. But it’s very hard even so.
I miss her when I sit on the couch upstairs. I miss her when I finish a bowl of food and set it down. When I see her special feeding ledge. When I see a dark kitty walk past me and it’s not her. I miss her when I brush my teeth in the morning. I miss her when I tidy up her couch. Oh, how I miss her.

Fresh from finishing Laura’s cereal milk.
I love this shot of Ash and Isabelle sharing the cat chair.
Is MY sock, MINE!
I think I tied my legs in a knot, a little help here?
The kind of concentration only a chipmunk can generate.
This is such a perfect cat’s cat shot. All poise and dignity.
Not that she couldn’t be undignified.
I put a spell on you, and now you’re mine.
On her favorite chair on the porch with all the pink jellybean toes.
On her couch looking perfectly poised in front of her kitty quilt.
As the only one of our cats spry enough to there quickly she he loved the
counter and the opportunities it brough to spend time with her people.
She delighted in eating cobwebs even if they did muss her whiskers.
She never did learn to operate the remote.
More pink jellybean toes.
I love the way the sun lights her eyes here. She was so beatiful.
Here she is with Laura’s glasses and a bit of resting anxious face.
More anxious face, though I don’t have a picture of her at her most concerned.
She loved the spot on the media room couch lying between us.
She was highly tolerant of the occasional visitor.
She never really got the hang of the cat pod, though it matched her fur.
Here she is claiming an extension cord for her very own.
And again on the couch between us.
In her last months she came to love the heated cat bed.
This is the face of cat who totally didn’t lick that powdered doughnut.

And I’ll end with Ash and  her favorite person in the whole world.


Friday Cat Blogging Farewell to Ash Part 1

May 26, 2017 in Cat Things, Friday Cat Blogging, In memorium, Pets and other friends

I still don’t really have the heart for this post, but if I waited until I stopped hurting it would never get done. On May 12 we lost our beloved Ashbless kitty, better know as Ash or our gray beauty. She was mostly Russian Blue, though, like all our rescue kitties, a bit of a mutt and a mystery. She adored people and was a favorite with visitors as she was born without the aloof gene and would treat anyone who sat down on one of our couches as her very own personal thumb-monkey. She had resting anxious face, and everyone always wanted to make her feel better. When we first got her she didn’t like to be picked up or to sit on a person, but in the last year of her life she became a regular part of my catvest, going so far as to sleep on my chest for long periods. We loved her completely and miss her so much. I’m sure Laura will have more to say on that when her heart is a bit less broken.

This our first picture of her from 15 years ago.

Here she is with our beloved Meglet.

They came into our house together and they are both gone now.

Here she is on HER couch. Anyone who sat there belonged to her.

In her younger days she was an amazing hunter of bats and mice, but it

got harder when she lost her fangs. Here she is one fanged.

She could be amazingly beautiful and dignified.

She could also be quite tolerant. That’s totally not the expression of a cat

plotting to murder anyone.

Here she is on her favorite of Laura’s sweaters. She adored it so much

that Laura eventually gave it to her for her very own.

On cold winter mornings she was always part of the radiator gang.

They’re all gone now and it’s so hard.

Quick, throw in the all time goofiest Ash shot to turn tears to laughter!

Derposaurus Ashblessus.

Pretty sure I should follow that with her plotting her revenge for it.

“But, what makes you think I’m a revenge-minded kitty?”

She did a great sleeping dragon pose.

She could be clingy.

She spent some years as a professional dream high diver.

We built her this shelf so she could have her own food bowl up high.

The other cats picked on her sometimes and we wanted her to feel safe.

I miss this face so much.

Did I mention tolerant?

When you gave her really good skritches she went all poofy-tailed.

I was okay in a pinch but Laura was HER person.

“Can I really have this mousie for my very own?”

Another shot of our girls together as they so often were.

I’ll close with this. She could be mysterious.

But she was always reaching for the sun.