Letters from Cleo and Tyrone: A Feline Perspective on Love, Life, and Litter [NOOK Book]


Tyrone: "Never - but never - come when your name is called. In fact, the moment you hear your name, compress your body into the size of an olive, become as still and invisible as a salesperson at Bloomingdale's, and go back to sleep."

Cleo: "...then my daddy got to the check-in desk and announced in a loud stentorian voice that his stupid cat was constipated. Hey, buddy, ...
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Letters from Cleo and Tyrone: A Feline Perspective on Love, Life, and Litter

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Tyrone: "Never - but never - come when your name is called. In fact, the moment you hear your name, compress your body into the size of an olive, become as still and invisible as a salesperson at Bloomingdale's, and go back to sleep."

Cleo: "...then my daddy got to the check-in desk and announced in a loud stentorian voice that his stupid cat was constipated. Hey, buddy, could you say it a little louder? I don't think the folks in Ames, Iowa, heard you."

From dreaming of catnip fields and tummy rubs to driving their mommies crazy, Cleo and Tyrone keep a busy schedule. But they take time out to correspond and share their thoughts - polemics really - about dogs, fashion, real estate, medical science, fine dining, cinema, poetry (haiku included), and the pitiful state of their owners' social lives.

More than treatises on the feline and human condition, this is also a love story. Cleo and Tyrone often dramatically - ok, melodramatically - compare themselves to Romeo and Juliet, blaming their evil owners for keeping them apart.

Cleo and Tyrone can each be vain, self-centered and manipulative, but somehow, in spite of all their scheming ways, they still manage to wrap their furry little paws around your heart and hold on for a lifetime.

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Editorial Reviews

Kirkus Reviews
Amusing first novel and takeoff on the old archy & mahitabel series, with two cats writing to each other by e-mail without their mommies knowing it. One day Linda finds some diskettes hidden in a box. When she puts them on her p.c., the symbols seem nonsensical, but she notes repeated formations, so sends the disks off to Professor Manfred Katz, the UCLA linguist. The good professor determines that they're in Felinese (not the more common Catçais) and translates them for Linda, who owns Cleo the Divine, and for Virginia, who owns Tyrone the Great. Cleo has delusions of grandeur and at ten years owns up to age six. When she and her sister Honey turned up one day, pathetic and bedraggled, at Linda Hamner's doorstep, Linda and her husband could keep only Honey, so foisted Cleo off on Virginia. Tyrone was rescued from near death at the pound and became top cat at Linda's, and now he and Cleo are lovers, linguistically. Tyrone, top poet among toms, calls Cleo"the Syrup on My Pancakes, the Peanut Butter on My Jelly, the Tuna in My Macaroni of Life." Meanwhile, Cleo has to put up with loopy Chester, known as The Big Old Stupid Dog, who just stares, sleeps and drools, and with thuggish Stealth, a lowlife cat Cleo calls"a pickup-with-a-gunrack kind of cat." On New Year's Eve, she nibbles shrimp pâté, sips champagne and watches Dick Clark on TV. The correspondents exchange wisdom about attention-getting devices and the shortcomings of their mommies. Their big tryst takes place at Kamp Kritter when all the animals from both households get together for a week's babble. It's an affair to remember, Cleo and Tyrone's paws touchingbetween carriers as themusic swells. All too cute. But Mommies who speak the language of cats will find it catnip at daybreak.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780312276416
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Press
  • Publication date: 11/12/2000
  • Sold by: Macmillan
  • Format: eBook
  • Edition description: First Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 160
  • File size: 2 MB

Meet the Author

Cleo came from humble beginnings, but has since established her fiefdom chez Hamner. Her days consist of eating plastic bags, tossing Mommy's collection of stuffed hedgehogs into the toilet, and writing to her beloved Tyrone.

Tyrone enjoys corn muffins, tacos, and chocolate milk, which he drinks by dipping his paw into questionably abandoned glasses and licking the purloined treat off. He is also fond of boxes and grocery bags, and holds the record for both toilet paper and paper towel shredding.

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Read an Excerpt

Diskette I
TO: TyroneTheGreat
FROM: CleoTheDivine
SUBJECT: Dangerous Liaisons
Dearest Tyrone,
I just wanted to thank you for allowing Honey, Stealth, and me to stay with you this Thanksgiving while our mommy and daddy were away God-knows-where on vacation. While they were off après-skiing in Gstaad or snorkeling off Arugula, they just dumped us in our lousy carriers on your doorstep without so much as an introduction. We are all so grateful that especially you, Tyrone, and LizzieBeth treated us with such kindness and generosity—always willing to share that patch of sun on top of the kitty condo, letting us play with your catnip toys (wheel) and sharing your food with us. I hope you enjoy the catnip-filled chocolate fish and birds I sent. I know it appears that five of them are missing, but for some reason when I ordered them on-line, that’s how they arrived. Go figure. Or the dog ate them. Yes, that’s it. The Big Old Stupid Dog ate them.
Don’t you think Honey, who they claim is my twin, is down-right peculiar? She never wants to knead my mommy’s stomach, and get this, she doesn’t even want to sit in the middle of her crossword puzzle or book. And I’ve never once seen her sit on Mommy’s dinner plate. Or her head. It just isn’t normal.
And what can you say about Stealth? Well, the cat’s a thug. What did my mommy expect when she adopted him? He had been living on the streets for years and had developed no social skills whatsoever. That cat wouldn’t know Lalique from a lollipop. And his physique! That fireplug of a body on top of those short Lincoln Log legs. When he tries to swish his short, scrawny tail imperiously—as cats are supposed to do—he just looks ridiculous. I’m embarrassed for him. I really am.
Now, far be it from me to say anything negative about the other feline in your house, but I do worry that LizzieBeth might not always have your best interests at heart. Just be careful, dear Tyrone. That’s all I’m suggesting. I wouldn’t put it past her to be a tattletail. Unfortunately, I know this from personal experience. One morning I was trying to help your mommy by straightening the pet-snack drawer. LizzieBeth sauntered in, took one look at me, and she high-tailed it out of there like her pathetic little tail was on fire. I peeked into the living room and saw she was whispering something into your mommy’s ear. The next thing I knew I was in trouble.
That seems to be the story of my life—always being unjustly accused. Whenever anything goes wrong at my house, it’s somehow my fault. Just because I happen to be on top of the refrigerator and the apples suddenly fall to the floor, it’s automatically my fault. Has Mommy never heard of Newton? Of gravity? Wasn’t that the whole theory of apples anyway?
And I couldn’t help but notice, Tyrone, that LizzieBeth has quite a little crush on you. She follows you everywhere and looks at you with those insipid goo-goo eyes. It’s very obvious how she feels. Although I noticed she wasn’t sporting a solitaire on her left paw, I really don’t know how you feel about her. Are you two an item? I’m blushing as I tell you I have more than a passing interest in the response to my question.
I must admit, dearest Tyrone, when I walked into your living room and saw you hanging there, seemingly suspended in midair, as you scaled that wall hanging, you took my breath away. Your beautiful, muscular sculpted body . . . magnifique! I knew instantly you were my soulmate. It goes without saying, of course, you feel exactly the same way about me, n’est-ce pas?
Your dog, Lucy, is a lot easier to deal with than that lug I’ve got at my house. At least Lucy is a manageable size. My dog, Chester, is the size of a moose and has the IQ of a dessert of the same name. I must be fair, however; dogs can provide a diversion when one is truly bored. When the dog is really sound asleep, I like to rub up against his big old nose. Back and forth I go. Rub, rub, rub. Eventually, he awakens, sneezing his big old head off. I find that amusant. Also, as he walks by, I like to take a swat at him. For no particular reason. Just because it’s fun.
Sacre bleu! There’s Mommy bellowing at me. “Cle-o. Cle-o!!” Lordy, is that woman’s voice annoying or what! She sounds exactly like a demented, beached humpback whale. Time for moi to make myself very tiny and disappear until she gets those pesky hormones under control.
And I had so much more to discuss with you. Dearest Tyrone, I have reason to believe your very life might be in danger. Ch God, thar she blows again! “Clee-o!!!” Watch your back. And front. I’ll explain later.
Warmest regards,
TO: CleoTheDivine
FROM: TyroneTheGreat
SUBJECT: Dismissing Danger and Dogs
Dear Cleo,
Now that Thanksgiving is gone and the Christmas holidays are upon us, I have decided to take a break from composing my gift list (what I want, of course, not what I intend to give) and respond to your plaintive missive of yesterday. I had no idea what a void would exist once you and your sister, Honey (and Stealth, of course) left to go back to your own home. I know you miss me. In fact, I’ll bet anything you’re pining for me right now. Perhaps even crying. Ah, you female felines are so emotional. My advice, ma petite amie? Focus instead on the upcoming holidays. Who knows? Maybe my mommy will go away and I’ll be sent to spend the vacation with you and your siblings. It could happen.
But, that dealt with, Cleo, sweetie, my life might be in danger? My, but you do have a flair for the dramatic. My life might be in danger. . . .
I scoff at danger. I entice danger. I laugh at danger. Ha-ha-ha. Imagine, if you will, my paws on my hips and a dagger in my mouth. Ha-ha-ha. Yes, much better.Imagine, if you will,
my paws on my hips and a
dagger in my mouth
I am the mighty Tyrone, afraid of nothing. Except maybe an empty food dish. If I could only figure out a way to get those cans open . . .
Anyway, on to the crisis du jour. Boy, oh, boy, have I had it. I tell you, meow almighty, I have had it.
You remember Lucy the Dog? Of course you do. She’s that spoiled brat prima donna princess who absolutely insists on eating some of my leftover Thanksgiving turkey. So who’s the turkey? Me. My mommy put out some turkey—though mostly dark meat when she knows I prefer white—such a bitch—but I digress. . . .
Truth be told, I wasn’t hungry at that exact moment. I know some might remark that I jumped up and down on Mommy as soon as the sun came up, insisting on having my dish filled, but once she was up, I guess I just wasn’t hungry anymore. So call the police. Then Mommy let Lucy out into the backyard, cleaned up our dishes, cleaned out the water dishes and replaced the water with fresh water (filtered, thank you very much; the chlorine in the water around here is simply overwhelming to the point it absolutely overpowers the tantalizing aroma of a good, freshly killed mouse or lizard, but again I digress), changed the eating rug, dished dry food into the dry bowl, then opened the cans of food and dished them out. Then she took a turkey thigh out of the food cooler-keeper that we have to stay out of for fear of being trapped with lots to eat but not a lot of air to breathe, cut it up, put it on plates for us, set those plates on the eating rug, and then let the dog back in. I was just exhausted from watching her. And not hungry anymore. Can you blame me? I swear . . .
Fatigued, I went onto Mommy’s bed, upon which she had just put fresh sheets last night (will she never learn?) and nestled into a fresh pile of pillows on the left side to sleep. And Lucy ate my turkey. Now, you probably can’t imagine it could get any worse, could you? Well, pay attention, please. When I awoke a few hours later, I decided I needed a change of scenery. The window seats were in place and the windows widely open, so I delicately leapt onto the cream-colored sheepskin seat, nestled down into the soft fur, the wind blowing gently onto me, the sun shining, and . . . Wait a minute! Wind blowing what onto me? Oh, my God . . .
You guessed it. The turkey didn’t exactly agree with the doggy princess, and when taking a stroll in the great outdoors, she decided to attend to her distress—right under my window!! I sniffed the air: dégoûtante. I opened one eye and lifted my head carefully: it was right under my window. Wafting up through the window. I hate dogs.
Something had to be done, and I was just the Feisty Feline to do it. I am strong, I am big, I am Tyrone the Mighty!
But, first, about that danger thing. What, exactly, do you mean? Not that I’m scared, mind you. But one must remain informed if one is to be prepared. Just in case. Not that I’m worried. Or even too interested. Yawn . . .
But could you be a little more specific, mon petit fleur? Ever yours in readiness and waiting,
Tyrone the Terrific
TO: TyroneTheGreat
FROM: CleoTheDivine
SUBJECT: Fractured Femurs and Fantasies
My Dearest Tyrone,
I know you are the bravest, strongest, most valiant feline on the planet. Nobody does feats of derring-do like you do derring-do, dear. Which reminds me—you also have the most adorable derrière. But I fear I’m getting off track. As hard as it is to accept, you must believe me when I tell you that you have put way too much trust in your mommy. Yes, I agree she gets high marks for providing superior chow. Additional bonus points for very clean litter and lots of comfy pillows and nifty hiding places. I know you see her as a combination of Mother Teresa, Jane Goodall, and Betty White. I, on the other hand, see her as a combo of Norman Bates, Hannibal Lecter, and Cruella De Vil. Why, you ask, am I so harsh on your mommy? I haven’t seen you since my terrible accident, but I’ve had a great deal of time to reflect on that horrible disaster. Alas, I’m afraid I can come to no other conclusion than it was your very own mommy who was responsible for my near demise.
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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 13, 2012

    Loves it.


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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 15, 2001

    The Cat's Pajama's for sure

    First let me say, I am a dog-lover and break out in hives just thinking about cats:). Cleo and Tyrone surely 'purred' their way into my heart. It's laugh-out-loud humor,'You are the syrup on my pancakes'. Cleo and Tyrone share their views on peotry, cinema, medical science,fine dining and dogs via emails.They view themselves as Romeo and Juliet of the feline world,blaming their owners for keeping them apart. Loopy Old Chester, the poor pooch that has to put up with these felines, will capture the heart of all dog and cat lovers. I hope that Linda and Virginia make Cleo and Tyrone into a series, maybe even have them solve a cyber-crime?

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