One of the things I have in common with many of my writers is a love of cats. I lived with either cats or dogs (or both) throughout my childhood. In fact, very few years of my life have been without pets. And I’ve lived with cats nonstop for the past 20 years.

Cats are curious creatures. They live life on their own terms. They don’t do anything they don’t want to do, and they put their survival above all else. We can learn a few things from cats about putting ourselves first sometimes.

But when a cat gives affection, it’s an event. Purring, rubbing, rolling around. To me, nothing is more relaxing that having a cat curled up on my lap or by my side. The fact that the cat deigns to share my space means I have achieved a very special status in their life.

The Secret Lives of Cats cover rev 2016 webBestselling author Kristine Kathryn Rusch knows exactly what I mean. She has written a number of cat stories, from fantasy to mystery, and I have no doubt will write many more. Her free fiction this week is one of them, and it’s one of my favorites: “The Secret Lives of Cats.”

Part of the reason this story speaks to me so strongly is that I grew up on a farm with a number of barn cats. As a child, I would wonder where they would go and what adventures they would have during the day. I’d tell myself stories about what they had been up to.

In “The Secret Life of Cats,” Homer Ziff wonders the same thing. So he ties a camera to their collars and records their comings and goings. But what he finds illuminates not just cat behavior, but human behavior as well. Here’s the synopsis:

Homer Ziff wanted to know how his outdoor cats spent their days, so he attached a tiny digital camera to their collars—and discovered a mystery in his own backyard.

Winner of the Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine Readers Choice Award for 2008, this Anthony-nominated story was one of the most talked about stories of the year.

Five Feline Fancies cover webSo, why not start your week out with an amateur sleuth of the feline variety. It’s free after all. And if you like this story, we have plenty of other cat tales for you to choose from. You can start with Five Feline Fancies and go from there.

Here’s to a purrfectly entertaining week.

Allyson Longueira is publisher of WMG Publishing. She is an award-winning writer, editor and designer.