Tag Archive: cats

Review by C.J. Bunce

Whether you’ve owned domesticated cats your entire life and may even be an expert, or you’re experiencing your first fur baby, any lover of feline family members can use the reminders or new tips offered in Laura J. Moss and Dr. Lynn Bahr’s new book, Indoor Cat: How to Enrich Their Lives and Expand Their World Just like Barbara Woodhouse preached “there are no bad dogs” in her famous books on dogs, Moss and Bahr, too, believe a cat that gets proper time and attention can be happy living indoors with its people, and maybe even other cats, and in turn keep everyone else happy, too.  Indoor Cat is available this month here at Amazon.  The authors wrote the book during the pandemic, and it shows.  Many of the suggestions are a result of being “cooped-up” inside for humans, and having empathy from those feelings for our comrades who never get to experience the outdoors.

Continue reading

“Quite a lovely animal, captain.  I find myself strangely drawn to it.”  — Mr. Spock

The android Data had a ginger tabby cat named Spot in Star Trek: The Next Generation.  Mr. Barclay had a white Persian cat named Neelix on Voyager.  Chief Miles O’Brien had a white and gray cat (with an abundance of hair) named Chester on Deep Space Nine.  Scott Bakula was a cool cat who starred as Captain Archer on Enterprise (plus there was that Shore Leave Planet cat thing).  The ever-present Mr. Spock dug cats, famously being drawn to the sleek black cat Sylvia on the original series.  And the animated series even featured a cat as a bridge officer with its Lt. M’Ress.

A crew being upstaged by a fantastic cat is a rite of passage, a staple, a linchpin in the world of Star Trek.

Enter the latest: a Maine coon cat named Grudge.  Star Wars has The Book of Boba Fett, and this week, Star Trek Discovery has The Book of Grudge, available now here at Amazon.

Continue reading

As ardent fans of Stranger Things, Victorian mysteries, and all things Millie Bobby Brown (Intruders, Godzilla: King of Monsters), we were indeed excited to see the preview for Netflix’s new Enola Holmes, based on Nancy Springer’s novels for elementary (ahem) schoolers.  Teenager Enola Holmes is the much younger sister of two famous older brothers, Mycroft (Sam Claflin, My Cousin Rachel) and Sherlock (Henry Cavill, The Man from U.N.C.L.E.).  When their unconventional mother (Helena Bonham Carter, Alice in Wonderland, Harry Potter series) disappears, Enola sets off to track her down, much to the chagrin of her siblings.  Proving she’s ever bit as clever as her brothers, Enola (naturally) stumbles into a mystery.

The direct-to-Netflix film looks to be chock full of delightful Victoriana, and the source material is a fun twist on the Sherlock story.  We love seeing Milly Bobby Brown with her natural English accent.

And if you think this trailer looks like fun, allow me to point out even more diverting Victorian mysteries featuring an irrepressible young sleuth you’ll surely also enjoy.  My own new novels, Premeditated Myrtle and How to Get Away with Myrtle (currently an Amazon #1 New Release!) are being published October 6, in a rare two-book launch event extravaganza (to quote a publisher of our acquaintance).  Twelve-year-old Myrtle Hardcastle has an unconventional obsession with criminology and a passion for justice… and a Highly Opinionated Feline Sidekick.  Netflix Life lists the Myrtle Hardcastle Mysteries as part of its “7 Books to Read if You Like Enola Holmes on Netflix.”

Here’s the trailer for Netflix’s Enola Holmes:

Begin by getting your first fix of Victorian sleuthing with Enola Holmes on Netflix September 23, and check out my new mystery series October 6, at Amazon and other fine booksellers.

Elizabeth C. Bunce / mystery novelist / borg contributor

Everyone keeps something on their desk to distract them from what they are supposed to be doing.  Whether at your home or office, this includes photographs, and probably little oddities that have a message or memory only you understand.  Miniature Groot from Guardians of the Galaxy?  Check.  USB drive that is shaped like a Game of Thrones house symbol?  Check.  A shiny medal with ribbon, but you can’t remember what you won?  Check.  That plastic… thing?  Check.  Now publisher Running Press has a new desk ornament for your favorite cat fan.

It’s the Zen Garden… Litter Box.

It’s not for your cats.

I had a zen garden on my office desk credenza as a lawyer for 20 years.  On conference calls, it was easy for my hands to hover over to it and rake some new design among the shiny rocks while strategizing through the next work problem.  This sand garden fits in your hand–it’s a black plastic sand box, complete with sand, a wooden rake, some rocks, and two cats (if you ever played the game Pig Mania or Pass the Pigs, you could pull the pigs out of the box and they’d match the size of these little cats).  It’s a mash-up of the traditional zen garden or Japanese rock garden, the litter box, and the sandbox your neighbor cat “played in” in your backyard when you were a kid.

But why?  Zen gardens are a traditional way to reduce stress, improve your focus, and develop a sense of well-being.  Life is stressful, work is stressful, plus what brings down blood pressure better than cats?

Continue reading

Merry Christmas!

It’s that time of year again, time to take a look forward at what movies should be on your radar for 2019.  Are you going to see them all?  Heck no.  These are the genre films we think borg readers will want to know about to make their own checklists for the coming year–and they are only the films we know about so far.  We pulled 78 of the hundreds of films that have been finalized or are in varying stages of final production, slated for next year’s movie calendar.

What looks to top the list for most fanboys and fangirls?  The last of the nine films in the Star Wars saga.  Captain Marvel, Avengers: Endgame, and Spider-Man: Far From Home.  Shazam! is DC’s contribution.  Quentin Tarantino returns to movies to direct Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, and Martin Scorsese is back with an all-star cast in The Irishman (on Netflix).  M. Night Shyamalan finishes his dark superhero trilogy with GlassArnold Schwarzenegger and Linda Hamilton return in TerminatorJordan Peele is back with another horror film with Us.

Do you like sequels?  This is your year.  Another Men in Black, X-Men, Shaft, Happy Death Day, Lego Movie, Hellboy, John Wick, Kingsman, Jumanji, The Secret Life of Pets, How to Train Your Dragon, Fast and the Furious, Zombieland, Addams Family, Charlie’s Angels, Godzilla, Shaun the Sheep, Annabelle,and Stephen King’s It and Pet SemataryDisney is trying to get you to move into your local theater with another Toy Story, Aladdin, Dumbo, Frozen, and Lion King–all in one year.  Yep, lots and lots of sequels are coming.

Some films don’t have locked-in release dates yet.  Amazon Prime and Netflix haven’t revealed dates for these 2019 releases:

  • Martin Scorcese’s The Irishman, a film about Jimmy Hoffa starring Robert DeNiro, Al Pacino, Joe Pesci, Harvey Keitel, Ray Romano, and Bobby Cannavale (Netflix)
  • The Kid, a Western biopic with Chris Pratt, Ethan Hawke, Dane DeHaan, and Vincent D’Onofrio (Netflix)
  • The Man Who Killed Hitler Then Bigfoot, starring Sam Elliott (Netflix)
  • 6 Underground, a Michael Bay film starring Ryan Reynolds, Ben Hardy, Dave Franco, and Mélanie Laurent (Netflix)
  • The Last Thing He Wanted, Dee Rees directs Anne Hathaway, Ben Affleck, Willem Dafoe, and Toby Jones; journalist quits newspaper job to become an arms dealer for a covert government agency (Netflix)
  • The Laundromat, Steven Soderbergh directs Meryl Streep, Gary Oldman, Antonio Banderas, James Cromwell, about the Pentagon Papers (Netflix)
  • Radioactive, Rosamund Pike plays Marie Curie, with Anya Taylor-Joy (Amazon)

Some of these films will have revised release dates, or get pushed to 2020.

So grab your calendar and start making your plans–here are the movies you’ll want to see in 2019 (and many you might not):


Glass – Superhero, M. Night Shyamalan trilogy part 3, stars Bruce Willis, Samuel L. Jackson, James McAvoy; continues where Unbreakable and Split left off – January 18.

Serenity – Mystery/Thriller, stars Anne Hathaway, Jason Clarke, Djimon Hounsou, Jeremy Strong, Diane Lane; sorry, no relation to Firefly – January 25.

King of Thieves – Heist Comedy, stars Jim Broadbent, Tom Courtenay, Charlie Cox, Michael Gambon, and Ray Winstone – January 25.

Continue reading


Sometimes your friendly comic book store owner knows just the right book to recommend to you, and the latest is Captain Ginger, one of the first comic books from the new comics publisher, AHOY Comics.  One of the improvements on the medium is thick 40-page issues, with a title story here making up 35 of those pages.  It’s not too late to climb aboard the new series, and Issue #2 is scheduled to arrive this Wednesday.

Take Planet of the Apes, but swap cats for apes.  Then get rid of the planet and humans and send them off into outer space like the reboot of Battlestar Galactica.  Add cat behavior, cat quirks, and cat community relationships and you’ll have a good idea what to look for in Captain Ginger.  The monthly series is written by Stuart Moore (Marvel’s Civil War) with pencil artwork by June Brigman (Jessica Jones, Power Pack)and inks by Roy Richardson (Flash), and colors by Veronica Gandini (Mice Templar).


Follow the exploits of Captain Ginger, an orange cat selected to lead the cats against a perplexing menace, as he tries to keep his crew aboard when they want to stay on the first planet they find that has rats, cushions, blankets, and radiators?  Will they all take a nap when they should be in battle?  Can Captain Ginger keep everyone from going outside the litter box?

Issue #1 includes a prose story by comics legend Grant Morrison, “The Electric Sky Bear That Inspired Ben Franklin,” with two panels illustrated by Phil Hester, and a Too Much Coffee Man cartoon strip by Shannon Wheeler.  Above are the covers for the first four issues, and here are a few interior pages from Issue #1:

Continue reading

In Memoriam

If you’ve read borg.com very long you’ve probably noticed several memorials posted for dogs that have passed away this summer.  That’s because I raised a greyhound and then found a coonhound along the interstate in 2001 and brought her home to find she was pregnant.  I (I, meaning my wife and I) then raised her nine puppies to adulthood.  The last of these passed away this summer, Jade–who died a few weeks after her 16th birthday and Jasmine about two months ago.  I challenge anyone to find anything more fulfilling and rewarding than raising dogs or cats as family members (and no, I am not recommending eleven at once, but I had the space and time and could afford it).  Like every worthwhile pursuit, good things come with trade-offs.  If you raise your dogs or cats well they grow old.  With old age comes loss and grief since animals don’t live as long as humans.  But you do it anyway.

My wife and I were incredibly lucky that a little stray kitten walked up my driveway a little more than two years ago on a stormy rain-soaked evening.   The prospect of bringing a stray kitten into a house where we had five dogs at the time was not really in the cards.  But she kept coming back and became a wonderful friend.  I found her sleeping in my irises every day and she’d greet me when I came home from work, audibly, cheerily.  We’d sit on the porch together.  It wasn’t until this neighborhood cat was sleeping out in a neighbor’s driveway, behind a car on a 103 degree humid summer day in 2016 that I decided I had to bring her in to get her into some air conditioning, at least for the daytime hours.  Someone had her front claws removed (never do this) and I saw her one night being bullied by another stray cat.  One too many nights outside and after getting used to her inside with the dogs more and more, we just kept her inside, for good, got her check-ups, vaccines, etc.  Surprisingly she helped our old dogs Flint, Jade, and Jasmine in their final months, providing an immense presence of youth, vitality, and sheer joy to what had become a hospice home for elder dogs.  Our new cat–Sophie–became Jadie’s kitty, and Jade showed her the ropes.  And Sophie did more, helping my wife and me move forward when our last dog passed away.  Sophie completely saved us.  And the last two months were extraordinary.


As the emergency room doctor said last night, “Sometimes you’re dealt a bad deck of cards medical science doesn’t even understand.”  After a routine procedure Saturday morning turned into complications, Sophie passed away last night.  She will be missed by this house that has seen far too much despair in the past several years.  Sophie was social and talked cheerily like no other cat I have ever seen.  She became our best friend, someone who chatted us awake every day, and was a great playmate, and partner in everything.  Growing up primarily with dogs, I never figured I’d ever have my own cat–I just never considered it–and she made me a believer, sitting on my lap as I watched TV, being the bright point of every day.  But she only got 70 days of exclusive focus and attention after Jasmine left us.  She was only about four years old.  I find myself down twelve kids and scratching my head asking, “how is it I am supposed to stay positive?”  So in an effort to turn the worst day I ever had into something positive: please use this moment as a reminder to go love on your cat and/or dog or other kid or friend or spouse.  Don’t squander time.  I thought I’d have at least another 10-15 years with Sophie.  And if you don’t have a cat or dog, several thousand were abandoned in the floods and fires across America this year and need homes.  If you can afford it and you’re willing to provide the attention and time every day that any other family member would need–and deserves–then please check out hurricane and flood rescues and Western fire rescues–and remember any other animals in your local animal rescues that you save will clear rooms for more waiting to be placed into a good home.  The world around us is often bleak and dreary.  So consider making your life brighter and make their lives brighter at the same time by bringing someone new into your home.

Several charities are out there in need of your help, too.   Like these:


Alley Cat Allies

Animal Rescue League

Best Friends Animal Society Sanctuary

Frankie’s Friends

Great Plains SPCA

Humane Society

Old Friends Senior Dog Sanctuary


Wayside Waifs

Thanks, as always for reading.

C.J. Bunce

%d bloggers like this: