A Forgotten Sale And An HR Complaint

First, being a Derp Canoe, I completely forgot I had a sale on on Dipped Stripped and Dead. Anyway, It’s up…. I think till the 12th, but don’t quote it, and it’s 99c.

Yes, new one is in the works, and honestly, I think I’m getting to the point my health is more reliable, and book will be out …. March-ish?

Dipped, Stripped and Dead

A Dyce Dare Mystery
When she was six, Dyce Dare wanted to be a ballerina, but she couldn’t stop tripping over her own feet. Then she wanted to be a lion tamer, but Fluffy, the cat, would not obey her. Which is why at the age of twenty nine she’s dumpster diving, kind of. She’s looking for furniture to keep her refinishing business going, because she would someday like to feed herself and her young son something better than pancakes.
Unfortunately, as has come to be her expectation, things go disastrously wrong. She finds a half melted corpse in a dumpster. This will force her to do what she never wanted to do: solve a crime.
Life is just about to get crazy… er… crazier. But at least at the end of the tunnel there might be a relationship with a very nice Police Officer.

The Other THING… Well, I got up late, and I need to assemble some furniture, and unpack some stuff, and finish curtains and setup the Holiday decor, before the neighbors escalate from dirty looks to knocking at the door, so I’m going to share with you a disturbing problem I’m having with someone I share workspace with.


December 3 2022

Dear HR Department of Hoyt Publishing,

I have spent the last year tolerating Inappropriate Displays of Affection at my work place, ranging to being interrupted in my work for a kiss, to being hugged and groped in lunch and recreation space.

Note, since this happens with D. M. Hoyt it’s not so much a complaint, as by way of a brag.

However, I wish to lodge a complaint against our junior co-worker, Mr. Havelock Vetinary Fuzzy Hoyt.

He’s always been mildly inappropriate, in that he tends to jump on my lap and walk across my keyboard while I’m working, as well as walking around my legs screaming if I refuse to stop my work and pay attention to him.

However, recently, he’s developed more disturbing behaviors. To wit, he’s started inappropriately and repeatedly licking me at all times. Mostly he licks my hands, but more recently he’s started licking any portion of me with exposed skin. Since I don’t wish to work in a beekeeper’s outfit, this has become disruptive.

In addition, he has started to pet my face and particularly my lips with his litter-tainted paw, which strikes me as a work-place safety issue, since that paw can’t be clean.

While I understand the limited brain capacity of Mr. Havelock V F Hoyt and all allowances must be made, I request that you approach him and tell him I cannot work under these conditions.


Sarah A. Hoyt

December 5, 2022

Dear Ms. Hoyt,

We have contacted Mr. Havelock V. F. Hoyt and explained your complaints, to which he tended the following justification: Meow.


the HR department.

December 7, 2022

Dear H. R. Department,

I very much doubt that Havlock V. F. Hoyt Meowed. He doesn’t know how to meow, and most of the time carefully says “Meow”. I’ll also point out he has an accent and has been known to insert an H in the middle of mehow so it’s actually mee — h — ow.

This has led to suspicions that he’s actually a very small human in a fur suit.

Also, he’s taken to waking me up in the middle of the night, by licking my foot. This is unendurable.


Sarah A. Hoyt.

December 9, 2022,

Dear Ms. Hoyt,

We’ve investigated your allegations, and regret to inform you Mr. Havelock V. F. Hoyt is in fact a cat, not a tiny human in a fur suit.

His peculiarities appear to derive from the fact he has a brain the size of a walnut, and an over abundance of affectionate disposition. You obviously will have to tolerate him.


The H. R. Department.

December 9, 2022

Dear H. R. Department,

Are you sure? Because he’s now taken to half-hiding behind furniture and watching me very intently.


Sarah A. Hoyt.

December 10, 2022

Dear Ms. Hoyt,

Oh, for heaven’s sake.

Is CAT. Cat is Cat. Live with cat. You love cat.

Stop being a neurotic writer.


The HR Department.

December 10, 2022

Dear H. R. Department,

IS WRITER. Is Neurotic. Can’t stop being writer.
You’re more annoying than Havelock V F Hoyt!

Bah and also pfui,

Sarah A. Hoyt.

93 thoughts on “A Forgotten Sale And An HR Complaint

    1. Loosing an argument with an imaginary HR Department is much worse than loosing one with yourself.

      1. Ummm… Since the imaginary HR Department is “yourself” I’m not quite sure how to parse that… 😉

    1. The Reader talked to himself for 40+ years at worked. When questioned, he responded with ‘don’t worry unless you hear me loose an argument.

      1. Used to have a copy of a “performance report,” that floated around the office. The part I remember went:
        Highly successful: Talks to God
        Fully Successful: Talks to the Angels
        Successful: Talks to self
        Needs improvement: Argues with self
        Unsatisfactory: Loses arguments with self

  1. Havey really must be related to R and C, I swear! Those two have been up to similar things, including keeping me pinned in bed a few times today…

      1. And the floof makes it to where it’s OK when they do it, especially C’s seal point floof!

  2. The Reader thought he had Dipped, Stripped and Dead but after check of Kindle he discovered he was incorrect. He does now. Thanks, Sarah!

  3. Mr. Henry Hayden, Esq., (and how did he acquire a law degree, I want to know! He rivals Havelock for sheer derpitude) has been licking my forearms a ton this past month. No matter how many times I protest.

    1. Truly, the icing on the cake was licking my foot last night, and my wrist today.
      And when I informed him I was going to cook him, he was highly offended and persisted in meowing in an hectoring tone till I apologized.

      1. My first kitty after I left home was a Balinese who would assume the legless position on my chest and purr first thing in the morning. That was fine, but occasionally she’d lick my eyelids.
        YOU WILL get up, quickly, when a cat licks your eyelids.

      2. Threats of Ailurophagy are NOT appreciated even in Jest. Mentions of Moo Shi Kitten, Kitten Parmigiana and Kitten A La King will not be tolerated. Actual noming on felines even as a joke is right out. We are extremely serious animals and do not appreciate being mocked.

        The collected felines of Hoyt’s Huns.

        1. And the k-9 contingent would like to file an amicus that references to Bow-Wow Beef and speculation on whether there are any authentic Korean restaurants within driving distance when minor faux pas, such as treating the garbage can as a smorgasbord, happen are out of order.

        2. At this point, I feel it is incumbent upon me to mention that the cats of the Anonymoose/Seashells collective are Pekoe, Popcorn, and Caramel of fond memory. Clearly we are doing this ailurophagy thing wrong.

          1. Currently only Havey and Val (Havelock Vetinari Fuzzy Hoyt and Valeria Victrix Hoyt.) I wanted a new one, but it is now on hold till we lose Havey, because of the special diet. It won’t hurt 13 year old Val to partake of kidney diet, but it would be terrible for a little one.
            The rainbow bridge gang, most recent to longest-lost are: Greebo, Euclid, Miranda, Dejah Toris (DT), Pixel, Random Numbers, Petronius the Arbiter and Zebbie. All gone, none forgotten. Most missed every day are Greebo and Pixie.

            1. And people want to know why we always shut the bathroom door when we are home alone. Just lucky we have doorknobs not door latches instead (I’d have to lock the dang door). Tj would 100% open the door and just come on in. He does it anyway if the door isn’t latched properly. Tj happens to be a big cat. We’ve had bigger. But even the littlest cat can seem to push the door open if not fully closed. However he hasn’t figure out how to turn round smooth knobs.

        3. His first name, since the gentleman at the golf course told us he had escaped from a shed back of the Vietnamese restaurant, and that “they keep cats there. We don’t know what they do with them” (Yes, I know cat is not part of the Vietnamese Cuisine. But they’ve been in the US two generations and might have caught notions of Chinese medicine) was Chat Mein. Only I insisted he had to have another name.
          And for the record, everyone who meets him noms his ears or talks about doing it. We don’t know why.

          1. The nomming of the ears would make me worried if I were a kitty. Cats seem to have only broad physical humor in their repertoire, things like people slipping on banana peels, they’re a bit leteral otherwise 🙂 .

  4. We haven’t had a cat who licked people skin in ages. We do now. Four of them. It is how 3 of the 4 wake me up in the middle of the night for scratches and pets. The other night I got serial woke up by licking cats taking their turns for the purr pet fest. Oh. If I try to get out of my duties? They bite. They don’t have to break skin for it to Hurt! Dang cats.

  5. Already read Dipped, Stripped, and Dead. Enjoyed it, too.

    My wife’s not an animal lover at all. She made a breakthrough in pet tolerance when she managed to say “Toby! Go away!” to her niece’s schnauzer. Point being that we don’t have any pets now, and despite our daughters’ urging, we aren’t likely to.

    Decades ago, when I still lived at home, we had a cat named Mussorgsky, whom we inherited from my older brother’s roommate. He had one meow that had a particular meaning. If he wanted out into the yard, he’d sit at the door and say “OOUUUUT?”

    Also, if offerred a little milk, he’d emit a delighted gurgle!

    1. We have a furry little guy who sits in front of the door and emits a series of loud, insistent meows that sound uncannily like “I want out.”

      1. We have a 9 year old cat that does that too. She is the unsocial one. Although with the wet weather sitting in, she is now pouting. Well she does go to the door cries, puts a foot out, pulls it back in, glares, and stalks off in a pout.

        Two of the three younger ones (now 2 1/2) meow sounds like an inquiry, “out?” and paw at the slider. They and the third (1 1/2) are allowed out under supervision. With the rain, they are less than thrilled too. The youngest attitude is “are you 2 crazy?” The difference between the three of them are the first two were saved from being feral at 4 weeks, while the 3rd was on the streets for at least 6 months (we thought she was only 3 months or so because she was so skinny and small, but she had all her adult teeth). She knows what “outside” is like.

    2. Mom likes animals. She just doesn’t like animals to live at her house. She doesn’t like fur all over. One sister is worse. Mom at least lets our animals (okay the dog, the cats disappear when people show up at our house) to say hello and check her out. My sister won’t put up with that. Ironically, 3 of 4 sister’s daughters now have at least a dog. Big dogs. My dog is small in comparison. The 4th daughter would have one, but currently they are in an apartment and travel out of country for work a lot. I just smile and say nothing.

    3. I had a Maine Coon who 1) felt it was his duty to Inform me when he was leaving my personal space and 2) had separate but related noises for “I am leaving via trot” and “I am leaving via JUMP”. I don’t know why the distinction mattered to him, but it did.

  6. One dares not ask nor even contemplate where lunch or (horrors) recreation space is. Excuse me whilst I retreat from the sharing boundary.

  7. And this is why the ‘exchange of letters’ format will never die.

    Sounds like you are feeling ‘better’, for various usages of ‘better’.

  8. Dear HR Department,

    Would you please explain to our children that the Innapropriate Displays of Affection are a perk of the job?


  9. I see that the first volume of our gracious hostess’s Barbarella run is coming to trade paperback this January, for those who have been waiting. This is listed elsewhere as “The Center Cannot Hold”, but isn’t called that on Amazon, for reasons that surpass my understanding.

  10. You should have our Earnie. (That’s a Henny Youngman joke.) I posted a vignette of his nightly routine on FB.

    1. If she is ignored at 0300, Athena T. Cat meows at closed doors until one opens. Or until I walk around and lead her to the open door . . . She’s almost as bad as GiganCat. One day I experimented, and I closed the bathroom door but left the other bedroom door open. It was 0600 before he realized that the open door was, indeed, open.

      Nice cat, but not a smart cat.

      1. I got the Balinese from a friend with multiple cats. Her arrival was delayed because my friend accidentally left her free in the house with the other kitties when she came into heat…including a handsome Persian tom named Shen-Shen. Shen-Shen followed her all over the house, but apparently never quite figured out what he was supposed to do. She came to me spayed and still a virgin. So was Shen-Shen, whose owner bestowed the nickname of Sht-Sht on him in disgust.
        Handsome, but not very bright.

  11. Don’t know if anyone else is paying attention to the International Keep-Away tournament, but our gracious hostess’ home country was pushed out today.

    By Morocco, of all the all…

  12. You know that you can’t win any argument with HR using facts and logic. They must necessarily support the oppressed thumbless employees against the human supremacists, and remind those supremacists that their proper relationship to the thumbless felines is as staff.
    And despite your baseless complaints about the allegations of misbehavior of your feline co-workers, when they are merely acting in a manner consistent with their cultural traditions, consider that you could instead, be working with lemurs. HT to Alma.

      1. Sounds like it. My interpretation is amongst cats licking is often friendly grooming. Good news is Havelock believes you are a fellow feline. It could be that Havey senses you have been stressed of late and feels that a little grooming is what you need to be more relaxed and pay more attention to the REALLY important things ( Like Havelock). Only suggestion I might make is with your tendency to skin issues you might want to discreetly (lest you offend Havelock) wipe the area down, cat saliva can be very irritating as it contains compounds that are antibacterial in nature but to which almost all humans are a little allergic. This saliva on their dander is the main allergen for cat allergies.

  13. I’ve the same type issues with a fifteen lb Bolognese that doesn’t know if he is a dog or a cat.!

    1. See, Havey is only 10 lbs because he’s been ill. He used to be sixteen. BUT he’s a miniature toddler in a fur suit. The thing about meowing wasn’t a joke. He doesn’t know how to meow. He SAYS meow. And he aspirates in the middle sometimes.

      1. Problem with “Squirt ” my Bolognese which is a variety of maltese dog. That thinks he’s a cat. Wrestles with our tabby cat which is about the same size. Loves his kitty girlfriend. Constantly licks and cleans her nose to tail. He took over her cat box and will not use the outdoors either to go poo. But uses the outdoors for marking every bush in the backyard with his pee , in that sense he is a normal dog at least. Poor cat has to go outside for potty duties , but in an extreme emergency will still use her cat box.
        Squirt is our second Maltese type dog and loves all people and other animals.
        Dinky was our first Maltese , she was normal size at 6 lbs. Loved people too , but hated any and all other animals. Even when she saw another animal on TV , she’d attack the screen !

  14. I’ve had a couple cats who thought licking was affectionate. One, Hobbes whose saliva was like fire when he licked me and would cause me to need antihistamines. He also sucked his tail which made it a wet smelly nasty whip (he lashed it constantly) as he was kind of neurotic.
    Others liked to give love nips, One Spike would nip the instep of my foot. He would approach my foot and telegraph his intent by slowly opening his mouth and moving towards the instep. I’d say no and he’d sheepishly pull back his head and close his mouth as if to say “I wasn’t doing anything…”. One current feline Hiccup will try to join you while you are using the facilities. He then proceeds to come over “Sneak” around the commode and then pinch your exposed thigh or posterior. This behavior is NOT appreciated. It is amazing how much we put up with for these silly little creatures. It also makes it clear that no matter how appealing a larger wild feline might seem the thought of a mountain lion or tiger giving love nips seems downright hazardous.

    1. Pixel broke me of going barefoot. If he was hungry and judged I’d been ignoring him, he’d put my whole big toe in his mouth. This shouldn’t even be possible, and it was the most bizarre feeling ever.
      Greebo, very rarely would give me “kisses” — barely touching his tongue to my arm. This was in moments of great affection and often made me tear up. Valeria who is almost certainly his sister or niece does the same.
      ALL of them think my closing the door while in the bathroom is alarming. Before Greebo and Euclid died in 2020, I would often be in the bathroom, watching four sets of paws under the door trying to open it, while the cats desperately meowed outside. “MOOOOOM, We don’t know what’s going on in there, but we want to saaaaaave you.” So, exactly like my boys before the age of six or seven. (To them I’d yell back “Potty is a lonely business.” Repeated when they went to the bathroom followed by their entire playgroup. Kids are SO WEIRD. “Potty is not social hour.”)

      1. One of our current cats(Stoick) will literally escort me everywhere in the house(including the bathroom(s) ) if my wife and elder daughter are out. It’s as if he’s saying “I lost track of two of the people with thumbs that can open cat food, I’m NOT losing you…”. He is NOT the butt nipper…That’s my little void baby Hiccup.

  15. “something better than pancakes.”

    Wait, what?

    On a serious note, I enjoy all the Dare novels and look forward to more. Not sure if I own them all or read them on Kindle Unlimited, but since I cancelled KU I’ll probably buy them all when the next one comes out.

  16. You are lucky not to have the 90 pound “little puppy lap dog” who protects my daughter in law around. He has a very large and drooly-coated tongue, and if he knows you don’t like being covered in slobber, just does a “drive-by” on your elbow when he sees you are distracted in the opposite direction. Bending forward within 200 yards of him is not recommended unless you enjoy having your face slimed. He is very fast. The only reason he lives is that he is also very cute and loyal, and scared of the dark.

    1. I believe she’s gotten the rights back, and they’re being formatted/reviewed for re-release– not out yet because the slow and steady makes it so they actually get NOTICED by the Amazon Bots.

      1. They are released. They are in kindle. They’re $4.50 each. I have no clue what he means. (And I can’t answer him because word press.) I mean, I put them out years ago. They need to be fixed, etc now I have atticus, and released in paper. BUT they are on kindle. I literally don’t know what he means.

            1. Yep, but since I knew that I had them all, I didn’t even look at the titles, just hit “end” and went “oh! Huh. That’s strange, but I see what he’s saying.”

  17. Memo

    From: HR
    To: Ms. Hoyt

    A review of your training file indicates you have not completed your mandatory FSL (Feline Sign Language) training. Which undoubtedly explains your inability to understand Havelock.

    Since he is your immediate supervisor (master being a term we no longer use), it is imperative you complete this training in a timely manner.

    Before annual reviews.


    HR Director Felix (pronoun – cat of color)

    1. he is your immediate supervisor (master being a term we no longer use)

      Prince Tj and Princesses Amber, Lil Bit, and Freeway (Freeway with a *loud ear piercing yowl) agree “master” is no longer used. It is “Royal Highness” and don’t you forget it. Don’t forget the treats either, slaves.

      Got forced to pass that on.

      Forgive me.

      (*) Oh. Wait. She got her head stuck in the mouse cage wheel again … (6 times today!)

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