Here at Kiki’s Castle Independent Press, LLC, we are lucky enough to share our lives with several feathered and furry companions that provide connection, motivation, and inspiration. All of them are beloved members of our families and each helps us to be more creative and productive in their own way.
Little-o, who came to us in May of 2022, was the first member of the current budgie flock. This little guy remembers which streaming services his favorite shows are on, often more accurately than the humans in the household, and hates cliffhangers, which is a conundrum because his current favorite show is Doctor Who. He is the smallest and most outspoken of the flock, with intense opinions on most things, many of which he knows nothing about. His clearest spoken word is “bulls**t.”
Pancakes & Berries—Matriarch and Patriarch
Pancakes (yellow) and Berries (blue) joined us in January of 2023. They are parents to Milo and Nori, pictured below. Pancakes, the yellow bird, is drawn to “pew pew” shows but has a disdain for whiny characters. Her clearest words are “pretty, love, beautiful”—which she learned from her husband whispering in her ear—and “Bo Katan.” Berries dislikes shows with “bad boyfriends” and is the only one of the flock who laughs at all the dad jokes Penny’s husband tells.
Nori—Networking Guru in training (left)
Milo—Collaborator and Body Doubling Buddy (right)
Nori, the first hatched of the two siblings, emerged on February 9, 2023. This little feather baby is a cheery and outgoing little bird who loves the Muppets, musicals, and taking part in online meetings. Nori’s specialties are noticing things during online meetings and keeping Penny engaged during boring tasks.
Milo was hatched on February 11, 2023. This little bird is quiet and studious compared to their sibling, loves the TV show Milo Murphy, and documentaries about space, technology, and making movies. Despite being the youngest member of the flock, Milo is the only bird calm and collected enough to hang with Penny on projects that require major focus.
Heather’s Hound, Blue—Personal Trainer
Blue is author Heather Hein’s bestest boy. At home, this gentle giant can usually be found either sitting quietly at his favorite writer’s side or bounding eagerly to the door to greet any guests that might arrive. He’s always ready to join Heather for a stroll around the neighborhood or on a hike through Colorado’s gorgeous wild areas, where he can stretch his legs and get some mountain fresh air. (It doesn’t hurt that he also gets away from the cat.)
Penny’s Pupper, Brigid—Cuddle Bug
Brigid is author Penny Leigh Sebring’s communicative and cuddly canine. She’s a silly beastie who always has something to say, often in relation to food and our unwillingness to share our meals with her. Over the last eleven years and counting, this half-herding dog has also amassed a large collection of stuffed animals she is very proud of. Penny can always count on Brigid for an unusual conversation or an impromptu cuddle or play session.
Feline Family Members
The Persnickety One—Katie Cat
The authors of Kiki’s Castle each have a cat as well. Penny’s cat, Katie Cat, is a bit particular about certain things. She only eats one type of food, only likes one kind of treat, and absolutely will dump her water bowl on your feet if there is any cat hair in it at all. She spends most of her daytime hours sleeping on the dog’s favorite things, and the evening hours curled up on the office loveseat or her cat perch—resting up for the thirty to sixty-minute window each night in which she rockets around the house like a nuclear-powered pinball without a machine.
The Hell Cat—Sylvester
Sylvester is the perfect cat for a horror writer like Heather. Rather than living up to the name “domestic shorthair” this feline is truer to his wild ancestors—a dyed-in-the-wool hunter and killer. Sylvester takes his role seriously, ensuring that his favorite author is consistently supplied with a wide variety of tiny, fresh corpses and bone-chilling rabbit screams. It’s all in pursuit of artistic authenticity. It has nothing whatsoever to do with the terror it invokes in the other residents of his home. No. Really. It’s about the art.