Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Straight Chatting from the Library: Philip Johnsey

Philip Johnsey joins us at The Library bringing us a character interview with Edmund, one of the characters from his book Climb that Fence and Take the Leap. Leave a comment for a chance to win a $50 Amazon gift card. You can see the other stops on the tour here:

Today, we have with us Edmund, one of the characters from the book titled Climb that Fence and Take that Leap. Thanks Edmund for being with us today, we’d love to know a little more about you.

Edmund, tell us a little about how you became part of Phil’s life.

Phil’s girlfriend, Laurie, had a friend who owned my Mom. When my Mom had kittens (me!), she asked Laurie if she wanted one. Of course, she did and begged Phil to let her have one. Phil finally gave in with one condition: they’d take a kitten if they spayed my Mom. Deal!

Laurie wanted a grey kitten, but Phil wanted a white one and picked me out of a photo. He had only seen photos of me and the first time we met was in his home. I remember looking up when the door opened and seeing him for the first time. I knew we’d be great friends.

Great story. Tell us about your name? Where did it come from, do you like it?

Phil named me before he even saw me. He loves mountains and exploring and had just written a paper on Sir Edmund Hillary. He wanted my name to have meaning and yet be something unique. So Edmund it was. I love being connected with such a famous person and who doesn’t love being named after someone whose name begins with Sir.

Tell me what a typical day is for you.

I have it made, really! I get up early with Phil; sometimes I wake him up when I’m hungry. Then after Phil leaves, I take a nap. I have a scratching post, cat bed and toys, but I prefer Phil’s bed or a spot on the floor right in the sun. I just roll over and let the sun warm my belly. Having lived in this house for six years, I’ve pretty much explored all of it.

My favorite part is when Phil comes home and lets us out on the patio. I live for that!! Ahh…the outdoors. When I’m outside, I’m totally alive. I check out everything and always find something interesting. The first thing I do is head over to a little bowl of water that sits under the plants. It’s my favorite place to get a drink. I love to catch dragon flies because it’s such a challenge snatching them out of the air. Course, lizards are my favorite because they’re so plentiful. Phil always makes me turn them loose; the ones he sees me catch anyway. Hahaha

What are your thoughts about being in the book? Is it exciting?

Phil and I have had a fun time together. I remember one of the first things he said to me. “I’m not going to train you to do tricks or anything silly. I want you to just be a cat and have fun”. Little did he know how much havoc I could wreak!!

I’m excited he put me in the book not for the fame, but I’m glad he acknowledges all the things we’ve shared together. I will say it’s really interesting to go from being yelled at for escaping to having a book named for that same behavior. I taught him well. LOL!!

The story about him trying to keep me in the fence is great. I ran him through the ringer on that one! You should’ve seen the look on his face when he’d build something that took hours and in less than a minute, I’d find a way out of it. I loved the challenge and I think he did too. I think that’s why we’re so good together; we both a little competitive and like a challenge.

Tell us your favorite thing to do, besides sleep

My all- time favorite thing is to walk with Phil to the mailbox. As soon as he puts my collar on and opens the gate, I’m like “yippee!” It’s only about a block away, but I’ll run the entire way. It feels great to be outdoors and to just run free. What’s even better is that there is a sandy area with tall plants near the mailbox. I love to dig in the sand and that area is a perfect place to privately do my business. Usually on the way back, I’ll walk right next to him and the neighbors are always amazed. They think it’s pretty cool that we walk together and that I’m behaved enough to not run away.

That’s really a privilege that you get to go outside like that supervised and without a leash. I’m sure many of your friends are envious. In addition to sleeping during the day, do you have any favorite books?

I prefer magazines actually, especially travel ones. They always have such great photos of places I’d like go. As soon as Phil opens up a magazine, I climb right on the page and sit down. I can read so much better that way and then I don’t have to worry about him turning the pages before I’m finished. It annoys him a little, but that’s part of the fun.

Edmund, you’ve shared some fun stories today and we appreciate your time. Is there anything else you’d like to add?

Thank you for the opportunity to be here and share my story. I’m proud of Phil for finally achieving his dream of writing and publishing this book. I watched him the whole way and it was quite a process for him and often more of an inward journey than outward. I will share one fun story before I go.

As a kitten, I was up to my usual antics and one day encountered a blue crab. I was so fascinated by its movements and quickness. I had to get a closer look. It didn’t like that, and tagged me on the head! I screamed and ran for the door. Phil came to the door and just started laughing at me! I was sitting there scared and embarrassed and he’s just laughing at me.

Turns out, I had a crab claw stuck in my fur on top of my head. It looked like I had a big antenna up there. Looking back now, I guess it was pretty funny, but at the time not so much.

Thank you again for the opportunity and keep exploring!!


Raised on a farm and having been a volunteer at different animal rescues, it’s no surprise that his first two published articles were about animals. So it’s only fitting that Phil’s first book is about animals and the connections we share.

From Phil’s first high school job to present, he’s spent his career working with clients, explaining complex ideas in an easy to understand manner. In addition Phil enjoys exploring the world and sharing those adventures via writing, photography, and videography.

Phil’s credits include, multiple certifications, Reiki master, photographer, author of two blogs, author of a travel column, creates short segments for a local T.V. station and whatever else he can get into.

Kirkus Review:


Edmund blasts across the yard against my calls to come in. He gleely runs off and I chase him across the grass only to find a unique butterfly or a sky filled with stars. As soon as I stop and admire, Edmund promptly comes to my side and rubs against me.

Do you ever wonder if there is more to your pet's behavior than meets the eye? Sometimes their antics are more than just random behavior. Can we learn something about ourselves by watching them?

I believe so and Climb that Fence and Take that Leap is a compilation of personal, inspirational animal stories and the life lessons I gleaned from them.

After enjoying these stories, hopefully you'll enjoy more quality time with your furry friend and know what it takes to Climb that Fence and Take that Leap!

Buy the book at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, or Createspace.


  1. Hahah! What a cute interview! THanks for sharing :)

    andralynn7 AT gmail DOT com

  2. Love the interview! Thanks for sharing it and the giveaway. evamillien at gmail dot com

  3. I LOVE character interviews and this one is such a fun twist! I love those trips to the mailbox, too!
    catherinelee100 at gmail dot com

  4. Edmund sounds adorable. Loved this thank you.


  5. Sorry for the late post. I’m playing catch-up here so I’m just popping in to say HI and sorry I missed visiting with you on party day! Hope you all had a good time!
    kareninnc at gmail dot com