G is for Griddlebone

G

“Greetings, I am Griddlebone, the first of the Werecats. I was born in Vienna to an ordinary Jewish family and was taken by the Nazis as a teenager. They took me to a laboratory where I met Dr. Weschler.

The scientist merged my essence with that of a street tabby and created more than he bargained for. I rose up that night – I tripled my size, attacked my captors, and escaped into the night.

I took refuge in an empty warehouse on Glocken Street. From this headquarters I conducted raids on the Nazi facilities and rescued other werecats.

You can read my full story in Griddlebone and look out from me in Umbrae.”

griddlebone

Other P.A.W.S. characters beginning with G:

Genevieve – Hearing impaired student and animagus sparrow at London P.A.W.S.

Geoffrey Griffin –Raven animagus at New York P.A.W.S. Partner of Oswald.

Gerald – Aviano’s loud-mouthed parrot.

Gerard Schwartz – Josh’s mentor. A werewolf who passed away after succumbing to lycopanthy.

Gordon Pugh –Exchange student from Canada, whose animagus form is a Canada goose, who often gets into trouble by honking first and thinking later. Assistant to Zigmund.

Gromer the Green –Wild Warlock of Wales. Very fond of pea soup. Uncle of Cleona. Today lives in a cul-de-sac in the In-between with his partner, Caradog.

Grisela – Old witch of Manus Wu, guardian of the cotulae. Animagus form, calico cat.

F is for Finny the Werecat

F

“Shalom, I’m Finny the werecat. As far as I know I’m the only werecat left in the above world outside of Umbrae. I was born in Vienna many years ago. I am the granddaughter of the original werecat, Griddlebone.

After the war the werecats of Vienna were hounded by the werewolves of Alistair’s pack. I escaped to Umbrae with my sister, Liza, and we made it all the way to the Holy Land. Sadly Liza didn’t survive for long, but at least she got to see Israel.

Today I live in Safed in the Hakessem compound. The Hakessem family are an old magical family that have an affinity with cats.

I have not changed back into my human form for a long time. I don’t see the point; things are much simply as a cat.

I was recently interviewed by S.A. Gibson – for some reason he found my life interesting. You can read the interview here if you wish.

I have to go now. This has all been very trying and I need a nap.”

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Other P.A.W.S. characters beginning with F:

Fiona Lindsay – Otter animagus. Niece of Clifford.

Professor Forest – Transformation teacher at NY P.A.W.S.

Francis Ryder – Horse shapeshifter from Stables Market in Camden Lock.

Frank –Black cat animagus, assistant to Jeremiah Bumsqueak at NY P.A.W.S.

Frederick –Werewolf progeny of Alistair and Roman’s wife, Ramora.

C is for Celia

C

“Hello my name is Celia. I was born in Vienna in a small apartment in a street called Grosse Spielgasse. I lived there with my mother, Miriam, my father, David, my big brother Issel, my baby sister, Sara, and my cat, Max.

On my tenth birthday the Nazis came and took away my family. Just before they came my mother gave me her necklace with the silver cat charm on it. I didn’t know it at the time but the charm contained a special magic that had been passed on through the generations. That day the charm saved my life and it was the first day I took my cat form – a grey cat with green eyes. Aren’t I beautiful?

You can read more of my story in Umbrae.”

Celia

Other P.A.W.S. characters beginning with C:

Caradog – One of the last Wild Warlocks of Wales. Today lives in a cul-de-sac in the In-between with his long-term partner, Gromer the Green.

Carlotta Hakessem – The Rebbetzin of the Hakessem compound in Safed.

Professor Cedric Ainsworth Jr. MHK (Magician of High Knowledge) – The general studies teacher at the Midwest Institute. He gained his degree at the highly exclusive Salem Institute which specialized in the training of magical educators. An animagus owl, he supervises his classroom by flying up to the ceiling fan where he can both get a good view of his class and take the occasional nap.

Cedric Ainsworth Sr. – Father of Professor Ainsworth. This animagus owl is the learned and kindly librarian at St. Louis P.A.W.S.

Chester Willis – Brown dog animagus who brings Jamie to New York P.A.W.S and becomes his friend.

Clifford Lindsay – Otter animagus. Resident of Central Park Zoo, NY. Manager of the Screaming Foxes.

Cornelius Sprocket – Headmaster at London P.A.W.S. Very fond of rhubarb crumble, especially when served with custard in his Bunnykins bowl.

Cynthia Katz – Miri’s aunt. Dresses formally with a lot of fur. Never wanted children and thought Miri an inconvenience. Has an immaculate house in the fancy Town and Country suburb of St. Louis with a top of the line kitchen that she’s never cooks in.

Cyrus Ryder – Sandy and Sean’s uncle, a weather mage. Brother of Wyatt Ryder. Shapeshifter form, Black stallion.

Remembering Ottilia

When I first started writing P.A.W.S. I knew I would have to at some point go back and write Celia and Max’s story. The characters are dear to me as they are based off my own omama and opapa, who fled from Nazi-ruled Vienna. Here is a picture of them on their wedding day. It’s the same picture I visualized in P.A.W.S. that Miri carries around with her.

OmamaOpapaWeddingDay

My omama and opapa, Finny and Max, made a very difficult decision in 1939. They sent their only child, six-year-old Walter, to England on the Kindertransport. This was my father and without the kindness of the British people who took in child refugees like my dad, I would not exist today to tell my story. His parents, my omama and opapa, were luckier than most. They were able to follow their son and the family was reunited.

Not all of the family survived. Recently I went through the documents and photographs that my father had gathered over the years and found notifications of two family members who had died at the hands of the Nazis.

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One of them was named Ottilia and I use her name in Umbrae in her memory. In my story she survives.

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In these difficult times it is important to remember and retell our history. As George Santayana said, “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.”