- Author: Kate McMurray
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Books. Change. Lives.
Copyright © 2021 by Kate McMurray
Cover and internal design © 2021 by Sourcebooks
Cover illustration by Elizabeth Turner Stokes
Sourcebooks and the colophon are registered trademarks of Sourcebooks.
All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced in any form or by any electronic or mechanical means including information storage and retrieval systems—except in the case of brief quotations embodied in critical articles or reviews—without permission in writing from its publisher, Sourcebooks.
The characters and events portrayed in this book are fictitious or are used fictitiously. Any similarity to real persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental and not intended by the author.
All brand names and product names used in this book are trademarks, registered trademarks, or trade names of their respective holders. Sourcebooks is not associated with any product or vendor in this book.
Published by Sourcebooks Casablanca, an imprint of Sourcebooks
P.O. Box 4410, Naperville, Illinois 60567-4410
Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data
Names: McMurray, Kate, author.
Title: Like cats and dogs / Kate McMurray.
Description: Naperville, Illinois: Sourcebooks Casablanca,  |
Series: Whitman Street Cat Café; 1
Identifiers: LCCN 2020054452 (print) | LCCN 2020054453 (ebook)
Subjects: GSAFD: Love stories.
Classification: LCC PS3613.C58555 L55 2021 (print) | LCC PS3613.C58555 (ebook) | DDC 813/.6--dc23
LC record available at https://lccn.loc.gov/2020054452
LC ebook record available at https://lccn.loc.gov/2020054453
Excerpt from Book Two
About the Author
Sadie the office manager yowled.
“I hear ya,” Lauren said absently as she leaned against the counter and looked at her phone. There was an unusually long line of people waiting for their morning coffee. Lauren was a bit of a spy in her own kingdom as she waited for her own coffee, letting customers go ahead of her as she kept an eye on her staff.
She glanced at her phone and refreshed the page one more time. The photos were still right there on top. Derek and Joanna’s wedding. Derek smiling like he hadn’t in years, Joanna looking ridiculously beautiful, and Lauren wondering how Derek was happy and married now when she was single and surrounded by cats.
Literally. Sadie walked up and rubbed against her leg. The little butterball of a cat had the loudest purr Lauren had ever heard, and she deployed it now, sounding like dice being rolled across a wooden table.
Lauren had read recently that cats likely purred not to display happiness but rather to lure prey into a false sense of security. She leaned down and pet Sadie’s head anyway.
Evan walked into the Whitman Street Cat Café, pushing through the second door and grinning at Lauren like he’d already had three cups of coffee.
“Derek got married this weekend,” Lauren said by way of greeting.
“Aw, honey, I’m sorry,” said Evan. “Anything I can do?”
“Drive to New Hampshire and punch him in the face?”
Evan tilted his head and seemed to consider doing just that. “As fun as that sounds, Derek is kind of a big guy. He might punch back, and I bruise like a peach.”
Lauren laughed despite herself. She shoved her phone in her pocket. “I’m over it. So my ex got married? It’s fine. I’m fine.”
“Attagirl.” Evan looked up at the menu like he didn’t get coffee here nearly every morning.
“Not that I’m sad for the business,” said Lauren, “but where did all these people come from?”
“Didn’t you hear? The Star Café closed last week.”
The Star Café was a great independent coffee shop that had, apparently until last week, been right across the street from the Cat Café. If it had closed, that explained all the people here, the last place that served coffee between Henry Street and the subway entrance on the next block.
“I’m devastated,” Evan continued.
Lauren raised an eyebrow at him. “If anything, this is probably better for your health. There are only so many cups of coffee you can drink per day because you think the barista is cute before the caffeine gives you heart palpitations.”
Evan sighed and leaned against the counter next to Lauren. “Pablo gave me heart palpitations.”
“Any idea what he’s up to now?”
“When I got my caramel vanilla latte on Friday, he told me he’d applied to work at that little indie bookstore a few doors down. Hope springs.”
“Crazy idea, but you could, like, ask him out.”
Evan gasped dramatically. “Where’s the romance in that? We’re performing an elaborate dance.”
“Right.” Lauren glanced behind the counter, where Monique looked panicked as she took another order. “Maybe I should hire him.”
“He makes a mean caramel vanilla latte.”
A bewildered man with light brown hair walked into the café then. Lauren had never seen him before, and she would have noticed. He was so handsome, Evan sucked in a sharp breath.
Lauren had sworn off men ever since Derek had announced his engagement, because she was tired of getting her heart stomped on, but that didn’t mean she couldn’t look. Because this man was pretty foxy. He was tall and fit with neatly trimmed hair, a square jaw, and blue eyes that sparkled even from behind the dark-rimmed glasses he wore.
“Hello,” said Evan.
The man looked around. When Sadie trotted over to investigate him, he looked a little startled by her presence.
“Oh,” he said, catching Lauren’s eye. “I’ve heard about places like this, but I guess it didn’t occur to me that the cats would just be…out.”
“Only Sadie has free rein in the café,” said Lauren. “She’s in charge. She’s also terrified of cars, so she doesn’t try to escape. The rest of the cats are through that door.” She pointed.
Lauren wasn’t really sure what to say next. Evan elbowed her, though, so she said, “Did you want to see the cats, or—”
“I just need a cup