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Author Pet Of The Month
Ali Low

Author Ali Lowe and Jaffa
Ali is a Sydney-based writer, transplanted from the UK who landed on our shores for a year of adventure, which turned into 15. With a degree in ancient history and chasing David Beckham around Elton John’s garden while working for Hello magazine in her CV you instantly know Ali is a writer with a lot of material to draw on. She brilliantly portrayed upwardly mobile beachside suburbanites in her first novel The Trivia Night. Her follow up The Running Club also featured a darkly funny world of intrigue in the burbs. I hate comparing writers but if you like Sally Hepworth and early Liane Moriarty, Ali’s books will be right up your reading alley (no pun intended, well, maybe a little). She has a new release due next year called The School Run which is on my looking-forward-to list of naughty but nice. Ali herself, is incredibly nice, unlike some of her misbehaving characters. Over to Ali…and Jaffa.


Part 1. Author Questions. The Fast Five.

Serial pet monogamist? Or ménage a pet?

I’m a dog monogamist, but I have two cats. Sonny is a two year-old chocolate Labrador and I feel guilty not making him the focus of this piece but my tabby cat Jaffa was my first fur baby and he’s on my lap at this very moment, so he’s going to get the glory.

Q2. Set the scene. – where do you hang out with your pet/s?

Whenever I sit down, Jaffa jumps on my lap. Which means we hang out in the daytime in my study, and in the evening on the sofa. When I sit cross-legged on my bedroom floor to put on make-up, he’ll sit in my lap.

Q3. Pet character profile
Jaffa is thirteen and a regular, run-of-the-mill domestic shorthair. We got him from a woman who rescues cats on death row and rehomes them. He was tiny and riddled with fleas when we bought him home as a kitten in 2010. He is incredibly grumpy and hates every single human being except me. With me, it’s a case of obsession. He climbs on me, purrs, kneads my skin and drools on me. My husband thinks it’s weird.

Q4. Muse, distraction, or disruptor?
I’m used to him being on my lap when I write, but if the dog comes in to the study to visit, it all goes wrong. Jaffa will hiss, the dog will bark and sentences will be forgotten.

Q5. Best pet in a book?
Marley in Marley & Me. I recently watched the film with my kids and we all laughed and cried our way through it.

Part 2.

1. Favourite treat.
Jaffa loves cheese. When I get the grater out he comes running. He also likes to lick the top of the olive oil bottle, which is very strange and gross.

The human eats a lot of honeyed cashews when she’s typing.

2.Their Worst habit.

Hissing at the dog whenever he comes within a five metre radius.

She keeps allowing other animals to join the family – first another kitten, then three small noisy humans, and then a large brown dog.

3.Their best quality

Jaffa is very affectionate and it’s the loveliest thing to curl up with him and read a book. If I’m in bed sick, he knows and he’ll stay close.

The human speaks in a silly voice and asks me things like, ‘Who’s mummy’s baby?’ and it makes me feel nice.

4.Bedroom truths.
Jaffa used to sleep in our bed but we had to chuck him out because he got into the habit of climbing on my husband’s head at 5.30am asking to be fed. Now the dog sleeps in our room but only because we don’t trust him to sleep anywhere else in the house – he’s too prone to eating things he shouldn’t.

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