By Kimberly Pauley
Find out more about Natalie Ng, the spunky teen whose friends have her chasing a celebrity kidnapper in Kimberly Pauley’s Cat Girl's Day Off.
Could you introduce yourself to us for those who don't know much about you?
Ugh. Okay. I'm Natalie Ng. Nat to my friends and, apparently, Cat Girl to the press. Which, by the way, if you call me that, I'm totally not answering any more questions. For those that haven't already been inundated by the news coverage, I can talk to cats. Everybody else in my family can do really cool stuff like levitate and whatever, but me, I talk to cats. Normally, as you can guess, that's a pretty useless thing unless you're interested in tuna.
Do you have a role model? If so, who is it?
Leonardo da Vinci. I guess that’s kind of cheesy, but he was really cool. Have you seen the stuff he invented? I wish I could draw like that. He was way ahead of his time. I wonder what he’d be inventing if he were alive today? Probably really neat stuff. He was just that kind of guy. He was like the Steve Jobs of olden times. But probably not so nerdy looking.
What do you like to do in your free time, when you’re not out chasing after kidnapped celebrities?
Well, mostly I try to keep my friend Oscar out of trouble. That’s a full time job. But I guess if you mean for fun, I like to read. Mostly fantasy. I don’t really like non-fiction or romance stuff. And I really like to go to museums too, which kind of sounds boring, but I like it. And Chicago has some really great ones.
So. You talk to cats. If you could have chosen any animal to be able to talk to, would you still have chosen cats?
Oh man, I don’t know. I guess so. Dogs and I don’t really have much to say and they’re so into sniffing each other’s butts and rolling in nasty stuff. Any other animal would be hard to find. I mean, what if I could only talk to elephants? I’d have to go to the zoo to have a conversation. On second thought, that might be a good thing.
What’s the most memorable thing a cat has ever said to you?
Memorable? Probably the time Meep told me she’d peed in my sister Emmy’s bed after Emmy had stepped on her tail on purpose. But maybe that’s not the kind of memorable you’re talking about.
How did you first meet your best friends, Oscar and Melly?
At school. I met Oscar first. We were stuck together on a project and we wound up dressing up and running around like crazy people. My mom even had to have a parent-teacher conference after. We picked up Melly later when she transferred to our school. She was a huge tomboy then.
I’ve heard there’s something going on between you and Ian Abbott. True or false?
Well, I hope so. I think something’s going on. But, you know guys. It’s hard to tell sometimes. I need to have a word with his cat, PD. He’s always got the scoop. He’s the one who told me about Ian’s SpongeBob boxers.
What do you want to be when you grow up?
Where in the world would you most like to travel?
I’d really like to go to Italy and especially to Florence and Rome. I’ve heard the Vatican museum in Rome and the Uffizi in Florence are just amazing. Which is really geeky to say. Um, if anyone wants to know why, tell them I want to go for the gelato and hot Italian guys.
Cubs, White Sox, or none of the above?
Cubs, I guess. I don’t really care one way or another. But when you live in the Northern suburbs of Chicago, you’d really better say Cubs or you’re in trouble.
What’s the last thing that made you laugh out loud?
Meep talking in her sleep. Would you believe she totally has a cat crush on Garfield?
What do you feel is your role in your family?
Oh. Wow. Uh…scapegoat? Invisible Girl? Middle child? There’s a whole syndrome with that, you know.
How do you de-stress when you’ve had a tough day?
Reading, mostly. Or just hanging out with Oscar and Melly and watching movies. We watch a lot of movies.
Let’s do some favorites. What’s your favorite…
-Food? Dim sum. Which, yeah, is really Asian of me, but it is awesome. Especially the fried stuff, not like the chicken feet or anything. Those are pretty disgusting. Who wants to eat feet? Of course, I have a cousin who absolutely loves fish eyes, and that’s even worse. Holy gelatinous gumballs.
-Book? That’s tough. It kind of changes depending on my mood, but the last book I really got into was Hourglass by Myra McEntire. I like that the heroine was feisty. And short.
-Kind of music? I kind of hate to admit it, but lately I’m into guy bands. Not like the stupid ones, but stuff like The Maine and Fall Out Boy. Not emo junk though. I don’t like whiny music.
-Place in Chicago? The Field Museum. Definitely.
-Thing about yourself? My favorite thing about myself? Boy, you ask some hard questions. What do people say to that? Anything you say is going to sound kind of narcissistic, isn’t it? Like if I said, hey, I love my eyes or something. I don’t really have a thing. If I had Oscar’s eyelashes, I’d say that since anyone would kill for those, but I’m really kind of just, I don’t know, there. I guess I like my funky hair. It drives my mom nuts.
About This Title
Interest Level:Grades 6 - 12
Reading Level:Grades 5 - 6
Animal/Biodiversity/Plant Adaptations, Middle Grade, YA interest, Siblings, Identity/Self Esteem/Confidence, Friendship, Dreams & Aspirations, Cultural Diversity, Biracial/Multiracial Interest, Asian/Asian American Interest, Animals, Fantasy, Mystery, Paranormal, Persistence/Grit, Self Control/Self Regulation, LGBTQ
Fantasy Middle School, Fantasy High School, English Fiction Middle School, Mystery and Suspense Collection, MG/YA #OwnVoices Collection, YA Paperback Collection, English Guided Reading Level Z, Asian American English Collection High School, Asian American English Collection Middle School, Diverse Background English Collection Middle School, English Fiction Grades 6-12, Humor Collection, Young Adult Collection, Diverse Background English Collection High School, Books About Joy Collection, High-Low Books for Teens: Middle and High School, LGBTQ+ Collection
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