Authors and Their Cats – Part I

Cats are Outdoor Animals

As an author, I guess I’m supposed to love cats. However, had I not given birth to a bona fide cat person, I probably never would have had a cat of my own.

In my growing up years, cats were outdoor animals. This was especially true on my grandparents’ Kansas farm. Cats ran wild in the haymow to keep the mice population under control. I never remember being able to catch one. Nor did I particularly want to try. (I wasn’t into pain and their claws were like needles.)

Fast forward to when my daughter comes into my life and by the time she is three or four is dragging cats home that she finds in the neighborhood. “She doesn’t belong to anyone,” she would insist, holding a cat nearly as big as she was. “She was all by herself.”

I was mystified. Unlike me, she had absolutely no fear of claws.

Cats are Still Outdoor Animals

Upon our move to a rural area, I promised Rhonda she could have many cats. I was good to my word; and I learned how fast they could reproduce. Rhonda was in heaven. She was in fifth grade before I met another bona fide cat lover (an adult) and learned more about my daughter’s feline penchant. Her behavior began to make more sense to me. It was still a rule at our house that cats are outdoor animals.

When a kitten got lost – or worse yet, got killed – the agony and the grief this girl endured was difficult for me to fathom. My mind kept saying, “It’s just a cat.” But I never uttered those words aloud. She was absolutely crazy about cats.

Now a House Cat

Another fast forward (to post-divorce days), Rhonda and I are living together – along with her cat. She is now in her mid-twenties and the older she got, the smaller the house became. Also I wasn’t too pleased about there being a house cat in my midst. Rhonda was getting antsy as well, ready to fly the coop.

“I can’t wait till she has a place of her own,” I would mutter to myself, “for her and for her cat.

“Help Me Choose a Cat…”

The day came. Rhonda moved into her own apartment. I was free to spread my writing and research work throughout the entire house (it was a small house). One month after she moved, I called her and said (I am not making this up), “Rhonda, would you please go to the SPCA with me and help me choose a cat?”

Be A NovelistAfter her laughter died down she said she would. Now all these years later, I have been through three cats and have loved each one of them. Not like Rhonda loves them, but still and yet, in my own way I love them. And now it’s never just a cat.

[In the photo is my third and present cat, Oscar, as he rests — and rules — on the sill of my office window. I think he’s beautiful. And he does too!]Be A Novelist

So now, thanks to my daughter, I can join the legions of authors who are noted for their devotion to their feline friends.

More about authors and cats in Part II.

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8 thoughts on “Authors and Their Cats – Part I

  1. Elaine Faber

    OK, you got me at “cat” as they are very important in my life. I have 7 cats – 4 house cats and 3 wannabees who come for breakfast and dinner at my house daily. My novels are called the Black Cat Mysteries and my protagonist is a cat. So yes, cats are wonderful and glad you finally became a convert. You will be a better person for it.

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  2. Rebecca Lacy

    That’s me! I’m a cat person. It is interesting the connection between cats and books (and the writers thereof). One of my favorite book stores of all time is a place that I used to frequent in Hermosa Beach CA. One of the featured delights of the store was the lovely cat who enjoyed sunning herself in the window when she wasn’t welcoming patrons.

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  3. Saul Weber

    THE INSPIRATION HAS DIED

    My wife and I had adopted a cat [Dr. Seuss] from the North Shore Animal League around 1997, and in 2001 we had rescued a cat from the garage we parked our car back then. When we brought this cat home, she walked around the apartment to see her new home, and when she came back to where we had let her out of pet carrier we had brought her home in. During this whole process our older cat watch the new arrival until she came back at which time he walked slowly over to her and began licking her cat.

    By the next day we discovered our new cat only had one eye and decided to call her “Uno”, and as time passed we discovered she could do more things and was even smart than our other cat.

    I had attempted to write a full-length adult novel. However, I never seemed able to write/finish it. My wife then suggested I should something for children [we don’t have any]. I gave the matter some and decided to write something about our two cats and their antics, I then decided to make Uno the main cat character for the story and added in the young girl, Jennifer, into the storyline, I decided to call the story “A Lesson My Cat Taught Me” which eventually got published by a small press publisher. When my contract ended I decided to self-published through CreateSpace, and it got released on October 2,2010.

    The book became the 3rd Place Runner-up in the 2011 Sharp Writ Awards – Children’s Books Category which is a contest organized by Smart Book Lovers, the members of which all belong to MENSA and other Hi IQ groups, making the judges for my book’s category, children who are members of these same groups.

    The main which the book tries to convey is the acceptance of others for who they are and not what they are; an important lesson which all of our children should definitely learn.
    If anyone is interested, here’s the link

    http://www.amazon.com/Lesson-My-Cat-Taught-Me/dp/1452810885

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    1. Saul Weber

      I forgot to mention UNO had died on August 31, 2013 around 7:59 AM from a hyperactive thyroid. She’s been cremated and her ashes will be buried on September 28th. We have several pictures of her and the book for which she had been the main inspiration for.

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  4. Rob Graham

    Actually that is not entirely true. The writer of The Warrior series, which are about cats in great detail, does not like cats at all. Perhaps she is the exception to the rule because I adore them.

    Reply

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