Queenie, my childhood pet, was part border collie, part standard collie, the family’s guardian, and a working dog in search of a job. On an autumn day, the kind requiring only a sweater, Queenie and I were raking colorful maple leaves into a heap in the front yard when a dainty calico cat magically appeared. Maybe she wanted a bit of food or perhaps someone to say hello to her, but Queenie and I decided the little lady might enjoy living with us. We invited her in and she accepted.
Many weeks later, Kitty surprised us with a litter of kittens, and since Queenie needed a job, she volunteered to be the babysitter. She’d always wanted to be a mommy, so it suited her well. This allowed Kitty periodic respites outdoors to sniff grass, watch birds, and indulge in small musings.
One of the kittens was a busy black bundle. If he wasn’t causing trouble amongst his siblings or harassing his mother, he was off in search of adventure, often having to be retrieved by his mother or his babysitter. When his blue eyes changed, as kittens’ eyes do, it was to a glowing emerald green.
This simple memory of a calico, her dog, and a beautiful green-eyed kitten was the seed for a novel about whispering cats and the dog who protected them, most of it narrated by Pilgrim, a black kitten with brilliant green eyes. It’s a tale of great loss, great love, and the search for a perfect clearing in the forest. Don’t we all seek such a clearing? Continue reading