The Kitten Who Wrote a Book

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

The Cat Who Yowled

When I heard a cat yowling, I figured she was looking for a lover, but then it went on for too many nights, which made me wonder if the toms didn’t like her song. I really couldn’t blame them. Her pitch was off.

And then I saw her—a young calico walking along our dirt road. I knew all the neighborhood cats, and she wasn’t one of them.







Certainly, she had to be hungry and thirsty, and so I scrounged in the fridge for anything a cat might eat without harm, bringing it out onto the lawn along with a bowl of water. I did this for a week, always retreating into the house because, otherwise, she wouldn’t go near the food. When the week was up, I could remain outside as long as I stayed on the back steps. Continue reading

Bouncing Bambi, Cabin Fever, & Magical Cats

I couldn’t read at all for a while. I cleaned closets and drawers, cooked batches of meals to fill the freezer, learned how to brew my own flavor extracts, planted an indoor herb garden, made doughnuts and bread until I ran out of yeast, composed some music, and watched movies on TV, and though all of it filled the time and some of it was even productive, I needed more. I needed to escape the tension of being cooped up because of the pandemic. One day, several weeks down the road into madness, I glanced out the window and saw a deer placidly eating her breakfast in the tall grass, paying little attention to her fawn, which was leaping and bouncing and doing comical arabesques all around her. Happiness. Peacefulness.

(Image by smarko on Pixabay)

“Bambi,” I thought. “I need Bambi,” and that’s when I remembered the book I’d borrowed just before the library had closed due to the pandemic. It was a fantasy for grownups. I opened and started reading “The Catswold Portal” by Shirley Rousseau Murphy, but I did it slowly, a half chapter at a time, wanting to remain in the book’s world as long as possible. Continue reading