As many of you know, my husband and I look after a colony of community cats. One of the biggest challenges during the pandemic is that the “feral fix” trap/neuter/return projects were shut down. So, many community cats had kittens. One of them was Penelope, a tiny tortoiseshell in our colony. She had a litter last summer, all three of whom were adopted by a friend. She had a second litter in April and, as with the last batch, because she had them in our yard, we were able to socialize them from day one.
Well, those kittens are now eight weeks old, and are available for adoption from San Jose Animal Care & Services. I am not going to lie; there were a lot of tears.
I became especially attached to the smallest kitten, Tigger, and vice versa. Tigger is aptly named; he is bold and bouncy and, despite his tiny size, was the ringleader. At the same time, he is gentle and affectionate. He was the first to figure out every new skill and show his sisters how to do it.
I cried as I put every kitten into the crate to transport them, but I bawled my eyes out over Tigger — even as I knew that it was the right thing to do. We have five indoor cats, two of whom are seniors with health issues. On top of that, I’ll be starting back to the office at least a couple of days a week, and it would be unfair to both the precious, playful baby and the staid adults to put them through that.
As of today, the kittens are available for adoption. Orange polydactyl girl Tammy Twelve-Toes, torbie girl Tibbs, torbie girl Teddi-Anne, and orange boy Tigger may be just right for you or someone you know.
(Photo of Penelope and the four kittens, and Tigger with his “arm” around Tibbs by Jeff Cathcart.)
I recall being struck by a comment Bernard Cornwell made in an online interview. I’ll have to paraphrase because I can’t find the video at the moment. He defined historical fiction as “the small story told against the backdrop of the large story.” It’s a very helpful way to think about strategies for dealing with elements of the past that don’t pass muster in today’s world. The Unsavory Side of Authenticity | DIY MFA Blog | Pamela Taylor
Not every historical novel has to be an epic saga or have well-known historical characters on stage. More intimate stories are just as compelling if they draw us deeply into the life experiences of the characters. Think of photographs taken with a zoom lens. The subject of the photo is in focus and crystal clear. But the background is blurred—it’s still there, but in far less detail.
Click through for an outstanding look at making your historical fiction feel authentic while dealing with the very real unpleasantness that went on.
Many thanks to Ronel Janse van Vuuren for this lovely review on GoodReads:
An emotional rollercoaster of the author’s time with rescue cats. From Gigi who died far too young, to Tint who found his forever home at a senior age, and the Mama cat and her kittens who were rescued, this is one sweet real life story. I loved the short pieces about different cats and how they all found their forever homes. And then there’s the story of the woman who so cruelly starved a dog. People like that should be shot and then shot again just to make sure they’re feeling the pain they’ve dealt. “Animal cruelty is not something you do, it’s who you are.” I absolutely agree with that. The stories of loss had me in tears – mainly as it reminded me of all the furbabies I’ve lost myself. The resources page is a great addition to this memoir.
Want your own copy of Hugs and Hisses? Here are the blurb and purchase links:
Award-winning author, animal communicator, and Reiki practitioner Sharon E. Cathcart shares tales from her humane education work in this new memoir. Sharing stories of both happiness and heartbreak, Cathcart brings us into the challenging world of animal rescue. All proceeds from the book will benefit Humane Society Silicon Valley.
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