Monthly Archives: May 2013

A Book for All My Cat Peeps

Jade & CurryAs anyone who knows me will tell you, I am a cat person. Oh, I love dogs, too, but there’s a special place in my heart for indomitable felines. I have two little furries, Jade and Curry, who are pictured on the left.  I’ve read several books featuring cats…Dewey, The Library Cat, the true story of a tiny orange kitten who was found in the book return box of a library in the dead of winter who became a mascot for the library and the small town. Cheshire Cheese Cat by Carmen Deedy about a cat living in England whose favorite food is not mice and rats but cheese. And the most recent title, Serendipity & Me by Judith Roth.

serendipityThere is a sadness in our house that is like the fog outside our door, thick and impenetrable. The fog outside took my mother and then moved in to haunt us. I want something warm and alive to remind me that I am too. One rainy night, there’s a sound at the front door. Dad opens it and in flies a small puffball with ears. Dad almost smiles as he catches the little creature and hands it to me. She looks up at me with her amazing blue eyes and I melt. Dad frowns and says that he’ll take her to the shelter in the morning but I argue that I will find a good home for her…knowing that I have my work cut out for me because I want that good home to be mine. I just need to figure out a way to make my dad fall in love with Serendipity in 7 days or less!

This moving story is about a family held fast in the unrelenting grip of pain. Sara is unable to move on because her father’s grief at the loss of Sara’s mother 4 years earlier is so powerful it has shut him down, completely. Then a little mewing, mischievous kitten enters, batting her little paws and slowly but realistically, bringing healing and cuddling back into their lives. The anguish the pair feels is almost palpable and, though the climax is a bit contrived, it is still a sweet, sweet story of how something as tiny as a kitten can break down a mountain of grief. Cat fans will definitely enjoy this tale…that is, if you can get past gazing adoringly at the kitty on the cover! Who could possibly say no to that face?

And for your kitten viewing pleasure…

Bowl full of gingers

Bowl full of gingers

Itty Bitty Kitties

Itty Bitty Kitties

Wrestle Mania, baby edition

Wrestle Mania, baby edition

How many kittens?

How many kittens?

Gingers are my favorite!

Gingers are my favorite!

Hahahahah

Hahahahah

You want me to do what?

BFFs

HTML Tables

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May 13, 2013 · 12:55 pm

Good or Bad: Confusing choice, right?

Operation OleanderCan doing something good ever be bad? Not usually, but sometimes it seem that way. Anyone born in the years just before and after September 11, 2001 were born into a nation at war. War is always bad, even if it is sometimes necessary. Good things can happen in times of war…even between combatants. There are all kinds of pictures of soldiers doing little things for the people in Afghanistan or Iraq. There are also pictures of soldiers doing horrible things. Still, focusing on the good is never a bad thing. That’s the attitude that Jess, the main character in Valerie Patterson’s book, Operation Oleander,  which is a grass-roots organization collecting school supplies for an orphanage in Afghanistan.

Jess and her friends Meriweather and Sam work at a booth selling things like soda, the cost of which are school supplies. They are all military kids trying to do something positive while their parents are deployed…at least in Jess’s case. Meriweather and Sam are there because they are Jess’s best friends. On the day that everything changed, Jess’s dad emails pictures of the kids at the orphanage showing how much they are enjoying the first batch of supplies. Her father is proud of her efforts and encourages her to continue. But, while they are setting up the table, Mr. Scott, Meriweather’s dad, comes rushing in to take her home because something bad has happened. It’s all over the news…a bomb exploded near Kabul, at an orphanage and there were casualties. Meriweather’s mom and another soldier are killed…Jess’s dad is badly injured. Was it her fault? Meriweather seems to think so; accusing looks from passers-by seem to think so. What would her father think? What would he want her to do? How can something so good have turned out so badly?

This is a very short book but a powerful story. When something good turns bad, what do you do to save it? Is it worth saving? How do you learn to see past the hatred and anger and do the right thing? These are questions we all must face, at one time or another. How we answer them will determine our legacy. Good and Bad are very simplistic terms, yes, but so many people only see one or the other in life. It’s time to start seeing the truth but put a positive spin on our reaction to it. Positivity is never a bad thing!

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