by Leah Alford
Caption for photo: That’s our sweet, late Minx, on the front cover and our late Bud, our bobcat-sized Editing Cat, on the spine.
My husband and I have always lived with cats. On a cold November night in 2004 with our Minx cat beside me, I began handwriting their stories. I wrote while tending The Minx, who was diabetic, making sure she had easy access to water and carefully doled out noms. After many years of writing, perusing old photos, dredging up memories, and the expansion of my original vision of cat memoir to include research of cat facts, history, and lore, I had 850 pages of raw cat book. I had worked slowly, because I have a serious chronic illness. A local publisher advised me to extract two volumes, and Catwoods, Stories and Studies of Our Feline Companions, Volume 1, is now published. The long meow writing fest became a book.
Caption: Franklin, who resides at the Catwoods, has a casual attitude towards the book.
Franklin walked into our lives towards the end of the publishing process. He’s not an editor like Bud but he feels he can co-exist with the book by ignoring it until the second volume, where he comes along, is published.
This book tells of good times and bad times, joy and humor and mystery and adversity and loss; always cat-besotted, this household learns to persevere. Although illness limits my activities, the cats make me feel I am still in the land of the living. Our adventures make for a lively narration. The story is heartfelt remembrance of the remarkable feline beings we’ve shared life and home with, and of the passerby wild creatures along the way. Researched cat facts include cat coloration, and the cat and bird issues. Music history, the natural world, and the sad longings due to changes in the flora and fauna and landscape over the years are also part of this story.
This book is a multifaceted romp in deep wilderness living. It blends observations of the changing southern United States from the sixties to the present, the lyricism of making a home in a forest Paradise, and the celebration of the ways humans and animals are always fine tuning their common chords.
Caption: Handsome Franklin makes himself comfortable.
Some of the best moments of being published are the reactions of friends. Here Primrose, a cat belonging to Jeff White and his family, comes up with her own observation about the book:
WTH, there is no map to the catwoods in this book.
Photo by Louise Patten, Caption by Jeff White. Used with permission.
Catwoods is available on Amazon, where it has 5-star reviews.
There are many glowing comments from friends on my Amazon author page:
And on the Ernest and Hadley Booksellers Indie site:
Amazon can handle international orders. To order from outside the US on The Ernest and Hadley Bookseller indielite site, email firstname.lastname@example.org or click “contact us” on the Ernest and Hadley Booksellers indielite site.
The Catwoods Porch Party blog is at https://catwoodsporchparty.wordpress.com/