When my husband brings his work home with him, it usually has four legs and doesn’t leave.
He’s a veterinarian, and I live in constant fear I’ll turn into one of those crazy cat ladies. You know, the ones who have to move their cats to find their furniture. Or who can’t go out in public because all their clothes are layered with so much cat hair they look like cats themselves.
We don’t have the menagerie people expect us to have. Though my husband will stop on any road, almost anywhere to rescue a slow-crossing turtle. We’ve limited ourselves to cats. Well, my husband has limited us to cats because I’ve nudged him for a dog for years.
I grew up in a dog family; he grew up in a cat family. As a dog-person, I was totally unprepared for the household havoc cats can wreak. They can reach heights beyond my comprehension. I’d find them on top of the kitchen cabinets or peeking from behind one of the tchotchkes on top of the bookshelf. They’re also capable of smushing their bodies into something resembling an oblong pancake to worm their way underneath something or into a furry hotdog to squeeze through something.
Our first cat, Edison, was rather persnickety and preferred Ken over me. Which, since I was still new to being a cat-person, was actually not a problem once I discovered how much hair he left behind. Edison arrived at our house after some high school girls found him in the street after he’d been hit by a car. He was a wee kitten then, and one side of his little head still had black marks from the tires. He lost part of one paw, Ken sewed him back together, and brought him home.
Monkee followed, a small black female, brought home because, well, quite frankly, she was weird. If anyone made eye-contact with her, she’d blast off in the opposite direction. It was only after Edison died from a mouth tumor that Monkee became more social. She truly mourned Edison. She’d mew and mew until, eventually, she resigned herself to his being gone.
In the meantime, he’d brought home another kitten because she was, he said, “Nice.”) Of course she was nice. She knew she had a ticket to a house!). Even as a kitten, she spent more time leaping than walking. So Ken named her Amelia, as in Amelia Earhart.
When Monkee started her decline, I worried more about my husband than the cat. He would give her fluids daily, and hand-feed her, and do whatever he needed to do to make her comfortable. One day, Ken came home to find Monkee’s still little body in her small cat crate, and before I arrived home from school, he’d buried her next to Edison.
We thought Amelia would be a companion for Monkee, but she became my companion instead. She was the first cat who actually curled up in my lap instead of Ken’s. It was rather surprising and unexpected. Amelia became my writing and grading papers buddy. When she’d spot me sitting at the kitchen table, she’d either stretch herself on top of the papers I needed to grade or curl up in my lap while I typed.
Amelia, loves to hide in drawers, especially the ones in my office where I keep my copy paper. When necessary, she’ll occupy the cabinets where I store, you guessed it, the crystal. She’s also an expert under-the-bed hider. Ever try to capture a cat while it’s playing boomerang under the bed? It’s a prelude to head injuries and back wrenching.
I actually don’t remember how Newton arrived at our house. It’s likely Ken thought Amelia needed a friend. Not so much. Even today she’s not so crazy about him. He, on the other hand, adores her. Unrequited love is painful to watch even in cat world.
And, our newest addition is Harrison. Ken had started working at the Animal Shelter, and he was part of a liter that had been dropped off at their door (not uncommon). They were all sick, and Ken nursed them all back to save them from being euthanized. When he was a tiny kitten, I went to work with Ken one day and placed him on a surgery table while I walked to the other side of the room to turn on a light. I walked back, and he’d disappeared. Then I heard this faint “meow” that sounded more like a question. Somehow, he’d managed to make his way to the end of the table and fall into the empty plastic trashcan that was there. He’s still quirky and cute. In fact, his favorite toy is the sink dish drain. We don’t get it either.
Almost everyday Ken sends me photos of woebegone kittens that make their way into the shelter. I told him if he didn’t stop, I’d start sending him pictures of golf clubs.
And here is Christa’s latest release!
THREADS OF HOPE
Abingdon Press, Quilts of Love Series
Released March 2013
Passed over for promotion and dumped by her boyfriend, Nina O’Malley is further frustrated when her editor assigns her one of the “soft” stories she despises—covering a gala benefit supporting the AIDS Memorial Quilt. More determined than ever to prove she deserves a promotion to the NY office, Nina decides to write a series featuring a local quilting group raising money for AIDs research.
At the event, she runs into her high school nemesis: Greg is a widower and the adoptive father of Jazarah, an HIV positive girl from Ethiopia. Unlike Nina, Greg has faith in a loving God, and he trusts in God’s plan for his life. Greg and Nina grow closer, and as Nina interviews the quilt families, she begins to question the choices she has made and her lack of faith. Nina suddenly finds herself facing two possible dreams, two paths for her life.
“Christa Allan has created realistic characters that can get into your heart and under your skin. Nina has many opportunities to serve others, to make a difference in others’ lives through her writing…and what does she do? Well, I can’t tell you or I’ll ruin the story, but suffice it to say, there are a few nail biting moments toward the end of the story.” Review from Window to My World
Facebook: Christa Allan, Author