Author Lisa Belcastro, Shenandoah Crossings, and a cat named Ben
Have you ever received a pet as a gift? Even when you weren’t in the market for a pet?
I didn’t want another cat. I was a dog person, especially Corgis. And, we already had two very nice felines living in our home thanks to my daughters. Three years earlier, the girls had begged and pleaded for a cat for Christmas. Not one cat between them, mind you, but a cat for each of them. Though they were thirteen and seventeen at the time, I found notes written to Santa and couldn’t refuse their heartfelt pleas.
This past February, I was in my home office working, with Kayla beside me at the table finishing up her homework, when a loud meow echoed through the kitchen. “Kayla, please let the cat in,” I asked.
“Mom, they’re right here,” she said. I looked over at her and, sure enough, Melody was sitting in her lap and Chloe was on the rug.
The meowing continued. I jumped up and hustled over to the kitchen door. On our porch, on a day that was a frigid seven degrees and would drop below zero over night, was an emaciated, filthy orange cat. He saw me staring down at him and began wailing.
I opened the door and was greeted by a stench so foul I gagged.
“Mom,” Kayla cried, “You have to let him in.”
Retrieving the old German Shepherd crate from the basement, I snuggled him into the huge box. He collapsed. Between you and me, I doubted he would make it through the night. Hours later, before I went to bed, he was still sleeping. (Yes, I checked to make sure he wasn’t dead.)The next morning he was alive, awake and hungry. I opened the crate and he crawled into my arms. My heart melted. I was a goner. I named him Ben after the hero in my first book.
Knowing what I had to do, I called the local animal shelter to report a stray. They had a report for a missing orange male. My heart sank. I drove to the shelter praying it wasn’t “my” cat. The missing pet turned out to be a neutered male, not my Ben. Nonetheless, Ben had to stay for one week while the shelter examined him, called the neighboring vets, and posted his “found” status on the Internet.
The following Friday, Ben came home with me. He was bathed, neutered and vaccinated. Over the last seven months Ben has grown to triple his size. He’s fit, healthy and gainfully employed. Ben, you see, is now my office manager. He sleeps on the desk beside my computer all day while I work. Every couple of hours he stretches out across the keyboard to let me know that we need a break. He’s tried typing, but honestly his words don’t add much to the story.
I didn’t want a cat, but God knew better. And I thank Him daily for the gift of Ben.
Click here for an Amazon link to buy her latest book: Shenandoah Crossings
by Lisa Belcastro
Oak Tara Publishers
Released August, 2013
The second novel in the Winds of Change trilogy
Tess Roberts may live on Martha’s Vineyard, vacation spot for movie stars and presidents, but the Island feels anything but idyllic. Tess has had it with lousy dates, lying, cheating men, and the rules that forbid her from working on her family’s centuries-old schooner, Shenandoah.
Lucky for Tess, she knows a secret—the Shenandoah has magical powers. Her best friend, Rebecca O’Neill, once stayed in Cabin 8 and discovered a time portal that transported her to 1775. A month after Rebecca’s “disappearance,” Tess’s father, brother, and Shenandoah’s annoying first mate, Hawk, plan to shut down the time travel for good by dismantling the cabin. But what if Rebecca might someday need to come home? What if Tess isn’t ready to say goodbye forever?
Sneaking onto the ship late at night, Tess slips into Cabin 8 and drifts off to sleep. She wakes anchored off the New England coast amidst the American Revolution in 1776. The British frigate HMS Greyhound has seized Shenandoah and taken the crew, cargo, and all onboard hostage. To make matters worse, Hawk is relentlessly tracking her, determined to bring her back to the twenty-first century against her will. Sparks begin to fly, from more than cannonballs and gunpowder….
Love the article about Ben! So sweet and it made me cry – Ben was so blessed to show up at your door and you were blessed in return! Thank you for sharing!
I really am the blessed one, Kim. Ben is just too wonderful for mere words.
Lisa, I have so BT/DT with my cat Zach. He ‘lost’ his mommy when he was about four weeks old. He weighed all of a whopping 12 ounces when he came to us. He is now 18 pounds and is the official ‘make momma laugh’ cat around the house. Good for you to give Ben a home!
I’ll be checking out Shenandoah Crossings.
Wow – 18 pounds! Sounds like Zach is healthy and happy. I’ll have to weigh Ben and see where he’s at now. My youngest tells me he’s the biggest cat in the house, but he is the only male. Hope you enjoy Shenandoah Crossings! Check out my author FB page at http://www.facebook.com/belcastrolisa. I’m going to be running a “Name the Cat” contest for my next novel. Maybe Zach could win his name in Shenandoah Dreams. 🙂
How sweet. My husband is the one who brings home cats. I love that the humane society gave him back to you clean, vaccinated and neutered. Tweeted.
Thanks for tweeting, Ella!
Your husband sounds awesome. Mine looks at every cat who wanders through our yard and says, “Please, you’re becoming the Cat Lady.”
We’ve had 3 cats over the years & all were rescues in one form or another. And it was clear for each the God’s hand was in it! Our 3rd one showed up one day literally clinging to the window-claws in the screen, mewing plaintively. How can you say go away? So wonderful you have Ben to take care of you, Lisa 🙂
Shendandoah Crossings sounds like a cool book. Definitely on my TBR list!
Your third cat sounds like Ben, begging to be let in. And there is just no way to say, “go away.” Hope you enjoy Crossings! 🙂
What a lovely story! And your book sounds great – can’t wait to read it!
Thanks for stopping by Lani. Ben is such a joy. At the moment he’s curled up comfortably, supervising my word count for the day – lol