Cat O’Nine Tales
Cat o’ Nine Tales is an engaging memoir of real life experience in the urban trenches of cat rescue work. Nine special felines are profiled in detail, with their life stories and adoptions – or other outcomes – but many others will be met along the way. Liberally studded with candid photos of the cats described, Cat o’ Nine Tales chronicles almost a decade of stray and feral cat life on the West Philly streets, defining the trials and challenges these animals face, as well as the rewards and satisfaction of finding a special cat its “forever” home.
Reader praise for “Cat O’ Nine Tales”:
I just had to email you about the book. Among the oohs, aahs, tears, and smiles, it is perfect!!! It is even more informative than I ever imagined. You have captured the life of stray cats/kittens in a way that is heartwarming, loving, uplifting and tragic!!! The pictures are awesome. You feel as though you actually know these cats looking at their pictures as you read their stories. As heartbreaking as Buck’s story is, the picture of him on his last day shows the sad downward spiral of a stray cat more than words could ever convey. I have read hundreds of cat books; however, this one is unique and needs to be read throughout the country. I think this book does more to show stray cats in a light never witnessed by the general public. It is a MUST read !!!! ~ C.G., Paoli, PA
“Cat O’ Nine Tales” is fantastic. It exceeded all my expectations: the stories are emotional and also informative with a moral and humane imperative, yet without being preachy or know-it-all. In other words you can’t put it down. I can’t begin to say how wonderful this book is. Of course I am a feline aficionado. But my mom is not and she is also very attached to it and is reading it slowly. What a wonderful and beautiful and necessary story you have shared. You have done a great service to the feline survival community and to all charities by recounting the great strides you gain through your boundless and selfless attentions. It is a book to be read by children and adults to wake up to the quality of giving. ~ W.E., Downingtown, PA
Read the Preface
This is the story of Leo’s Cat Rescue, and it begins with Leo herself.
In the fall of 2002 my friend John bought a duplex in West Philly, and found himself with a small apartment to rent in the rear, with a postage stamp backyard. I was looking to make a change, so I packed up my cat Grimmie and off we went!
We were very happy together until January of 2005, when Grimmie developed breast cancer, and my baby girl had to be put to sleep. A rescue given to me by my cousin, Grimmie was my first cat; we’d had five good years together, and I missed her terribly, but decided that maybe it was better to heal alone for awhile.
That summer, John, who is more of a night person, began seeing this teeny buff cat, medium-haired, bedraggled and skinny, showing up late nights at the front porch. He gave her some tuna, he petted her head, she responded. But he wasn’t sure he wanted a cat, and I wasn’t ready for another. She went away, we didn’t know where, but always came back, and he started buying wet food for her.
My birthday came in late July, and she was still there. His birthday came in early August, and still she came. John went to celebrate his birthday with friends at the shore, and on his last night here, the little girl came again, and he promised her: “If you’re here when I get back, I’m talking you in.”
When he returned, she was waiting on the stoop for him, and he kept his promise.
He’s a Leo, I’m a Leo, it was the season of Leo when she came to us, and so he called her: Leo!
It took her awhile to get cleaned up and put some meat on her bones, but in time she became his darling baby girl, all fluffy buff coat and stunning yellow eyes, with regal bearing befitting her leonine mane. They settled into their life together, happy to be daddy and baby.
But all the while John kept seeing more cats, late at night, out on their own, homeless, hungry, sick. He began to put some dry food out on the porch, and occasionally wet food as a treat for those he came to know well.
By the summer of 2007, he was fully into his cat community service work, while I was still nursing my grief alone in the rear apartment. But things were stirring. Sometime that summer, Leo’s Cat Rescue was born…