Readers have asked if Tori's cats are based on any of mine. YES! Marco was the model for Jogger, Neaera for Scooter, and Little Peach for Little Peach. I tried other book names for him, but nothing seemed quite right and he said he didn't mind. :-)
Marco didn't come to me the way Jogger came to Tori -- I got him at the local SPCA shelter. He had actually been dumped outside its doors. A gorgeous cat like that -- can you imagine it?
Little Peach did follow me home, though not from the 7-Eleven. As in the book, he was covered with car grease -- he also had bites all over from other cats and a fever from infection. Poor little baby-face.
Scooter's story is true. My daughter, Hillary, and I discovered Neaera at a donut shop, and a friend helped me rescue her. She's named for a character in the British film Turtle Diary. The Neaera in the movie is a writer who helps "kidnap" a giant sea turtle from a zoo and set it free in the ocean.
Like Marco, Katie (short for Katarina) is from the SPCA shelter. When I saw her little two-dot nose, I couldn't resist her!
Felicity was a stray who was taken in by a musician. When he moved on, he was going to put her back on the street, so I said I'd take her. She's a tiny cat -- very sweet and shy.
A friend at work rescued Robert Redfur from the street as a half-grown kitten. He's always into mischief but so cute that it's hard to scold him. Robert shares his opinions freely -- he even knows one Russian word! When I tell him to quit doing something, he shouts "Nyet, nyet!" and runs off muttering about what a party pooper I am.
I love cats, and I'd have dozens if I could! My present six seem like a small group because I had eight for a long time. My first two died recently of old age. It's hard, isn't it, that our companion animals' lives are so much shorter than ours?
Cali, a stray, was 2+ here with her baby Sunshine in July 1984.
Both lived until July 2000, so Cali was 18+ and Sunshine 16.
Do you have companion animals? Maybe, like Tori, you volunteer at an animal shelter or help out a rescue group or a wildlife rehabilitator. Maybe you do pet-sitting or dog-walking to earn spending money. If you have an interesting story to tell or just want to share your feelings about animals, e-mail me!