Chicken Soup for the Cat giveaway

My new kitty Patches has been receiving more PR swag lately than me. First, she was sent a welcome gift of cat nip toys from Bamboo Pet and now two copies of Chicken Soup for the Soul: Loving our Cats. As a result, I'm giving away one of the copies ($14.95) and a cat nip cat toy to a lucky commenter. Just post a Chicken Soup for the Soul or cat related comment here and I'll randomly select a winner on Friday.

I remember reading Chicken Soup for the Soul books back when I was a teenager, I think I had the teen edition and one about angels. Anyway, this new installment contains the 101 best cat stories from the company's extensive library. These true heartwarming and humorous stories about our feline family members tell the tale of cats healing people and other pets, saving lives, rejuvenating friendships, giving meaning to companions and saving family relationships.

Here's an excerpt from the tale "The Power of Love" by Barbara (Bobby) Adrian:

When I first saw the big gray-and-white cat in our yard, I knew right away that he was a stray. He was fierce-looking — a wounded warrior with a huge head and shoulders and a badly scarred body.

I started putting out food for him each day, and, even though you could see that he was starving, he wouldn’t come near it if anyone was in sight. Because of one dead eye, which gave him a malevolent appearance, all the neighbors who saw him were afraid of him, even the cat lovers. Winter came, and he still wouldn’t trust me or my family. Then, one day, it happened — a car hit him. I realized this when I saw him dragging himself through the snow to the food dish.

He spent a week with the veterinarian getting treated for his injuries, and also being neutered, de-wormed, de-fleaed, having his shots, being bathed, etc. We were eager to bring him home to join our family, but, when we arrived at the veterinarian’s office to take the cat home, we were met by a very serious doctor who told us that we should put the cat to sleep immediately. Our big stray was so ferocious and mean that he would never, ever become tame, let alone a pet.

I wasn’t convinced. I have always had great faith in love’s power to tame even the wildest beast. I thought to myself, I’ve been praying for this cat since the day I first saw him. I’m not giving up that easily! I told the vet, “I want to try. I’m taking him home.” We named him Paws.

We opened the cat carrier under the bed in the guestroom, where we had put food, water and a litter box — in the farthest back corner so Paws would feel protected — and we left the room. Three days went by, and we did not see any sign of the cat. The only way we knew he was under the bed was that, when any of us walked by the
open bedroom door, we heard deep growling and hissing.

I wanted to touch his heart, to somehow let him know that he was safe and loved. I devised a plan to reach him safely. I put on my husband’s large hard hat and a pair of his welding gloves. Lying on the floor, I slid under the bed toward Paws, with my face to the floor and only the top of my head, protected by the hat, facing him. I reached out to stroke him, all the while gently repeating over and over again, “Paws, we love you, we love you, we love you.”

He acted like the Tasmanian Devil — snarling, growling, howling, hissing, hitting his back on the underside of the bed as he tried to scratch and bite me. It was scary — but I knew he couldn’t hurt me, so I just kept going. Finally, my gloved hand reached his face, and I was able to stroke him, still telling him how much we loved him. Ever so slowly, he began to calm down. He was trembling with fear as I continued to stroke him and speak to him in the same soft tone for a few more minutes. Then I slid out from under the bed and left the room.

The first step had been made. I was pleased but wondered how long this campaign would have to go on. Several hours later, I came back upstairs and went to my bedroom. I noticed a cat on the bed, then did a double-take. It was Paws — all stretched out on the pillows and purring up a storm! I clapped my hand over my mouth. I literally couldn’t believe it. That dear cat became the love of our household. He often had three of our other cats licking and grooming him at one time, two dogs snuggled up next to him throughout the day, and, best of all, every night he would assume his special place to sleep — on my pillow with his beautiful, scarred, furry face nuzzling mine.

Update: The winner is Mistress Meeyee of All the way from Bloggy Creek
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