October 21, 2008

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


  1. My cat is extraordingary.

    He knows me and my every mood.

    When I don't feel well he comes and strokes my face with his paw.

    Sometimes he looks at me with love and adoration in his eyes.

    I found him when he was a little starving kitten.

    I was out walking my dog and he came up to us.

    He was skinny and scraggly when I picked him up.

    I took him home with us and he has been here ever since, that day nine years ago.

    Cats are amazing, they are loyal and very loving.

    janetfaye (at) gmail (dot) com

  2. I have a few cats but my oldest cat Lily is sick right now.She got attacked by a stray dog.Lily is at least 15 and I love her like she were a sister.I have read lots of Chicken Soup books and so many of the stories stand out in my mind.Hope to win this one.

  3. Your blog is adorable!

    Hmmm.... my cat likes to lick my eyelids to wake me up in the morning. Or my lips. Both are gross choices for a cat tongue. She also likes to puke in unsuspecting places, like my shoe or under the couch, that I find far, far too late.

  4. My six-year-old niece Bri, Nicki's little cousin who was in Nicki's wedding in NH, has two Siamese cats: Sweetie Pie and Pumpkin Pie.

    She sooo loves them, though they often scratch her when she is over-zealous, but forgives them everytime.

    Saturday Bri and her mother took them to Petco, where the pets go, to get shots. Oh, my niece really feels sad when her beloved kitties must get shots, seeing how SHE hates pain.

    I was shopping with Bri on Sunday. She bought two tiny cans of cat food. She announced it was to give them a prize for being so brave at the vets!

    Little Bri would love to win your prizes for being such a pet lover and for the chance to give her kitties more presents.
    Auntie Lisa in NH

  5. I had finally convinced my husband we had room for a fifth cat. I volunteer with Angel's Wish (Verona, WI), a foster-home based animal welfare organization. One day I was looking through our Petfinder.com listings, and there I saw "Snowball"...a special needs senior. I knew she needed us, so I made the arrangements and visited her in her foster home. There, we learned her sad story. She had been at a humane society for nearly a year, after arriving as a stray at an estimated 19 years old. They didn't notice she had severely infected teeth, and she had stopped eating because of it. Angel's Wish pulled her and another needy cat from the humane society. The next day, she had several teeth removed, and her foster parents began giving her IV fluids and baby food to help her gain her strength back. This little 5 pound cat was so fragile and weak...she sure tugged on the heartstrings! About a week later, Snowball came to our house and was renamed Gracie. It took a couple months of spoiling, yummy premium food, and long kitty naps in a heated bed for her to completely recover, but when she did, watch out! Gracie was full of personality and quickly ruled the roost. We were humbled at how happy and healthy she was. Seniors deserve to live out their lives with happiness, love, peace, and dignity, and Grace did for almost three years with us. I am thankful we could give her a warm retirement home, and when we were ready, we brought home another needy senior cat. We're now hooked on seniors!

    If chosen, I will donate the book and catnip toy to our Angel's Wish Online Auction that raises funds for our homeless pets.


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