Tallulah’s Tail – er, Tale

Jack gets inside the head of foster-cat Tallulah –

Tallulah (for that had immediately become her name) arrived at the bookstore with her three kittens from the shelter for distressed pets. Hmmm, she thought as she spied the other animals – Zora the lab, Bert the terrier, Valkittie the elderly cat and Owen and Bob the black and white young cats. But a door closed and she settled down to motherly duties. Every morning the door would open and the humans brought her fresh food and water; every day passed with kitten feeding and cleaning. Eventually the kittens left one by one and she didn’t mind one bit – they had begun to steal her food before she could get to it.

After the last kitten left the humans began leaving her door open from time to time and she could explore the rest of the house. My goodness – so many books in the place!

IMG_3627Time to position herself in the hierarchy of animals. Flipping her long-haired tail like a feather boa, she set out. Valkittie proved impossible to dislodge from her overall managerial position but the other cats adjusted appropriately, which left the dogs. It was just about then that she felt a familiar urge. Bob and Owen seemed like nice boys – but strangely uninterested in her allure. Now Bert, the terrier – he’s a real man. Could he be the one?

Alas, no. It seems cross-breeding won’t work.

The cat-flap? Of course! A world of furry men await!

That’s how she met the muscular black tom from the gym next door, who worked out and thus could leap the yard fence in a single bound – ah, bliss. He said he’d stick by her and show her a good time. But, no – just like the other one, once she’d given her all, he doesn’t come round any more.

Then one of the humans put her in the box she’d arrived in all those weeks before and she went for a trip. Oh, so sleepy – then awake and back in the box again. Such a palaver and just a bit stiff and sore. And somehow… lighter.

Here I sit and wait!

Here I sit and wait!

So, here she sits and waits to see what will happen next. Maybe somewhere out there is someone with room in his/her heart and home for a beautiful young Tallulah who doesn’t get those urges any more, but just loves to get petted by any passing human. Tallulah makes an attractive desk accessory and elegantly enhances any room decor. All she wants is a human to call her own. Could it be you?

Kitten Cover Theory

silasPeople in the publishing industry work hard to get book covers right. They consider content, style, tone, theme. Twenty theories about what works exist; if you want to see them all, read the Guardian article that detailed them by googling “Scent of a Kitten.”

For it is theory #20 to which we turn our attention today: “Nothing draws a reader to a book like a picture of a fluffy kitten.”

Indeed. Nothing draws customers, either.

kittens 5Meet Clyde Edgerton (that’s him with his nose in the air on the left) Amy Clark (below) and Silas House (getting a cuddle above). We were going to name the girl Anne River Siddons, but a friend is drafting an Appalachian memoir, and what the hey, the kitten looks like her.

We started naming our foster kittens after books because it was cute and funny–and then we found out that people adopted the li’l darlins faster with literary names. Something to do with them being born in a bookstore–the kittens, not the customers.

And that kitten cover theory thing works; these tiny fluffballs cast the glamor over everyone who sees them, including Jack and me. After a hard day of shelving and basement renovation and customer service, we sit upstairs for fifteen minutes while the fur babies climb all over our legs and stare into our faces and make little “mip” sounds that we think will be mews when they’re older.kittens 6

We were away the weekend the kittens turned two (weeks) which is when they began to leave their soft cave of blankets draped over furniture to explore. Kittens handled for the first time will  exhibit stress and fear, so we told our local shopsitter Wes, and Heather our cleaning lady who lives up the street, not to worry, just please feed mommy Tallulah and we’d take care of socializing the kittens when we got home.

IMG_3520Worry, ha! When we went upstairs to greet them on our return, the kids leaped from their cushioned basket (basket? we didn’t leave a basket and we certainly didn’t weave a satin ribbon ’round one) to clamber into our palms. “Start the elevator!” they all but shouted. “Finger ride; finger ride!”

Jack looked at me over the rim of his glasses as Clyde, the adventurer, attempted to climb into his ear. “I guess we know what went on here over the weekend,” he said. Turns out, between Heather and Wes, a steady stream of guests visited the cathouse. Tsk tsk. We’ll be shut down!

But we understand. Nothing soothes the soul quite like three cherubic kittens romping and frolicing. Lowers the blood pressure.

Clyde, Silas, Amy and their mama will be ready to go to their forever homes in about four weeks…..