Growing up on a farm, I've owned and loved my share of cats. I
married a man who wasn't so crazy about those of the feline
persuasion--that is until I manipulated a birthday gift of a tiny
black kitten from a friend. My new husband couldn't say "no" to
that, could he? Ebony soon won Ken over, and we've loved a string of
housecats through our thirty-some years of marriage since.
But after moving to a house with a fenced-in yard outside the city limits five years ago, we accumulated some cats––eleven to be precise! Our now 16-year-old tomcat, Frosty, made the move with us and happily took up residence in the big doghouse on the back deck.
Then one morning just after we got settled in, a gorgeous calico cat showed up on our front porch. When she was still there a few weeks later, we claimed her and named her Biscuit. But we soon realized Biscuit's roly-poly figure was due to more than the generous portions of cat chow we were serving her.
We moved her to the back porch and hoped Frosty (who was not the kittens' father) would be a gentleman and share his comfy home. Nothing doing. End of discussion. We were disappointed in his manners, but with the arrival of kittens imminent, we fixed a cozy box under the eaves for Biscuit and filled it with warm towels ready to receive kittens.
One morning late that March, I went out to the deck to find the two cats had traded homes! I have no idea how those negotiations went down, but the following morning I found Biscuit, snug in the
doghouse, licking a precious miniature of herself. By noon "Gravy" had two sisters and a brother.
We enjoyed every minute of the ten weeks those kittens lived with us. Frosty was so attentive you'd have thought he'd fathered the kits. It wasn't easy to say goodbye, but we found good homes and got
everyone settled in with their new families. Wouldn't you know it, several days before Biscuit's vet appointment to be "fixed," we
started to suspect she would be blessing us with another bundle of kittens--and soon!
Batch Number Two--five precious little girls--made their entrance into the world two years ago, on July 11. Much to Frosty's dismay, we immediately moved Biscuit and the little ones to the basement where we could make sure this was the last litter. Early that September,Batch Two moved out onto the back deck where they frolicked and scampered and quickly made friends with Frosty. It was a summer full of laughter. A summer to remember forever.
In a perfect world, all nine kitties could have lived all nine lives right here in our backyard. But it's not a perfect world, and far too soon October came, and one by one, the kittens went off to new homes, thanks to my author friend Kim Vogel Sawyer. (Kim calls herself a kitty broker and it's an apt title, since she adopted Maizie, placed Snickers with her parents, and found a home together for two other kittens.)
Every kitten had a home––except a little yellow and white fluffball we called Sundae. Surely we could keep just one? After much begging and pleading (our daughter's) and a few tears (mine), we convinced the master of the house that in spite of lyrics to the contrary, three cats in the yard really does make for a very, very, very fine house.
Unearthing a lost memory may cause her to lose everything she holds dear. but could it also set her free?
Volunteer Bryn Hennesey was there at the Grove Street Homeless Shelter the night five heroic firefighters died at the scene. Among them was her husband, Adam.
Now a terrifying absence of memory has her wondering if she might, in some way, be responsible. Garrett Edmonds' wife, Molly, was the only female firefighter to perish in the blaze. He was supposed to protect the woman he loved.now she's the one who's died a hero. How can he go on in the face of such unbearable loss? And what started the fire that destroyed the dreams and futures of so many? Investigators are stumped. But someone knows the answer...