About This Book

From kittenhood through the twilight years, our feline companions continually bring joy, love, and laughter to the lives of their "staff." This collection of 101 new stories captures the experience of living through the natural life cycle with our cats — from the laugh-out-loud antics of kittens and tear-your-hair-out escapades of teenage cats to the more mature adult years and final stages of life. Stories cover each age and stage with all the fun, frustrations, special bonds and routines involved. The book also holds a special chapter about grieving and recovery when our feline friends leave us.

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Five Tips for Celebrating All the Ages and Stages of Your Cat

Inspired by Chicken Soup for the Soul: My Cat’s Life

By Jack Canfield, Mark Victor Hansen, and Jennifer Quasha. Foreword by Wendy Diamond

The thousands of stories submitted for Chicken Soup for the Soul: My Cat’s Life describe the funny, adventurous and touching stories that cat owners have experienced with their four-legged friends. Following are some tips for celebrating and enjoying the many stages of your cat’s life.

1. Embrace kittenhood. Every kitten has its own personality, and as its new owner you are going to learn a lot about each other. When Timothy Martin was seven, he found a kitten at the dump and named him Garbage. Timothy dearly wanted a pet and garnered the cat’s attention and admiration by feeding him cat food. Upon bringing the cat home, Timothy pleaded with his mother to keep it. After Garbage suddenly found and killed a rat in their house, she came around and bargained with her son: Timothy agreed to eat all of his vegetables from then on in exchange for her allowing him to keep his new pet.

2. Have patience and enjoy your teenage cat. Teenage cats are similar to the two-legged, human variety! Like some teenagers, cats don’t understand that their crazy antics have consequences! Monica A. Andermann’s teenage cat had two personalities: the loving, sweet Charley and the mischievous, troublemaking Charles. Monica followed her mother’s advice on how to best handle a teenager — you can’t do much about it so you should just live through it. These days, Monica usually finds Charley the adult cat lolling in a ray of sunshine or curled up, snoring, in her husband’s lap as they watch television in the evenings.

3. Appreciate your cat’s loyal companionship. When pets get older they love to help us: to love, to exercise, to be heard, to be strong, and to laugh. In Juliana Harris’s piece, we read her incredible story of how her cat saved her from a gas fire in her kitchen by waking her up in the middle of the night! She and her cat Sidney had their daily routines from morning to nighttime and nestling together as they went to sleep. One evening, Juliana was awakened by Sidney tugging frantically at her blanket. She followed him as he leaped off the bed and ran toward the kitchen. There she found a sheet of flames under her stove caused by a gas leak. Juliana called for help and firemen quickly arrived to put out the flames, telling her how lucky she was having discovered the leak when she had — thanks to Sidney!

4. Celebrate your cat’s feisty spirit. Denise Reich tells of her aging cat Chewie and how they both ignored all the signs that he was getting old and assumed he would always be around. At fourteen, his coat was glossy and his eyes were bright. Denise’s mother gave her a set of pet steps designed for elderly cats that have trouble getting to places they could no longer reach. Chewie wanted nothing to do with the steps and would jump up onto the bed himself. Even later when he became very ill, he bucked all expectations and still gracefully jumped onto the bed to take his naps.

5. Say goodbye with a peaceful heart. Patricia McElligott’s eighteen-year-old indoor cat, Bandit, was a loving companion who enjoyed wandering the halls of her home, stretching and leisurely lounging. Bandit displayed a peacefulness that always comforted Patricia no matter the circumstance, as if to say, "All will be well." As Bandit neared the end of her life, Patricia worked to be strong and comforting for Bandit as she’d been for her all those years. When she took her last breath, Patricia cried, petted Bandit and told her, "Goodbye, my love." The next day while taking a walk, Patricia stopped in awe of a remarkable sunset, the likes of which she hadn’t seen in years. It was her sign from God that Bandit was in heaven and it gave her great peace.

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