From The Cats’ Perspective

Phyllis Smith Author Interview

The Legend of Paisley Pete follows a house cat that is abandoned by his family, and a feral colony takes him in till they can all be rescued. What was the inspiration for your story?

This story is based on real-life events when my townhome community became overrun with stray and feral cats, like overnight. My cat whisperer neighbor and I singlehandedly trapped, neutered, delivered to the Humane Society, rehomed with trusted folks and took in for ourselves some 30 cats over the course of two summers. It was fascinating yet disappointing to watch a blue-eyed feral kitten hiss and spazz-ball if you tried to pet it. I realized after we handled so many and varied personalities of cats that it’s humankind’s fault that animals bred for domesticity should ever find cause to be wary of us. When our mission was complete, I knew I never wanted to lose the memory of it all. Well, it did fade. I couldn’t remember all the silly names we came up with or what cat ended up where or with whom. So the only thing to do was finally sit down earlier this year and capture the essence of the experience and tell it from the cats’ perspective.

What is one thing about feral cats that you think is misrepresented in the media?

That feral cats are unlovable is the notion fostered in the media or other sources of misinformation. I’ve assessed that there are 3 types of feral cats: Too old and therefore wild to socialize, possibly able to be socialized as a pet later in their life, very likely to become socialized within first 3 months of life.

Yet, there was something about my partner, the real Miss Judy from the story, who coaxed 6 too-far-gone feral cats into her home, where they never beg to go out, simply because of the sweetness of the energy surrounding her. They love to be petted. But they will likely never be cuddle buns or lap cats even for Miss Judy. Once too old, there are still boundaries they’re unable to cross, and that appears to be long periods of close bodily contact. Still, that’s them giving to us their very best.

What do you hope is one thing readers take away from your book?

Please foster and adopt stray and feral cats. At the very least, TNR (trap/neuter/release) any you find and do it kindly. Remember, you can still love too-far-gone ferals from afar by feeding them and constructing shelters for them. At the very most, endeavor to “Miss Judy” them and bring them home to bask in your love.

What is the next book that you are working on and when will it be available?

A Halloween story is in the works – actually on Kindle Vella right now – that I’ll create into a picture book, I hope in time for October 2022. On the creation horizon I see other animal stories forming in my imagination, fairies ‘n’ fireflies, unicorn quest and oodles more ideas for children, my favorite kind of people.

Awarded the August 2022 Literary Titan Gold Book Award

Author Links: GoodReads | Website

A trusting cat, Flynn, finds himself dumped in the woods by his owner. A friendly feral/stray cat colony takes him in and cares for him. This would not be typical cat colony behavior – Flynn in the ordinary abandonment situation would have to fight and prove himself to a colony or go his own solitary way. What, then, makes this colony willing to take him in, no questions asked? The answer is an extraordinary practice of love. Does that mean a return to faith in human beings, by the way? And what does paisley have to do with anything? Find the answer in this charming children’s picture book about the global problem of feral and stray cats.

About Literary Titan

The Literary Titan is an organization of professional editors, writers, and professors that have a passion for the written word. We review fiction and non-fiction books in many different genres, as well as conduct author interviews, and recognize talented authors with our Literary Book Award. We are privileged to work with so many creative authors around the globe.

Posted on August 21, 2022, in Interviews and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

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