May is National Pet Month

 Victoria Winifred Author Interview

Murray the Cat follows an intelligent and caring cat who finds the perfect family to adopt; he just has to convince them. I think this original idea is intriguing. How did you come up with this idea and develop it into a story?

​This book was inspired by a very special cat that adopted our household years ago. While names and the narrative are fictionalized to a certain extent, many of the events depicted are based on actual happenings. The family’s initial reluctance to take in the cat and Murray’s tenacity are both factual. The twist of the plot is also truth-based. I’m pleased that this book was published in time for “National Pet Month,” which is the month of May in the United States!

The art in this book is fantastic. What was the art collaboration process like with illustrator Tammy Brown?

I spotted Tammy Brown’s brilliant work several years ago when I first started writing this book. It was the art in her own book, “Herman the Mouse,” that convinced me she was the perfect illustrator for the job. When my text was ready, I contacted her. Tammy is so patient and talented; each beautiful watercolor illustration in my book was planned and discussed in detail. She was able to incorporate many elements that were of great importance to me, such as the pinkness of Murray’s belly, and subtle details indicating how the cat brought harmony to his new family. Also, because of the followers that my previous book, “The Princess, the Knight, and the Lost God: A Chess Story” is still sending my way, I made sure the presence of chess was included in Murray’s new home (also fact-based!)

What were some ideas that were important for you to share in this book?

Although it is a sweet story for kids, there is an important point in the plot’s backstory for adults. You’ll find a brief mention in the book that a different family had previously adopted Murray from a shelter. What I’d like to share is that although the home with three kids and many other animals was not Murray’s dream home, it was still preferable to the fate an older and large cat like Murray would face in a shelter if not adopted at all. But every shelter has its own rules; some will not give an animal to a family with young children. Many insist there can be no possibility of certain animals ever going outside (regardless of the setting), and they often require that someone be home an unreasonable number of hours every day. These and other stringent rules result in many animals never being placed, and a very sad ending for them may follow. That is why a portion of royalties for this book will be donated to Nathan Winograd’s This organization provides solid support and a step-by-step guide for animal shelters to vastly improve their pet placement rate. Mr. Winograd, from whom an introductory quote is included in my book, has spent decades of work in this sphere. His successful efforts might be the very reason that “Murray” had a chance to find us and bless our lives with his presence.

What is the next adventure that Murray will be going on?

When the family finally moves cross-country with Murray, he’ll be in for some fun and different experiences that will be sure to tickle your fancy!

Author Links: GoodReads | Twitter | Facebook | Instagram | Website

Murray the Cat finds the family of his dreams and eagerly sets out to adopt them. But Charlie and Emma’s parents aren’t convinced it’s the right time for a pet. Just when things start to improve, someone from Murray’s past returns and complicates his plan. But Murray still won’t give up, because his new family needs him as much as he needs them!

With a delightful balance of sweetness, humor, and heart, this early chapter book follows the unique journey of an older feline who is determined to claim his chosen home. Tammy Brown’s vivid and nuanced watercolor illustrations beautifully capture the essence of Victoria Winifred’s charming story.

A portion of the proceeds earned for this book will be donated to Nathan Winograd’s Advocacy Center, which provides support and a step-by-step guide for animal shelters to vastly improve their placement rate.

Posted on May 11, 2023, in Interviews and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.


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