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Life’s Possibilities

Russell H. Plante
Russell H. Plante Author Interview

Journey Home – A Cat’s Tale follows the life of a cat that’s been abandoned and must find new meaning in life. What was the inspiration for the setup to your story?

I was inspired to write this story because of a cat that was discovered in a dumpster with his leg caught in a steel jaw trap and brought to an animal shelter. My wife and I learned of his plight from the shelter’s newsletter and we adopted him. He lived with us for almost 18 years and was an important part of our family. I thought a story about his journey to find a home needed to be told because there are so many homeless animals like him. Animals that share their lives with us all make a difference in our own lives.

The story is written from a cat’s perspective; about life’s possibilities and the lessons we can all learn during our journey. I wanted to share his story, hoping it might teach people to have compassion and hope. Perhaps a reader would then pause and reflect upon their lives. I wanted people to understand such homeless animals teach us compassion, trust, and love throughout the years, and so much more. The book is dedicated to him.

The animals felt authentic and were endearing. What were some driving ideals behind your character’s development?

The story was inspired by actual events, and several of the animals created as characters in the story were actually real. Their interaction with one another is similar to people and as the story progressed and developed so didn’t their behavior and human characteristics within themselves and others.

What were some themes that were important for you to explore in this book?

There were many, simply because portions of the book were based upon actual events. Each Chapter contained lessons in life from which we all can learn. The following is only a portion of life’s themes throughout the story:

-We all fear what we don’t know or understand.
-Drastic things can happen to anyone in a short period of time.
-We all face an eventuality of being on our own, and that reality can be difficult to accept if the choice is not ours.
-We don’t always appreciate what we have until it’s gone.
-Age begets wisdom.
-Understand yourself better by putting yourself in the place of others and treating them as you would want to be treated.
-Learn to share.
-There is usually more to gain than lose by having a peaceful compromise instead of a physical confrontation.
-Sometimes we have no choice but to handle situations we don’t want to face.
-There’s a little good in everyone.
-Everyone has good days and bad days; it’s all part of life.
-Be kind and gentle no matter your size.
-There are times when size and strength don’t matter; they can be overtaken by using your wit.
-There are those times when no matter what you do, the outcome can remain the same; but at least you should try.
-Even though you might have different backgrounds and opinions, it doesn’t mean you can’t be friends or share the same principles.
-Sometimes things aren’t as you first perceive them to be.
-Sometimes you need to take responsibility and find a solution on your own.
-There may be times when you don’t think you can move on and wonder if you should, but always remember to keep a willingness to go on.
-Things that you experience will always be a part of who you are.
-Be thankful for what you have.
-Patience is a virtue.
-Time is just a matter of relevance.
-Even though friends may leave, you really never lose them; they are always there within you.

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

My third novel, “A Sense of Purpose” was recently published and, although independent, could be considered a sequel to “Journey Home – A Cat’s Tale”. It is a story about the life of Chester, a cat that was an important character in “Journey Home-A Cat’s Tale”. It is a compelling story about how Chester’s life affected others in so many ways, providing a philosophical message to the reader that there is a sense of purpose to everyone’s life. The story is also based upon actual events.

My fourth novel, “The Path Before Me” is a Middle Grade novel based upon “Journey Home-A Cat’s Tale” and is currently under a publishing contract to be released sometime in the next few months. Young readers (ages 8 to 12) who have a love for animals and pets of their own will be drawn to this story; a story that provides a sense of social and emotional learning. It is important for everyone to better understand emotions, compassion, empathy for others, and the value of hope; all are elements relevant to developing a healthier society. Not only are educators searching for ways to introduce such social aspects of learning in order to make the future a better place, but parents are as well. This story provides an opportunity to learn by example and teach us a thing or two about ourselves—a great book for the Middle Grade classroom and the in-home library.

I am currently writing my fifth novel, a philosophical science fiction story about UFO’s and why Earth has never been contacted by other civilizations. I still have a lot of research left to do while I am developing the story.

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

JOURNEY HOME – A CAT’S TALE is a story based upon the actual life of a cat found abandoned in a dumpster, left to die. Born in a small town on the coast of Maine, an unpretentious cat named ‘Patches’ encounters life changing experiences during his first two years. Discarded by an uncaring owner and left homeless without food or shelter, he wanders the streets to piece his life back together. Along the way, he discovers new friends like Chester, a relocated cat from New York City and Buster, a neighborhood stray, who teaches him how to fend for himself.

Late one night during a violent blizzard, a series of events abruptly changes his life once again after he saves Buster from a fire and then returns to the garbage dumpster for a local diner to seek shelter and food. As he jumps into the dumpster, his leg is ensnared by the steel jaws of a leg-trap. He feels the sharp, razor-like teeth cut into him, and the fear of dying or losing his foot becomes reality. Like the doleful cry of an incessant wind, memories of his past and unanswered questions about his father’s abandonment engulf his thoughts.

Will he discover what has become of his siblings, find a new home, and ever understand his father’s message and why he abandoned him? Will he survive the cold darkness and discover once again a path that leads to the understanding he seeks?

Journey Home – A Cat’s Tale

Journey Home – A Cat’s Tale by Russell H. Plante is a beautiful, endearing story of a cat’s adventures to find its own path in life. Patches’ story begins at a small house where he lives with his mom. When his owners begin to deal with some serious economic drawbacks, he’s kicked out, forced to live as a stray cat, alone. In the streets, Patches learns a lot in a considerably short period of time. He makes some friends that are compassionate enough to help him out and accompany him, softening the sometimes harsh reality of living as a homeless cat: dogs, rats, birds and other cats, all of them bring a new sense of joy to Patches’ life, helping him to understand the meaning and beauty of it. All of these animals are presented as the most charming and delightful characters, it is entertaining meeting them and getting to appreciate each of their personalities.

Journey Home – A Cat’s Tale is an easy flowing and beautiful tale. Patches’ story is incredibly moving and endearing. The writing style is excellent, descriptive and entertaining. The story is told from Patches’ point of view, and the way it’s written makes it seem realistic. The many animals introduced feel like real people, they have emotions and deal with the crude realities that all of us have to face sometimes in our lives. They also have fun, support one another, and show what real friendship looks like.

The best part of this book were the life lessons shared through Patches’ storyline. This is a simple story that encompasses the meaning and beauty of life in an enjoyable way. Based on a real life story, readers will experience how difficult the life of a stray animal can be: finding food, shelter, making new friends, surviving and defending one’s life; all of it is presented in a very creative and engaging way. Even though the stories told are those of animals, readers of the book will also be able to relate to most of them, since these are universal life stories. All of the lessons that Patches’ is taught and the things that he reflects on, are things that we all deal with in our own lives and need to understand to have a better grasp of life as a whole, with its many intricacies and meanings.

This is a fascinating book with a thought-provoking story line that brilliantly portrays life, friendship and love. It is dedicated to those animals that are also our companions and can become a meaningful part of our family. This is a quick but engaging read that is filled with many life lessons that will remain with readers long after they put the book away.

Pages: 158 | ASIN: B01C83IQ0W

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