Joy #WednesdayWords #WeeklySmile #Inspiration

Abbie wears a blue and white V-neck top with different shades of blue from sky to navy that swirl together with the white. She has short, brown hair and rosy cheeks and smiles at the camera against a black background.

Photo Courtesy of Tess Anderson Photography

 

 

I’ve always loved cats. When I was growing up, my family had several of them. As an adult, I always wanted one, but the time wasn’t right, or pets weren’t allowed where I lived.

My late husband didn’t like cats and wanted a dog. But after he suffered two strokes that paralyzed his left side, I didn’t want to care for him and a dog. Now that he’s gone, I don’t want to care for another living thing.

Recently, I learned about a company called Joy for All, which sells robotic cats. Just like the real thing, these cats have soft fur and meow, purr, and do other things cats do. The only differences are that they don’t shed or require food and water and don’t need to go to a litter box or vet. These cats are pricey, and I wasn’t sure I wanted to make such an investment, even though it would be the only money I would spend on a cat.

Then, I found out that our local senior center gives robotic cats to people with dimentia or who are prone to isolation. I didn’t think I fit any of those categories. But on a whim, I asked my case worker for the facility’s Help at Home program if I would qualify to receive a cat. To my surprise, she said I would. A week later, Joy arrived.

I couldn’t think of a better name for this delightful feline with light gray fur and white paws. She responds mostly to touch, but sometimes, when I get close to her without petting her, she meows as if to say, “Hey, I’m here.”

She doesn’t walk, which is a good thing, since, with my limited vision, I’d be likely to step on or trip over her. Besides meowing, she purrs, stretches, turns her head, and opens and closes her eyes. I love snuggling with her in my recliner or bed. Most of the time, she rests in one of the armchairs in my living room.

I admit she does sound robotic when she moves, but the meows and purrs are pretty realistic. As far as I’m concerned, she’s a real cat. In the past week since I got her, she has been a joy and comfort to me, making me smile.

So, what made you smile this past week? You can tell me about it in the comment field or click here to participate in this week’s feature.

***

If you haven’t already done so, please subscribe to my email list to receive my twice-yearly newsletter and other announcements. This is a one-way announcements list, meaning the only messages you’ll receive will come from me. So, you can rest assured that this list is low-traffic. Send a blank email to:  newsfrommycorner+subscribe@groups.io  You’ll receive a confirmation email. Reply to that with another blank message, and you should be good to go.

***

And now, I’m pleased to announce that until the end of the month, all my books on Smashwords can be downloaded ABSOLUTELY FREE as part of the Smashwords  summer/winter sale. You can visit my Smashwords author page here to download these books. Happy reading!

 

New! Why Grandma Doesn’t Know Me

Copyright 2021 by Abbie Johnson Taylor.

Independently published with the help of DLD Books.

The cover of the book features an older woman sitting in a wicker chair facing a window. The world beyond the window is bright, and several plants are visible on the terrace. Behind the woman’s chair is another plant, with a tall stalk and wide rounded leaves. The woman has short, white hair, glasses, a red sweater, and tan pants. The border of the picture is a taupe color and reads "Why Grandma Doesn't Know Me" above the photo and "Abbie Johnson Taylor" below it.

Sixteen-year-old Natalie’s grandmother, suffering from dementia and confined to a wheelchair, lives in a nursing home and rarely recognizes Natalie. But one Halloween night, she tells her a shocking secret that only she and Natalie’s mother know. Natalie is the product of a one-night stand between her mother, who is a college English teacher, and another professor.

After some research, Natalie learns that people with dementia often have vivid memories of past events. Still not wanting to believe what her grandmother has told her, she finds her biological father online. The resemblance between them is undeniable. Not knowing what else to do, she shows his photo and website to her parents.

Natalie realizes she has some growing up to do. Scared and confused, she reaches out to her biological father, and they start corresponding.

Her younger sister, Sarah, senses their parents’ marital difficulties. At Thanksgiving, when she has an opportunity to see Santa Claus, she asks him to bring them together again. Can the jolly old elf grant her request?

***

Facebook

Website

 

 

 

 

Rediscovering Forgotten Pleasures #SocialMediaMonday

Image contains: Abbie, smiling.

Patty Fletcher, fellow author and blogger, has a new guide dog named Blue. In this post, published on Ernest Dempsey’s blog, Recovering the Self, she shares a day in her life with Blue and her cat Eddy. Enjoy!

***

It’s been one week since I came home from The Seeing Eye® Dog Guide school with my new dog. His name is Blue. He’s a Black Labrador Golden Retriever Cross and he is wonderful.

 

Read the full post here.

***

For those of you who use the National Library Service for the Blind and Print Disabled, The Red Dress is available for download from their site here. No matter how you read it, please be sure to review it wherever you can. That goes for all my books. Thank you for stopping by. Stay safe, happy, and healthy.

***

New! The Red Dress

Copyright July 2019 by DLD Books

Image contains: young, dark-haired woman in red dress holding flowers

When Eve went to her high school senior prom, she wore a red dress that her mother had made for her. That night, after dancing with the boy of her dreams, she caught him in the act with her best friend. Months later, Eve, a freshman in college, is bullied into giving the dress to her roommate. After her mother finds out, their relationship is never the same again.

Twenty-five years later, Eve, a bestselling author, is happily married with three children. Although her mother suffers from dementia, she still remembers, and Eve still harbors the guilt for giving the dress away. When she receives a Facebook friend request from her old college roommate and an invitation to her twenty-five-year high school class reunion, then meets her former best friend by chance, she must confront the past in order to face the future.

***

Books

My Amazon Author Page

Facebook

Website

Thursday Book Feature: The Cat Really Did That?

Image contains: Abbie, smiling.

Chicken Soup for the Soul: The Cat Really Did That? 101 Tales of Miracles, Mischief and Magical Moments

Edited by Amy Newmark

Copyright 2017

 

This book speaks for itself through the title. It’s one in a series of many anthologies of true, uplifting stories produced by Chicken Soup for the Soul. Here, cat lovers share all kinds of stories about their feline companions: rescued cats who thrive and become part of a family, cats who save people’s lives, and cats who alter negative behavior and comfort the dying. A quotation about cats precedes each story, and there are plenty of pictures.

I enjoyed reading of the antics of many cats in this book. According to the introduction, those reading it are encouraged to adopt a cat. I hope these stories inspire others to adopt cats, but I’m not one who will do so, at least not now.

Although I love cats and have many pleasant memories of the ones in our family when I was growing up, after six years of caring for my late husband, who was paralyzed by two strokes, I’m still not ready to care for another living thing. I realize a cat wouldn’t require as much maintenance and the reward would be worth it, but that doesn’t make the responsibility any less daunting. Maybe someday I’ll be ready. Meanwhile, I’ll socialize with cats when given the rare opportunity and continue to read books about them such as this one.

 

My Books

 

My Ideal Partner: How I Met, Married, and Cared for the Man I Loved Despite Debilitating Odds

That’s Life: New and Selected Poems

How to Build a better Mousetrap: Recollections and Reflections of a Family Caregiver

We Shall Overcome

My Other Links

Visit my website.

Like me on Facebook.

 

I Remember

In my childhood,

I helped Mother in the house,

went to school, was praised by teachers,

threatened with an eighteen-inch ruler,

played with siblings and friends,

was harassed by schoolyard bullies.

 

As a teen-ager, I went to high school,

to the prom, graduated.

 

In my adult years, I went to college,

got a job, was married.

 

When I grow old,

can’t see, hear, or walk,

depend on others,

I’ll remember my life.

***

This is the last poem in my collection, How to Build a Better Mousetrap: Recollections and Reflections of a Family Caregiver. To hear me read it and sing a song about an old cat remembering her younger years, visit https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/15213189/i%20remember-memory.mp3 .

***

Abbie Johnson Taylor, Author

Order That’s Life from Finishing Line Press.

Order That’s Life from Amazon.

Vote for my new book idea.

The World According to a Cat

You’re a recovering drug addict, subsisting on whatever money you can make playing your guitar and singing on the streets of London. Then one day, you meet a ginger cat who changes your life. Such is the case of James Bowen, the author of A Street Cat Named Bob and The World According to Bob. These two books tell the story of how this stray cat positively influenced the author’s life.

In A Street Cat Named Bob, Bowen discusses how he took Bob in after the cat kept hanging around his flat and how they developed a relationship. Because Bob was a stray, Bowen didn’t think he would stay with him, but it’s said that cats choose their owners, and this turned out to be the case with Bob and Bowen. The author talks about how he became estranged from his parents and moved to England from Australia to pursue a career in music. He then explains how he became addicted to drugs and shares his experiences on the streets after finding Bob, how he took the cat with him everywhere and how Bob’s presence caused more people to pay attention to him and earned him more money. Eventually, because of police harassment, he was forced to give up busking and start selling editions of a local magazine called The Big Issue.

In The World According to Bob, Bowen recounts further adventures with his cat on the streets. He also touches a little more on his life growing up in Australia, how he was hospitalized frequently as a child with a variety of psychiatric disorders. After a couple of years on the streets with Bob, he was discovered by the media, and he explains how he wrote his first book and how its publication got him off the streets, improved his relationships with his family, and changed attitudes toward the homeless.

According to Wikipedia, James Bowen was born on March 15th, 1979 in Surrey, England. After his parents were divorced, he moved to Australia with his mother and stepfather. His home life was tense, and because the family frequently moved, he was unsettled at school. Continually bullied, he began sniffing glue and was eventually diagnosed with ADHD, schizophrenia, and manic depression.

In 1997, he moved to London, and after living with his half-sister for a while, he spent the next ten years sleeping either on the streets or in shelters. He started using heroine to escape the reality of being homeless. In the spring of 2007, he entered a drug treatment program while busking at Covent Garden and living in sheltered accommodation in Tottenham. This was when he met Bob, and if you read his two international bestsellers, written with the help of author Garry Jenkins, you’ll know the rest of the story, as Paul Harvey would say. To learn more about James Bowen, visit http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/James-_Bowen_(author)#Early_life . You can also read a newspaper article and view photos of the author and his cat at http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2227639/James-Bowen-Best-selling-true-story-busker-got-life-track-thanks-stray-cat-film.html .

James Bowen’s style of writing drew me into his world. I laughed at Bob’s habit of hiding in unexpected places and his delight in playing with aluminum wrappers and other items. Of course these are traits any cat would have. I found myself getting angry at people who confronted Bowen because they thought he was mistreating Bob and an apartment complex manager who complained that Bowen’s guitar playing and singing at two in the afternoon was keeping her tenants awake. I agree that Bowen probably should have gotten a proper job, and of course he shouldn’t have been using drugs in the first place, but given the circumstances, he didn’t know better and didn’t have the self-esteem to consider a career other than busking and selling magazines. These books would appeal to cat lovers, but I also hope young people around the world will read them and think twice before turning to drugs.

Abbie Johnson Taylor, Author of We shall Overcome, How To Build a Better Mousetrap: Recollections and Reflections of a Family Caregiver, and That’s Life: New and Selected Poems

Order That’s Life from Finishing Line Press.

Order That’s Life from Amazon.