Chicoan Sarah Downs is a cat rescuer, co-founder of the Neighborhood Cat Advocates, catadvocatestnr.org, which focuses on trapping, neutering and returning feral cats or cats with no owner (with a caretaker assigned to feed them).
Her children’s book, begun as a tribute to her father, is now part of a fundraising effort to make it possible for her to relocate 16 or 17 feral cats living on the Marigold side of the Pleasant Valley High School campus — see @pvcatrelocationproject on Facebook for details.
“Clyde’s Happy Tails: The Adventures Of Clyde The Rescue Cat” ($15.99 in paperback, self-published; also for Amazon Kindle) is a sweet story with full-color illustrations by the inimitable Steve Ferchaud. Search for “Clyde’s Happy Tails by Sarah Downs” on Amazon to avoid being directed to books with “happy trails” in their titles.
Clyde, we are told, “was found as a wee little kitten, lost and alone in a field.” But a caring family brought him home, and when the tuxedo cat was old enough “he started his life full of adventure.” That means he went outside.
“One day, Clyde was patrolling the neighborhood, you know, to make sure there was no riff-raff going on. Clyde hopped a fence a found he had a new neighbor. A dog!! But, the dog was tied up to a tree.”
Ever inquisitive, Clyde wants to know the dog’s name, but all he gets in return is a gruff “leave me alone!” He adds, menacingly, “Can’t you see I’m a bad dog?” After all, he tells Clyde, he barks at strangers and was taken outside and tied to a tree. He must be bad, right?
“Clyde replied, ‘Well, I don’t think you’re a Bad Dog. You didn’t bark at me, and I’m a stranger!” That sets the dog (whose name is Petey) to thinking he’s not so bad after all, and sets Clyde to thinking of a way to free Petey. It involves all the neighborhood cats working together, but they get the job done.
Clyde isn’t finished. He introduces Petey to Joey, a neighborhood boy, who in turn takes Petey to meet Grandpa Tom.
It’s a perfect match.
Dan Barnett teaches philosophy at Butte College. Send review requests to [email protected] Columns archived at https://dielbee.blogspot.com