Sunday, June 28, 2020

An Author's Best Friend...

By Charlotte Bennardo

One of the themes this month is National Pet Month. I have the stereotypical author's cat. Actually, I have two.

This is Casey. She's a rescue from our local shelter. (I only adopt rescues, I don't 'do' designer/pure breds.) She's named after a character I played in a college play, Ms. Casewell of Agatha Christie's The Mousetrap. She is constantly walking across my desk, or trying to jump into my lap while I'm working in my office. And if I don't pay attention, she bams me. 

Mink is a constant companion. If I'm in my office, he's sleeping on the printer. If I'm working on the family room couch, he's laying next to me or nearby on his cat perch. At night, he sleeps on the loveseat in my bedroom. Outside, he's under the patio table when I sit there. He, too, is a rescue from a barn in Upstate, NY. He's named for his long, silky fur. Such a handsome beast.

One of the causes I support is my local animal shelter- I create an 'angel' tree during Advent (the four weeks preceding Christmas) and my church congregation drops off pet supplies for the shelter, which I take to the shelter. Another cause is abused animals, which I am quite vocal about. Most pet owners treat their fur babies as dearly as biological children but there are those who don't.....

Many of our beloved favorite books are based on pets. My favorite is Beautiful Joe, written by Marshall Saunders and it's based on the early beginnings of the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. Think about Old Yeller by Fred Gipson, My Friend Flicka by Mary O'Hara, or these more modern books:

Can I Be Your Dog? by Troy Cummings
The Perfect Pet by Margie Palatini
Strictly No Elephants by Lisa Mantchev
Just Me and My Puppy by Mercer Mayer
The Rainbow Bridge by Adrian Raeside
Oh The Pets You Can Get by Tish Rabe, et al
Saying Goodbye to Lulu by Corinne Demas

The list of books goes on from fiction to non-fiction, serious to silly. My favorite comic was Garfield and favorite animated strip is Simon's Cat. And because I love all animals, pet or wild, I always include one or more in my writings. Even if you don't have a pet, please consider donating food, supplies, or money. If a beloved pet dies, clean pet beds, carriers, leashes, bowls, etc. (only in like new/excellent condition please!) and take them to your local shelter. You can even designate a charity to receive funds through the Amazon Smile program. Little amounts add up and with so many abandoned, abused, hoarded, or feral animals, you can be a lifesaver.

So Happy National Pet Month!


  1. I love how cats insert themselves into whatever we are doing. I think cats only PRETEND to not care about things.Sharing a favorite cat joke: If cats could talk...they wouldn't. Happy Pet Month Char.

  2. I grew up with two cats, one of which started life as a stray / feral. They were the best...