Book Review: “Rescued”, and Browser the Library Cat

Browser the library cat poses with "Rescued".
Browser the library cat poses with “Rescued”.

SPECIAL NOTE, JUNE 27, 2016: This is a different Browser the Library Cat who lives in Pine River, MN. The library cat who lost his job is in White Settlement Texas.

~~~

Many cats have the opportunity to live as they should with caring humans who feed, protect and love them. But it often seems just as many are abandoned by humans, surrendered to shelters already overflowing with cats who somehow didn’t meet human expectations, or simply tossed out the door to find their own way with no home and no support at all…until a compassionate human offers sanctuary.

Each cat is different and, influenced by their own personality and experiences, from tiny kittens to tattered adults living long outside of a trusted human’s touch, each cat comes back to the hands of humans in a different way. We humans who rescue them rarely discover much about how they got to be where we found them, but we can open our hearts and let them know they will be safe with us in that unspoken communication we have with animals, heart to heart. That is cat rescue.

Rescued: The Stories of 12 Cats, Through Their Eyes
Rescued: The Stories of 12 Cats, Through Their Eyes

Rescued: The Stories of 12 Cats, Through Their Eyes anthologizes a dozen stories of cats who found themselves living on the periphery of human life, teetering on the edge of survival, and how they came back through the understanding of patient humans who were willing to wait for them to come to hand, or scoop them up and run them to get the care needed to save their lives regardless of expense or ownership. Each of the rescue experiences not only changed the rescued cat’s life, but also the life of the humans who rescued the cats, inspiring more rescues, advocacy and even the founding of organizations that formally provided rescue, care and sanctuary for cats. A portion of book sales support rescues chosen by the authors as well.

The stories are told in first person in each cat’s own voice to give us a different view of a cat’s rescue. Often we humans think we come riding in as the saviors and it’s all about us, but we who know cats know they have their own opinions about these things. A relationship with an animal is a two-way street and cats will not be rescued unless they want to reach out and learn or relearn the trust of a human, and this view gives us insight into the cats’ opinions of how things happened.

Don’t be mistaken that the book is full of cute talking cats. Each story was written by the rescuer, and each author is not only a cat rescuer who has often lived with a lifetime of cats but is also a skilled writer of fiction or fact, books or articles, capable of convincingly telling a story in the voice of another species. Each voice is as individual as the cat itself, funny, frightened, sarcastic, grim, from the fading mother cat struggling in desert heat from lack of food and water attacked by a dog on the way back to her kittens, to the angry cat seething with the rejection of having been left to die locked in an apartment by one human still wishing to die rather than live up to the life of the beloved deceased cat he was adopted to replace. Many of the authors are bloggers and writers I know personally or virtually, and for me it was very interesting to learn the back story of the cat who often inspired them to write or become involved in animal rescue and advocacy, and a little more about the author as well.

The anthology was compiled and edited by Janiss Garza, longtime journalist and author of two books written in the voice of her Somali cat Sparkle and also Sparkle’s longtime blog as well as being an author for CatChannel.com. In addition to her concept of telling the stories in the cats’ own words, each author chose a rescue to receive a portion of the profits from the book’s sales and has been assigned a month to promote the book, with a third of the profits from that month going to the rescue.

Browser, the Story of a Library Cat

Browser manages the library's book sale.
Browser manages the library’s book sale.

Which brings us to the story of the handsome house panther at the top of this review—Browser’s month is July. I chose to review the book in July for two reasons that would be immediately obvious to anyone who follows The Creative Cat: black cats and libraries! What could be more perfect?

Browser B. Katz has been the Assistant Librarian at the Pine River Public Library in Pine River, MN since 2002 when, as a cold, soaked, desperate kitten he meowed at the right door and was taken in to be fed and loved. He grew up in the original library, playing with the children and racing around like the kitten he was, and when the library moved to its new building later that year the children placed him in a box in their wagon and he rode to the new library in style and he became the official library cat.

He still lives in the library and greets guests at the front desk and spends his time helping them choose books and keeping the young patrons in line during story hour. Browser takes vacations from work with Branch Manager Muriel Erickson, his food and accessories are donated by patrons and followers, and the local veterinarian donates veterinary care.

Browser keeps an eye on the young patrons during storytime.
Browser keeps an eye on the young patrons during storytime.

There is so much to say about Browser and so many photos that I will be publishing a separate article about him as a library cat next week with a special connection to my own public library, so stay tuned. But don’t forget to go to Amazon.com and order the book before July 31 to help Browser support Paws and Claws Animal Shelter which, as Browser explains in his blog (yes, he has his own blog and Facebook page), “They are a wonderful organization dedicated to rescuing animals as I was rescued. They are a work in progress with a dream of building a wonderful facility. Currently they are operating from a bus.” Paws and Claws also offers low-cost affordable spay and neuter to the community. “Thank you, Paws and Claws. Fewer baby animals with no homes. I was one of the lucky ones.”

Browser encourages children to sign up for summer reading with Sarah.
Browser encourages children to sign up for summer reading with Sarah.

About the book

Rescued: The Stories of 12 Cats, Through Their Eyes
Rescued: The Stories of 12 Cats, Through Their Eyes

Rescued: The Stories of 12 Cats, Through Their Eyes was the winner in the category “Compilations/Anthologies” at the San Francisco Book Festival earlier this year.

You can read a synopsis of each of the stories included in Rescued and the featured rescue each month in posts on Sparkle’s blog featuring the first six stories and the second six stories, and you can read more about the book and find links to purchase on the publisher website, FitCat Publishing.

 

 


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Bernadette

From health and welfare to rescue and adoption stories, advocacy and art, The Creative Cat offers both visual and verbal education and entertainment about cats for people who love cats. From catchy and creative headlines to factual articles and fictional stories, The Creative Cat provides constant entertainment and important information to people who love cats, pets and animals of all species.

2 thoughts on “Book Review: “Rescued”, and Browser the Library Cat

  • July 25, 2015 at 5:25 pm
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    Rescued is a beautiful book Bernadette…If you are like me..you will be needing to keep the tissue box near while reading it..So many wonderful cat lovers contributed to this book..If they ever do a Rescued #2…I would love to see the beautiful story of Mimi and her kittens in it…

    Reply

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