My Amber loves being read to. From earliest infancy up to when
she left home this was a major part of our quality time. (Boy, Howdy,
do I miss it!) Mysteries were a favorite genre. Needless to say, I
developed a deep appreciation for the writings of Peg Kehret.
Recently I saw that grand lady smiling and holding a grey cat on
the cover of a library book. The title: Animals Welcome: A Life of
Reading, Writing, and Rescue also grabbed my attention. When I
realized that the book was a real life memoir I was totally hooked.
Quite fittingly, when I chose to read it, sitting near our lovely
Christmas tree on New Years Eve, my Joey cat occuppied my lap, purring
Peg and her husband, Carl, built a log cabin dream house on ten
acres of woodland. The land has wildlife certification. All of it
except for house and driveway is maintained in a natural state and is
visited on a regular basis by critters great and small: elk, deer,
possoms, quail, grouse... In my favorite mental image from the book
white haired Peg uses a book award bell to scare a much heavier black
bear in pursuit of bird seed from her porch.
There were inside critters as well as outside ones. The Kehrets
shared their abode with cats and dogs. Some stayed on a long term
basis, others only long enough to get adopted. Some inspired
children's stories. The Pete the Cat books are a tribute to a feline
who would walk on Peg's keyboard, creating gibberish, when she left
Tragedy entered Peg's life when her beloved Carl died during
heart surgery. She chose to stay in the dream home they had shared.
She was not sure what to do with the workshop where he'd restored
antique musical instruments, but she desperately wanted it to continue
to be a warm, cheerful place. She turned it into a foster home for
cats who needed special care. Two days later she received a cat who
was "afraid of everything and everyone" and needed to be socialized so
he could be adoptable.
Animals Welcome, in my mind, is a must read for Peg Kehret fans,
animal lovers, and all who enjoy a heart warming story.
On a personal note, when I was a kid growing up I was always bringing
home unwanted cats. Once neighbors asked mom to have me bring over a
cup of sugar. When I arrived at their house I was perplexed to see a
full sugar bowl. The husband had been fishing when he saw a live
kitten in the ocean clinging to a piece of wood. They needed to find
her a home and knew which of Mom's daughters was overly fond of feline
A great big shout out goes out to all who help precious creatures find
homes and families.
Julia Emily Hathaway
Sent from my iPod