Along with today’s review of Inspector Dewey, I’m delighted to offer a guest post from author Kristen Heimerl, on one of our mutually favorite subjects…cats!
What could be more marvelous than a cat? I know dog lovers disagree, and I love a goofy pooch as much as anyone, but there’s just something about cats.
I’ve loved cats from the first time I discovered Fred, my aunt Diana’s big, red, crabby tabby. My sticky outstretched hands, tottering stride, and sound-barrier-shattering shrills of joy did not impress Fred. I didn’t care. It was love.
Cats are people. Really. Their personalities are as distinctive and developed as any human I know, and their social structure and norms are as sophisticated and, at times, as senseless as ours. Their “me in the middle” mindset is a match for any child’s and many adults’.
I am fascinated observing cats—not because I don’t understand them, but because I do. So when it came to writing a book, I couldn’t imagine writing about anything but my beloved furry housemates. I know . . . I know where you are going: “Here we go . . . another cat lady.” Judge away—I’m immune to your disdain! I surrender to the status. Proudly.
Quite simply, my pets are my companions who contribute to my well-being. And I’m not alone in this. Many studies have shown that pets offer significant benefits to people who love them, including improved heart health, reduced stress, decreased loneliness, and increased social interaction. My kitty Gnocchi shared my life and my home for nineteen years. Nineteen years. That’s the length of a marriage for many. I got Gnocchi shortly following the devastation of my father’s heart attack, and I cared for my cat’s own declining ticker two decades later. And then there was Pushkin. A shaded-silver stunner who gave me sixteen years of love and loyalty. Thoughts of my past furry friends still hurt my heart. These are serious bonds forged over a lifetime—theirs and mine.
Now, I’ve got the Three Stooges—er, Norwegians. A perky pack of fluff bundles that bring me a daily dose of joy and laughter. I didn’t set out to have three cats—that story in itself is comical. After Gnocchi passed, the pain was just too big. I had this grand plan all logically worked out in my head: If I got two kittens, they would love each other and not me, thereby keeping my adoration and attachment for them in check. I know . . . I said it was a grand plan, not a good one. They don’t love me less, nor I them. On the contrary, my heart simply expanded, increasing my capacity for love. Geez, what a fool I was to think it would be otherwise.
Then came Lily, the byproduct of another grand plan to get a tiny, sweet, demure, precious princess to balance out the raucousness of two “tween” boys. Holy hell! Lily was a devilish diva from day one. None of us were a match for her captivating golden eyes, radiating auburn fluff, and confident kitty composure. Entirely smitten, we got suckered into her snare and cater to her to this day.
What’s so amazing about my three Norwegians is their joy, innocence, and unrelenting admiration for one another and for me. They have no reason to be or know otherwise. They are beloved—cherished, in fact. Practically, what this means is that they live in their own Disney-like bubble, carrying out their own delicious days without care or concern for anything that occurs outside of our home.
And this is where the silly content comes from. Did you know that vases of flowers are evil and need to be overturned immediately? That sleeping (human) cheeks are designed to be kitty pillows? And that the most colossal cleaning chore is not the bath or the kitchen floor but the inside of the ear?
I watch in wonder as these tiny people have head-bumped their way into my heart and home. As families go, we’re the consummate clutter, friends who have forged a fabulous forever bond. And while I’m sure there are other cool ways to cohabitate, our way works pretty well.
Marketing Officer, Strategy Expert, Innovator and Brand Builder, Kristen’s business career spans 20+ years serving the biggest brands in industry and the biggest hearts of start-ups and entrepreneurs. Kristen revels in bringing compelling products and services to life and helping leaders and individuals with big dreams realize their big goals.
Kristen’s life joys include her 2+ year obsession creating the most beautiful self-published picture book possible, the breathtaking forests and lakes of her Minnesota birthplace, the family that really does love her no matter what, and her three magnificent Norwegian Forest Cats who together, with Kristen, helped catch the bad guy on their block that inspired her upcoming book (stake out and high speed chase included!)
She holds a master of science in eCommerce from Carnegie Mellon University, an MBA from the University of Minnesota Carlson School of Management, and a BA from the University of St. Thomas. As the great transformer in her life, Kristen supports others’ education and literacy as an adjunct professor of business and strategy and, more recently, through her children’s book, Inspector Dewey (Available September 2015).