Cat Tails to Soothe the Soul

Cat Book review by Larry Chamberlain.

Cat Tails to Soothe the Soul - a collection of short stories by Diane Dippelhofer.

Is it possible that our cats have a better understanding of how to tackle the dilemmas and challenges we humans all face at different times, than we, the mere humans do?

This is the theory that author Diane Dippelhofer presents through the medium of a collection of humorous and poignant short stories.

Through these short stories that deal with the difficulties that blight our lives, the fear of taking risks, facing discrimination, broken relationships, loss of a loved one, fear of failure and dealing with our own inadequacies - we learn how the human-feline attachment can be so much more than what we originally perceive it to be.

In Cat Tails to Soothe the Soul we meet cats that are unique and individual as we are. From the feisty and obstinate Rocky to the wise and patient Roscoe.

You will find your spirits uplifted as these feline characters teach their humans a thing or two about hope, love, clemency, forgiveness, understanding and acceptance.

This book shows how our lives are enriched by the lessons our cats teach us about relationships. If you're an animal lover, especially of cats, you will definitely relate to them. Even if you're not, the message in the stories applies to everyone.

Cat Tails to Soothe the Soul - About the Author

Diane Dippelhofer is a Leadership Development Specialist for a major utility company. She previously worked for fourteen years for the Michigan Department of Social Services as a caseworker and has acted in TV commercials and theater productions.

Diane lives in Ohio with her husband, Joe, and their cat Maggie. In her spare time Diane works as a freelance writer and has had her articles published in Cats and Kittens Magazine, Backroads Magazine, and her town's local newspaper.

As passionate as she is about writing, she is equally devoted to traveling the country with her husband on their Harley Davidson. They've been to all fifty states and many of her articles are based on their experiences when visiting these interesting places.

Many of her writing ideas are conceived while riding and enjoying the freedom of the open road.

Extract From - Cat Tails to Soothe the Soul

I've been on Death Row for five years. Today I'm getting out - no matter what. The door to our cellblock opened and our guard entered.

Sally, who could've passed for a pro football linebacker, was blocking my view of the visitor she was talking to. As they came closer, I stood at attention with an angelic look pasted on my face, waiting to spring into action.

I heard the stranger say, "Isn't this one adorable?"

"Yes, Mrs. Gurney," Sally replied. "The Humane Society has several kittens, but we have a really sweet, older cat, Rocky, that's already declawed and castrated."

"I want a kitten," the woman said firmly.

calico and white kitten
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Shooting me a look of pity, Sally unlocked the door to one of my competitors' cages and picked up a tiny white ball of fur.

"I'll take you and Snowball to the play room to get acquainted, and you can decide whether she's right for you."

I jumped onto the bars of my cage and let out a yowl. "Wait! Look at me." The door slammed shut on my plea. "I don't get it. Snowball poops in her feed bowl, and Gurney swoons in delight. Yesterday Blackie peed in his water bowl and he got adopted. What is it with humans? Are they all fascinated with bodily functions?"

"Quiet, I'm napping," hissed Tinker, my neighbor in the next cell.

"Tough." Jumping into my litter box, I used my paws like shovels and sprayed the litter and its deposits in her direction.

"Hey. I just took a bath. Now I've got to wash again thanks to you."

"Sorry," I said grudgingly, "but you'll understand my frustration when you've been here longer." I paced back and forth continuing my diatribe. "My nine lives are running out. Why won't anyone pick me? I'm low maintenance. I don't throw up hairballs like those long-haired Persians, and I'll eat anything. Those finicky purebreds cost a fortune to feed."

My meows jumped an octave as my frustration grew, and I swiped at the ball in my cage, ducking when it boomeranged off the bars. "And I'm cheap. Just give me a crumpled up piece of paper to play with and I'm content. I don't need fancy toys with feathers or catnip. Or those hoity-toity carpeted condos."

I sat down only to spring up as I remembered a few more of my virtues. "Plus, for the last two years no one's broken my sharp shooting record for hitting the litter box. And I wouldn't get on the kitchen counters. least not when they're looking."

"Humans need to feel needed. Kittens are like babies. Helpless."

Tinker's words of wisdom did nothing to placate me. "If humans only understood Kitty-Kat. I'd tell them how smart older cats are compared to sniveling kittens that can't find their way out of a paper sack."

"You know, Rocky, you're part of the problem."

"What?" I howled.

"Since I've been here I've seen you blow your chances twice. That farmer - "

"That grouchy old geezer. All he wanted was a mouse catcher. No way was I living in a dirty, smelly old barn."

"How about that lady last week? She was nice and definitely interested until you nipped her in the ankle."

"Yeah." I laughed. "I really had to think fast when she started talking aobut her rugrats. No thanks. I want to keep my tail and eyes. No kid's going to dress me up in doll clothes and push me around in a baby carriage."

"They won't keep you here forever."

I winced at her reminder. Flopping down on the carpet remnant, I ran through my rules for an owner and decided I wasn't being too rigid: energetic enough to play with, smart enough to know when to leave me alone, and most importantly -

The door suddenly opened, and I waited to hear Snowball's fate.

"I'm sure we have another one you'll like better."

I've still got a chance! I lunged onto the bars of the cage. Their conversation ceased when I let out an ear splitting "Meeeooowwwww."

"What in the world?" I saw Gurney's feet head in my direction.

I coaxed her closer by emitting high-pitched squeaks.

"Are you hurt, dear?" Gurney asked, bending over and looking in my cage.

Yipes. I let out a hiss as loud as a cougar's and stood, puffing my fur out like a lion's mane.

"My goodness," she said, jumping back.

Sally glared daggers at me and said, "I'm sorry. He's usually so sweet. Something must've scared him."

You got that right.

Cat "Tails" to Soothe the Soul

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