Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Have You Fed the Cat?

My favorite after school activity when I was in elementary school was paying a visit to the pet shop a few blocks down from my school. I loved to press my face to the glass and watch the little puppies prance and play or even just nap. I really, really wanted one. They were so adorable and so full of energy!

My dad knew better, though. A veteran pet owner for the ages, he knew that after about a week my promises to clean up after the dog, walk it every day, remember to feed it, and otherwise care for it would be a thing of the past. The poor animal would have to fend for itself, pine for attention, and otherwise lead a boring and uneventful life. The neglect it would inevitably endure was too painful to think of, so every time I would whine and beg for a cute little puppy dog, my dad firmly said "No way."

Years later I finally understand my dad's logic, but at the time I thought he was being cruel and unreasonable. In truth, the dog would have probably suffered enormously under my care (if the treatment of my Barbies was any indication of my caretaking abilities), and would be much better off in a more loving environment.

Tragically, however, many pets find themselves initially surrounded by love and gradually ignored as time passes. They become a part of the furniture, or worse - a nuisance.

In Have You Fed the Cat?, Michele Coxon tells the tale of Sam the cat who was the center of attention as a kitten but is mostly left on his own now. The only time he is even noticed is when he wants food. And since everyone is feeding him, Sam starts to become a very large cat...

It is sad how easily pets are ignored by their homes. Have You Fed the Cat? will remind readers, children and adults alike, that a pet is still very much a part of the family it belongs to and wants to be loved and cared for. It's a valuable lesson for children to learn, and one their pets will definitely appreciate!

Available in paperback and hardcover editions. Also available in Spanish/English.

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