My mom just read a book by Lisa Duffy, Tales From a Dog Catcher. Lisa spent four years as an Animal Control Officer in a small town in Westchester, New York, right on the Hudson River. She took the job to earn money for college. She worked closely with the police department to enforce the law and protect the animals.
My mom loves this book. She read some stories to me while I pretended to engage in my favorite activity, taking naps on my own corner of the couch. I would start to drift off and then I’d be riveted by what my mom was reading. A few times I even opened my eyes. (Today I’m sleeping extra to make up. A dog’s life, after all.)
Ophelia took up her spot on the arm rest of Cathy’s sofa. She spent 30 days in a cage in a shelter. She keeps reminding me that I had it easy in a foster home. Well, look who’s royalty…but I digress.
Some stories were heart-warming. The police officers in Lisa’s station sometimes adopted the animals that seemed hopeless. A stray kitten was invited to join a litter of purebreds, like a guest invited for dinner. A long haired kitten, no less. Hopefully not as high-maintenance as our own Ophelia.
A couple of times my mom started reading a story and then stopped. “Not for your tender royal ears,” she said to me. “And definitely not for Ophelia. That cat would have nightmares.”
People didn’t necessarily abuse their animals in this book, Cathy explained to us. They just thought their dogs and cats were disposable property.
My mom felt sad that this book is so good, but faces obstacles getting known to the world. “It’s not fair,” she said. “I’m reviewing boring, badly written books from big name publishers. I couldn’t put this book dodwn. And I am so fussy.”
This is true. Our coffee table is piled high with books she couldn’t bear to finish. “Life is too short,” she says.
“I know people don’t buy a lot of books tbese days,” my mom said. “But just put in a Purchase Suggestion to your local library. Go to the Amazon listing and get all the info. At least 50% of the time your library will buy the book. And you’ll have a happy evening for reading.
“And it’s also a good book to give your hard-to-please friends for birthdays and holidays.”