ALL WRITTEN AND ARTWORK ARE THE INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY OF PSG LOPES. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED, 2019.
My family and I have been taking care of feral cats for almost two decades. What started off as feeding a stray cat here and there turned into a solid feral colony which we feed and take care of daily. It is costly and is a lot of responsibility. And it is more than just taking care of the cats. We have to fight with neighbors who do not agree with feeding strays because they make a mess and those individuals usually lack the proper education on how these animals live.
We have had so many stray cats touch our lives over the years. The gift of caring for another living being is just such a treasure. I never had children of my own, so I consider my cats to be my children.
In the early summer of 2017, three of our feral cats gave birth to a litter of fourteen kittens! We worked with this group in our town called TNR-Trap, Neuter, Return. This organization of volunteers will go around placing humane traps to capture the feral cats so that they can have them neutered or spayed, and returned to their colony. To date, all but two of our feral cats are neutered or spayed. They are the wildest of our colony and are virtually impossible to capture. Anyhow, of this litter, spawned my little Stan! I named him Stanlee after the great Stan Lee, the comic book genius. My family and I adopted Stanlee. I took care of him since he was a little baby. He was such a mushy, whiny little baby. He loved his cuddles and loved being warm and was such a sweet, inspiring little nugget. The head of the town’s TNR group captured the remaining kittens and gave them all proper homes.
This whole experience inspired me to create “The Will O’ The Wisp” children’s books series. Instead of looking at the same old boring children’s books you see in the children’s book store, I decided to create children’s books that educate and relay a positive message to children.
Little Stan’s Lucky Day teaches children about the difference between feral cats and domesticated cats and talks about all of my own cats and how Stanlee adapted to living in his new home. All of my children’s books are told in the form of a poem. That’s my writing style for the children’s books. The illustrations of this book were photographs of my domesticated cats that were stylized and filtered to look like oil paintings. Any proceeds for this book goes back to the care of the ferals and domesticated cats that my family and I care for as the care for taking care of the animals is very expensive.
Another message that I wish to convey is that it doesn’t matter if you take care of one cat or two hundred cats. Your contributions to these animal’s lives mean everything to these cats, who would’ve normally suffered without our intervention. All of my domesticated cats were once strays. I wish that I could take in every single abandoned or stray cat out there but I don’t have the space nor the resources for them. I feel good that I am able to do what I can for the ones we do care for. I feel that it is imperative to reach out and teach everyone, especially our youth, and teach them kindness, compassion, and mercy even for our furry friends!
Writing this children’s book was one of the greatest achievements of my life. I am so proud of this book because it was my first children’s book. I am also proud that it is meaningful. I see so many horrible children’s books out there. Books about crude things like farting and such and I think to myself, “How on earth did they get these books published?” With every work that I produce, I try not to be frivolous. I aim to write with a purpose and with meaning. I aim to help others and educate them on various topics that people may not previously be aware of and it is important to use my platform in a positive manner. These are some pictures of Little Stan’s Lucky Day book cover and of Stanlee when he was a baby and what he looks like now.
Stanlee is a very independent cat with a strong sense of self. He likes being pet on his own terms and even nibbles playfully on your hand when he wants more pets or when he wants to be left alone. He still loves and remembers his mama and will come to me when I call his name but out of all of my cats, he does not like to be coddled. He likes to explore and be his own cat and hang out with his other fur friends! I love my little Stanlee and will always cherish the time I had with him raising him as a baby. That time does not last when they are so small and are so mushy. Then they go off and become happy, flourishing adult cats! It is a great sight to behold and one that I am so proud to be a part of! Thanks so much for reading about my journey with feral cats and domesticated cats and the making of my first children’s book. This book, as well as all my other books, are available on Amazon as a paperback or ebook in Kindle format: amazon.com/author/psglopes.