Lisa Vegan's Reviews > For the Love of Autumn

For the Love of Autumn by Patricia Polacco
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's review
Dec 07, 2009

really liked it
bookshelves: childrens, fiction, picture-books, reviewed
Recommended to Lisa by: Abigail A.
Read in December, 2009

First of all, I have to say that I don’t believe in indoor/outdoor or outdoor cats. I think cats should be kept indoors (to the best of their people’s ability that is) all the time. I won’t even cat sit for someone with a cat allowed to go outdoors because I’d be too much of a nervous wreck if they weren’t inside whenever I was there.

Patricia Polacco (who should really have an author photo and biography here! – well, there’s a link to her web site at least) pulls at my heartstrings like absolutely no other picture book author ever has. In my opinion, this isn’t one of her very best but it was very sweet, and she sure knows cats well.

It’s about a schoolteacher who adopts a kitten, makes a move for a job in Port Townsend, Washington, and the cat (Autumn) gets injured and disappears. When she reappears it’s obvious someone else has cared for her. The cat comes and goes and, with the help of her students, the teacher meets the other person who’s been housing the cat. It’s very obvious where the story is going from beginning to end, and it’s not a magnificent story, but I enjoyed it. The high star rating reflects more the knowledge shown about cats and to some extent the illustrations than the story, which I wouldn’t rate any higher than a 3.

Thank you, Abigail, for alerting me to this book!
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Comments (showing 1-7 of 7) (7 new)

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message 1: by Ellen (last edited Dec 10, 2009 08:26PM) (new)

Ellen Well, I can understand your sentiments, but we used to live on a dead end street, where everyone owned several acres. People routinely dumped their cats at the end of our street. The cats would meander up the street and stop at our house, because we would provide bedding and food in our garage. We placed as many cats as we could in other homes and had the rest neutered and spayed. At the time, I was worried about having them sent to the humane society in our area, as many of the cats were euthanized.

Lisa Vegan Hi Ellen, We have a no kill shelter, our local SPCA. They rarely euthanize any adoptable animal and they will spend time and money to try to get hard to adopt animals ready for adoption. They used to kill animals though, years ago.

That's wonderful that you/the neighborhood people did the neutering and spaying, and tried to find the cats homes.

I was thinking of friends who allow their cats in & out privileges, so their cats can come and go as they please. I won't cat sit for them.

message 3: by Lori (new)

Lori My cats would be absolutely miserable if I didn't let them outside. I've tried and tried, especially with my most recent kitty, but he would howl loudly and incessantly, scratching at the door, for well over an hour each time multiply that for several times a day, well. As soon as he was out, he was a very happy kitty in every way. Fortunately I have a big backyard, with a pea patch/small park next to me, and he doesn't stray far. The girls stay even closer to home and don't wander.

message 4: by Lisa (last edited Dec 10, 2009 09:00PM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Lisa Vegan Lori, Every single cat I've known has wanted to go beyond the limits they've been given. I know there are some like your cats who have access to the outside but stay close to home. I hope they stay safe; they probably will. I just could never be, even temporarily, responsible for them because I'd be too anxious. If it works for you/others - and I know it can - that's fine; I just can't take care of cats who aren't always inside or in a safe fenced yard/cat run. Meaning the cats not being able to get out and no strange people or animals such as raccoons or dogs or cougars getting in.

message 5: by Christina (new)

Christina Lisa, I feel the same way. I don't have the nerves to have own a cat and then know that it was wandering around outside and never knowing what it was up to. I remember reading an article about a girl who came home and found her cat saying strange sounds - turned out it was because someone had put barb wire around the poor thing's neck and it was being slowly strangled...! She got the cat to the vet in time and it survived but from that day I decided that if I should ever have a cat, it would be an indoor cat.

Lisa Vegan Christina, Brrr. Yes, I've known a few cats (and one small dog) killed by raccoons right in the heart of San Francisco. The cats I've taken care of and visited with have been indoor cats who have become accustomed to living indoors with their people and any other animals. Yes, they sometimes want out, and occasionally make a temporary escape (and then usually get scared and want back in!) but they seem happy and they're healthy and, I think, safer. Most of the cats I know are indoor cats but I do know a couple of indoor/outdoor cats too. So far so good, but any cats I have/take care of are indoor only.

Lisa Vegan Chandra, that's good. It's one thing if it's your own cat but I'd rather die than be taking care of friends' cats and have them disappear or get injured or just never see them to know if they are okay.

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