When I decided to create the character for Harry the Wonder Cat, I had to look no further than my Monkeyface, the first cat I ever had. Twenty years ago, Monkey and I met and it was love at first sight. The big Maine Coon was the gentlest creature I’ve ever known. He was fiercely loyal to me and protected me from the people that he considered bad. (Cats are like that…they can smell trouble a mile off.) I, in turn, protected him from everything from the rustling of a paper bag (he hated paper bags) to the loud claps of thunder in the mountain sky.
Now, I know you’ll think that Harry doesn’t sound at all like Monkeyface, and you would be right when it comes down to fears. After all, Harry isn’t afraid of anything. You must remember, however, Monkeyface didn’t have the powers that Harry has.
Other than being fiercely protective of their person, Maine Coons are among the largest domestic cat, (the biggest was a cat named Stewie, who grew to be a whopping 48.5 inches. Harry’s 38 inches seem small next to him.)
While Harry grew to weigh over 30 pounds, Monkeyface weighed a mere 25 pounds. Maine Coons are known as the Gentle Giants of the cat world, but sometimes Harry uses his size to intimidate enemies.
I chose the Maine Coon breed for Harry the Wonder Cat in memory of my lovable Monkeyface who, in my mind, will always be my Wonder Cat.
In a heatwave we must all be mindful of our animals. We need to keep our pets indoors with fresh water and a cool place for them to hang out. You might even add a few ice cubes in their water. It serves two purposes, to cool the water down, and it gives them something to play with.
I researched heatwaves and how they can affect our precious pets. Just as humans can get heatstroke, so can cats and dogs.
The signs to watch for are:
1. If your dog is panting excessively or your cat is open-mouth breathing or panting
2. If the color of your dog’s or your cat’s gums change to brick-red and blue-purple
3. If your dog or cat is drooling more than usual
4. If your dog or cat is lethargic or if they collapse
5. If your dog or cat is going into seizures
If they are experiencing any of these signs, call your vet immediately.
We also need to be mindful of leaving your animal in a locked car. On a day when the temperature is 90 degrees, the inside of a vehicle can reach 138 degrees! Please do not take your dog or cat out in a car, just to leave him sitting while you do your errands. Think about how you would feel in 138 degrees.
In a nutshell, we need to be thoughtful and loving towards our pets. After all, they are part of our family.
I have introduced five cats who are lucky enough to be joining Harry on his adventure in Greece. I have a lot more applications to go through. Please take a gander at the following contestants.
The next cat co-star is Dewey. You may remember Dewey from Book 1, The Legend of the Pink Diamond. He’s the only co-star who gets to appear in more than one book. Harry needs this lightning-fast, feisty feline to help him maneuver around the Greek Island of Syros. Of course, the cats from the sanctuary will be there to lend a hand, too.
Rosie is the second one that I’ll introduce you to this week. She has an exceptional talent; she can moonwalk, which will come in handy when Harry needs a feline to creep silently on window ledges.
Next week, I’ll be bringing more cats along for the ride.