Tag Archives: foster kittens

A Poem for Bert

Our friend James watches the bookshop fairly often when we run about for this or that. James is a gifted poet and he sent us this in honor of our fuzzy guy. (His loss is why there have been no blogs this week. It’s just hard right now.)

So here, from James Ryan, is the poem

BERT

Bert the bookstore Terrier was really quite a guy

He did his job with great aplomb although he’d lost an eye

He inspected all the corners of the bookstore every day

Then he’d take the time to watch the kittens at their play

He greeted each customer as they came through the door

Unless, of course, he was asleep then you’d hear him snore

Watching the bookstore was a fun but never-ending task

The loving he received for this was all that he could ask

He knew his job and did it well whenever there was need

When there wasn’t he would sit and watch the kittens feed

To them he was their Uncle Bert a kind and gentle soul

Who watched them play and laughed when they’d trip and roll

He loved them all and treated them as if they were his own

And celebrated every time one got a furrever home

Now he’s crossed the rainbow bridge with a leap and run

Where his friend Zora is waiting to play and have some fun

He’s in a happy place now where he’ll never take a hurt

So, we celebrate the life of the Bookstore Terrier called BERTBert fostering

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Filed under animal rescue, Big Stone Gap, bookstore management, humor, Life reflections, Little Bookstore of Big Stone Gap, small town USA, Uncategorized

Fixing Mariah Stewart

DSCN0455I try to be a good foster mom. I really do.

The mystery room has been taken over by eight fuzzy little miscreants, and just as one was adopted yesterday, an emergency came in. Yeah, it’s been that kind of summer. The emergency kitten – we named her Miss Kitty Butler – is a Russian blue with brown eyes, a lovely wee thing who narrowly missed getting squished on the side of the road. She’s not supposed to be here, but it was better than the alternative.

Now, with eight kittens, and our dear Mrs. Hudson adopted a month ago, you can imagine the state of things. We keep on top of the boxes (which all the kittens are using like champs, in every sense) but they have a kitty tube, a climbing tree, a spiral hat, two dangly toys, assorted jingle balls, and about a thousand catnip mice in there.

We open the door by day, and herd them in at night. When I open the door the next morning with their (two) plates of wet food, they swarm my ankles like fuzzy piranhas, meat-seeking missiles. While they eat, I tidy the room. Which is a lot like Sisyphus pushing his rock up the hill, because the kitties have discovered the joys of tunneling through our new shelves. See, we just redid the mystery room about two weeks ago: new shelves, better classification system, and a big tidy that included Saint Anne buffing and rewaxing all the floors.

Yeah, good thing we got it tidied.

Every morning the kittens have created new tunnels between the central shelf’s lowest level, pushing Ed McBain, Mariah Stewart, and Charlotte MacLeod out of the way in great strings of books across the floor. These fallen soldiers of the kitten wars were, the first week or so, restacked with careful attention to titles and authors, turned sideways to allow a tunnel left open for the fur babies, and given a little tlc.

The kittens ignored the prefabricated tunnels and created more. Ridley Pearson. Richard North Patterson. When they shoved our 200 Robert Parker novels out of the way, I knew they meant business. You mess with Spenser for Hire, nobody is safe.

So I’ve stopped worrying about the kitten tunnels, and just shove those titles willy-nilly back under the bottom shelf each morning. Charlotte and Ridley have grown….close. Entwined, one might say. I’m pretty sure some of the Stewarts are pregnant, and will give birth to slim volumes of Harlequin Suspenses. Sigh….. 081

We ensure the kitties never give birth. It’s been a bad year for people forgetting their responsibilities, and these are the result. But I’m not sure how to fix the Stewarts…

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Filed under animal rescue, Big Stone Gap, book repair, bookstore management, crafting, humor, Life reflections, Little Bookstore of Big Stone Gap, publishing, reading, shopsitting, small town USA, VA, Wendy Welch, writing

Ruth Thinks Certain Things would be REALLY NICE

DSCN0446Hey y’all, I’m Ruth. Yes, I’m a girl. Yes, I’m an orange tabby. Yes, I’m unusual.

Now we’ve got that out of the way, lemme tell you, we’ve got an unusual life here. It all started when we were born, see. My two brothers and I got taken to a place called a “shelter” when we were three days old. I don’t remember that part, or the part about Mom not coming with us. The first thing I remember is this lady bottle feeding us, and then we slept, and then we got more bottle. Which was very nice, and then the stuff in the bottle was in this big plate on the floor and it had this delicious stuff mixed in, called “solid food.” That was REALLY nice!

DSCN0459And then one day she put us all in this box and we went in a car and we got out at this place FULL of books. And other kittens. And the two ladies talked, and we stayed at the book house. Which was also nice, because she had the same food for us, plus there were other kittens there to play with. We all swapped stories – none of them had moms either. Some of the stories were kinda sad, but then the place where we were was nice: clean, bright, all the food we wanted, plenty of toys, and people kept coming in and cuddling us and saying things like we were adorable, and cute, and brave, and all that. That was REALLY REALLY nice!

Then one day the second lady, the one from here, she came in and sat us all down and explained that we didn’t live there forever, that one day we’d get in a car again, but maybe just one or two at a time, and go live someplace else, and THAT would be our forever homes. We all looked at each other; we like playing together! But then, you know, a forever home. That would be REALLY REALLY REALLY nice. So I guess that’s okay.DSCN0476

You should come visit us. THAT would be REALLY REALLY REALLY nice too! We love to snuggle.

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Filed under animal rescue, Big Stone Gap, bookstore management

Dear John

As people are visiting in preparation for the Author Humiliation Contest, we’re re-running the infamous Dear John letter from last year, as incentive to have fun. (Mr. Grisham can take a joke. We hope and pray….)

Let’s face it: we’ve had some good times, but they’re all in the past.

You made me laugh; you broadened my horizons; I ran my fingers down your spine and felt sexy and smart. We even shared some values. I will never forget weeping over A Time to Kill, feeling that I’d found my soul mate (not to mention this generation’s To Kill a Mockingbird).

But we’ve grown apart. Put more bluntly, you’ve changed. Try as I might, I just can’t get past Playing for Pizza. 

It’s over, John. Our bookstore won’t be taking any more Grishams–not paperback, not hardback, not written on vellum. I tried. Through the mood swings from The Testament to A Painted House, I stood by you.

“He’ll find himself again,” I said to naysayers. “Really, he’s a sensitive ’90s guy; did you read Rainmaker?” And then I read The Litigators, and wondered.

Frankly, John, it’s just not worth it to try again. Your hardbacks are clogging a desirable traffic area among the Pattersons and Cornwells. (If it’s any consolation, she’s next. You may find comfort under each other’s covers in the bargain bin; rebounds aren’t so bad if you have a traveling companion.)

Plus, your hardbacks take up an entire shelf, and can’t lie sideways because of their height. Size does matter, dude.

So really, it’s not you; it’s me. You’re just… too much. You throw yourself at every Amazon, Dick and Barnes and Noble, and then come crawling in here expecting I’ll take you back. You’re not a cheap date anymore; I need space for the next guy; you’re all over the place–in the Quick Trades, clogging the discount bin, lying under our shelves. I’m tired of cleaning up your messes every morning, after you party all night with the foster kittens. You’re just too cheap and easy.

I know, I know; you want to talk about the past, the glory days when people couldn’t keep their hands off you. I get it. I should feel lucky to have you here, with me, now. But it doesn’t work that way.

The time has come. Let’s be adult about this–no blame, no regrets. Admit it; you had fun. So did I. Shake hands before you go? No, don’t kiss me. You’re dusty. Just get out.

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Filed under animal rescue, bad writing, blue funks, bookstore management, humor, Life reflections, out of things to read, publishing, reading, shopsitting, writing

Porthos Speaks

athos and porthosHi! I’m Porthos an’ I’m the only girl in this family. We came to live here at the bookstore ‘cos the shelter was gettin’ crowded. Mom didn’t come with us ‘cos somebody wanted to ad- uhdot- adhop- somebody wanted her to come live with them.

That’s what we’re hoping happens to us. My brothers are silly, but I’m very sensible, so I’m sure I’ll get a furever home first. People like sensible cats. Plus I’m really pretty. Everybody says that when they see me, so ‘s okay for me to say so.

My brother Athos is my twin. He’s smaller than me an’ he has a white bit on his neck. HE says it’s a cravat. I says, “What’s a cravat?” an’ he says, “I dunno but it makes me sound smart.”Porthos dances

See? They’re eejits, both of ’em.

Athos likes to play, like me, an’ he loves to be held. D’Artagnon looks different from us. He’s stripy and he’s more scared of stuff. One time I saw him jump straight in the air ‘cos he saw the shadow of his own tail.

I dunno. Maybe I can’t go to a furever home first ‘cos they’d kill themselves doing stupid guy stuff if I wasn’t here. D’Artagnon dove headfirst off a bookshelf yesterday. Didn’t get hurt at all. He’d hafta have a brain to get hurt, right?D'Artagnon

I love my brothers, but it might be nice to live someplace that had a lap just for me, and not hafta keep saying “Don’t climb that rope; it’s not tied to the ring! Don’t stick your claws in that electric thingee! Don’t put your head UNDER the food!”

Ser’usly, the other day, Athos stuck his head IN the bowl of water. Like he was tryin’ to blow bubbles or somethin’. Then he comes up screamin’ blue murder.

porthosI didn’t touch him. I swear.

You can come visit us at the bookstore. We love feet, follow ’em around all the time. And we like bein’ carried, even D’Artagnon, but you kinda hafta let him get used to you first. He talks to your feet, and then you sit down, and he gets in your lap, and then you pick him up. Athos an’ me, we just climb straight up to your shoulder the minute we see you. View’s better from there.

athosOur foster mom says after we get our furever homes the boys will get tutored and I’ll get played. That sounds like fun.  Come visit us so we can get started! We’re ready to go home!

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Filed under animal rescue, bad writing, Big Stone Gap, bookstore management, humor, shopsitting, small town USA, VA