FIVE books to give away!!!

This is Chicken Soup For The Soul: Loving Our Cats and it's 101 of of the best stories from the Chicken Soup For The Soul mondo-big library (I got that off the back of the book, but they don't seem to use good words like "mondo" so I dressed it up a bit for them...I'm pretty sure they'll appreciate that.)

I don't know about your people, but the Woman has been known to read the occasional Chicken Soup book, and they always make her leak. It's not a "oh no, someone went to the Bridge" kind of leak but that squealy, gooey, someone poked her heart kind of leak. And you want your people to leak, too, don't you?

Of course you do.

So...I'm giving away ALL FIVE COPIES! Because I'm generous that way. Oh, and because I said I would. But I would have anyway. Yep. This is like the last couple of give-aways: just leave a comment that says Enter Me, and I need someway to contact you if you win, so your email address would be greatly appreciated, too. This is open to everyone anywhere in the world, except maybe Antarctica, mostly because I don't know if the post office goes there.

Want a taste of what you're trying to win? This is an excerpt from the book, Chicken Soup For The Soul: Loving Our Cats, used with permission.

The Power Of Love
God made the cat in order that man might have the pleasure of caressing the lion.
~Fernand Mery

When I first saw the big gray-and-white cat in our yard, I knew right away that he was a stray. He was fierce-looking— a wounded warrior with a huge head and shoulders
and a badly scarred body.

I started putting out food for him each day, and, even though you could see that he was starving, he wouldn’t come near it if anyone was in sight. Because of one dead eye, which gave him a malevolent appearance, all the neighbors who saw him were afraid of him, even the cat lovers. Winter came, and he still wouldn’t trust me or my family. Then, one day, it happened — a car hit him. I realized this when I saw him dragging himself through the snow to the food dish. I knew then that we would have to humanely trap him. It took some ingenuity, but we finally did it.

He spent a week with the veterinarian getting treated for his injuries, and also being neutered, de-wormed, de-fleaed, having his shots, being bathed, etc. We were eager to bring him home to join our family, but, when we arrived at the veterinarian’s office to take the cat home, we were met by a very serious doctor who told us that we should put the cat to sleep immediately. Our big stray was so ferocious and mean that he would never, ever become tame, let alone a pet.

I wasn’t convinced. I have always had great faith in love’s power to tame even the wildest beast. I thought to myself, I’ve been praying for this cat since the day I first saw him. I’m not giving up that easily!

I told the vet, “I want to try. I’m taking him home.” We named him Paws.

We opened the cat carrier under the bed in the guestroom, where we had put food, water and a litter box — in the farthest back corner so Paws would feel protected — and we left the room. Three days went by, and we did not see any sign of the cat. The only way we knew he was under the bed was that, when any of us walked by the
open bedroom door, we heard deep growling and hissing.

I wanted to touch his heart, to somehow let him know that he was safe and loved. I devised a plan to reach him safely. I put on my husband’s large hard hat and a pair of his welding gloves. Lying on the floor, I slid under the bed toward Paws, with my face to the floor and only the top of my head, protected by the hat, facing him.
I reached out to stroke him, all the while gently repeating over and over again, “Paws, we love you, we love you, we love you.”

He acted like the Tasmanian Devil — snarling, growling, howling, hissing, hitting his back on the underside of the bed as he tried to scratch and bite me. It was scary — but I knew he couldn’t hurt me, so I just kept going. Finally, my gloved hand reached his face, and I was able to stroke him, still telling him how much we loved him.

Ever so slowly, he began to calm down. He was trembling with fear as I continued to stroke him and speak to him in the same soft tone for a few more minutes. Then I slid out from under the bed and left the room.

The first step had been made. I was pleased but wondered how long this campaign would have to go on.

Several hours later, I came back upstairs and went to my bedroom. I noticed a cat on the bed, then did a double-take. It was Paws — all stretched out on the pillows and purring up a storm! I clapped my hand over my mouth. I literally couldn’t believe it.

That dear cat became the love of our household. He often had three of our other cats licking and grooming him at one time, two dogs snuggled up next to him throughout the day, and, best of all, every night he would assume his special place to sleep — on my pillow with his beautiful, scarred, furry face nuzzling mine.

Although Paws finally succumbed to cancer, his legacy — my continued and steadfast belief in the power of love — lives on.

~Barbara (Bobby) Adrian
Chicken Soup for the Cat Lover’s Soul

Go ahead! Enter now! Comments will be closed on Thursday, September 25, 2008 at 8 p.m. Pacific time. Then the Woman will draw 5 names, but I think maybe we'll see if we have a hat this time, instead of a bowl. Or maybe one of their helmets, because we're gonna need a BIG hat because YOU'RE ALL GOING TO ENTER! Right? Right.

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