The Book That Started It All

Ask any book lover, and they will tell you about a perfect intersection in time, when an author’s words meet a reader’s imagination. A book is transformed, from words on a page, to complete worlds! This moment is individual to each person, and it is pure unadulterated magic!
My love affair with the written word began long before 1981, but it was in the honeysuckled nights of April, in the year that I was seven, when I met Tabitha, Sarah, and all the cats.
“The House of Thirty Cats”, now likely gathering dust on long-forgotten library shelves, was my passageway into a world of books. I slipped through the pages as if they were hedges, leaving behind the smell of frying French fries, the feel of shag carpet, and the sound of early 80’s television theme songs in my small trailer house. I emerged into a sunny dooryard with fluffy green grass, and entered an “old lady house”, softly scented with age, magnolia, and lemon pound cake. I could feel the soft belly fur of chubby, mischievous gray kittens. I could hear the purr of a dainty mother cat, feel her whiskers as she sniffed my hand to determine whether I was suitable to be near her babies. Imperial aging toms and spiteful murderous black cats came to life with such clarity that my playroom was transformed into another world!
Mary Calhoun’s story of a lonely old lady, an average little girl, and their unlikely friendship captivated my seventh summer. I lived that book, and it catapulted me into a love of all things written. The book was on my alltime childhood favorites list, and for many years, I wanted to reread it. I held off, for fear that the mysterious wonder would disappear beneath the scrutiny of adulthood.
On a winter night in 2010, very much on a whim, I recaptured the magic of “The House of Thirty Cats.” The reread held a poignancy that I would not realize until weeks later. My aging tomcat, Tigger, rested on my lap, as I listened to the book. I petted his glossy black fur, and watched his ears perk up at different times during the book, never knowing we had only ten more days together. As I read, I realized . I hadn’t lost anything, only forgot a little. Wonder, imagination, belief in happy endings – all my old friends were there, along with a few new ones, wisdom and an appreciation for the fragile beauty of such things.
This book shaped my love of reading, and the love of reading led to a desire to learn. This desire led to good grades, and good grades led to college. College led to more reading, and more reading led to a love of writing . . and who knows where that will lead?
But it all started with one little book.

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Author: Jena

Hi there. Thanks for stopping by. I am a small-town Southern writer, book hoarder, technology enthusiast, unashamed cat lady, and huge fan of the Outlander series. I have a degree in Psychology from the University of Texas at Tyler. I love nothing more than to paint pictures with words, and to make people happy, and if I can do both at the same time, all the better. Gratitude, simple joys, and optimism are the cornerstones of my life philosophy. I am totally blind, and I have non 24 sleep disorder, and temporal lobe epilepsy. These health issues make for some interesting times, but adversity has taught me wisdom I never would have learned otherwise. I hope you will enjoy my writing, and I thank you for taking the time to read it.

4 thoughts on “The Book That Started It All”

  1. l was a Nancy Drew fanatic as soon as I was old enough to read chapter books, but the title that captured my heart was a book called Beautiful Joe, about a dog who was abused. It inspired my 4th grade class to start a Be Kind to Animals club.

    Liked by 1 person

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