Thursday, December 8, 2011

A Cat's Life: Dulcy's Story

For the next few postings I’m going to share with you my ongoing love affair with cats. At SoulComfort’s Corner, Karma enriches Rita’s life. Beginning in April 1972, Dulcy enlightened mine.
            For those of you who believe in reincarnation she may once have been a high priestess in a shadowy Egyptian temple. If so, I was her lowly acolyte. Still later, she may have been a Celtic sorceress. And I? Undoubtedly, her apprentice. And in modern times, I suspect she played the imperious monarch; I, her court jester.

            We shared seventeen years together. Then death claimed her on July 6, 1989. Yet she did not leave me orphaned. Two days after her death, she began to relate, in her own soft purr, the shared memories of our life together: memories of her training me, tutoring me in ancient feline, inviting me beguilingly to become a one-cat person. I channeled her memoir, which was her final gift to me. It is, I believe, a love letter.
            My gift to her was getting her book published so that animal lovers around the world could rejoice in the pets with whom they lived and could grieve those who’d died. It took me three years to achieve that goal.
            Crown published Dulcy’s memoir as a hardcover in October 1992. Then in December 2000, J. N. Townsend Publishing in Exeter, New Hampshire, published the trade paperback of A Cat’s Life: Dulcy’s Story. In the span of those eight years, Dulcy’s book was published in Germany, Korea, Japan, and Taiwan.
            Both US editions are now out of print. The last 670 copies of the trade paperback rest in seven boxes here in my office, awaiting readers. Please note that to the right of this post is the colorful cover of A Cat's Life: Dulcy's Story. Judy King, a gifted illustrator and friend, created that cover as well as the eighteen drawings within the book. Beneath that cover is the trade paperback purchase icon. 
            The pen-and-ink portrait of Dulcy is the Kindle e-book icon. It leads directly to her page on where several readers have posted five-star comments about A Cat's Life.             
            When Dulcy’s hardcover was published in 1992, I set up thirty-six readings and signing in the Twin Cities. The book sold almost 14,000 copies. Many people that year bought Dulcy’s story as a Christmas gift for both adult friends and children.
            In the past nineteen years, I have visited several classrooms in which teachers read Dulcy’s book to children as young as second graders. Dulcy delighted them. My heartwish is that animal lovers everywhere will also delight in her sweetness.

            After her death, my home became simply a house. Its soul was gone. In mid-July of 1989, I visited the animal shelter in Afton, Minnesota, and brought home three small kittens. They, too, are now dead and I live with three young Missouri cats. All of them are grateful to Dulcy for the training she gave me. She was not only priestess. She was taskmaster. And I? I was always her willing thrall.



  1. Dee, this reminds me of the saying "Dogs have owners, cats have servants". I too am a cat lover, despite being rather allergic to their dander, but no longer have any because we travel too much. One day, when I'm too old to travel, I will have cats again.

  2. Love this post. I have to rush to get ready to go to the doctor, so more later. I just wanted to let you know that I dedicated my post for today to Dulcy, her story, and you, my friend. I sincerely hope that you will like it. I told my readers that the book is now available and made various links, including one to your blog.

  3. I'm so looking forward to receiving my copy of your book -- a Christmas present for myself!

  4. Dee, I would love to buy a copy from you in January.
    Please email me.

    I have had cats and dogs, but the independence and personalities of cats always intrigued me. You have to earn their affection and trust. I'd love to learn more about your life with Dulcy. Yes, Karma enriches my life and makes me laugh every day! ;)

  5. Thank you for sharing the background to Dulcy's Story with us, Dee. You have already achieved great success with having been published previously and my wish is that the new run of copies will fly off the shelves. I'm so excited to be receiving my copy shortly (postal service permitting)!

  6. What a priceless pet Dulcy must have been and how special her tale must be.

  7. She is lovely. I am so glad you two had the opportunity to enrich each other's lives.

    Will catch up on your "vows" posts today or tomorrow. I always like to set aside lots of time to read and reflect on these posts, but I haven't forgotten them - just been to busy to truly appreciate them.

  8. Glad to know you have a cat memoir out there. I have some definite feline enthusiasts in my life, as well as a big, orange tabby who provides endless entertainment with a smattering of orneriness for good measure. I hope to read Dulcy's story soon.

  9. I'm so excited about your book.

    Dulcy is beautiful. It's neat seeing photos of her :0)

  10. If I didn't already own your book, I would simply have to get one,having read your wonderful blogs. Mary E

  11. Perpetua,
    I cannot imagine my life without cats, so I hope that you will be able to sojourn with them once again.

    I'm so touched by your generosity in blogging today about Dulcy and me. Thank you. The cover of her book is so beautiful, isn't it? Judy King is an outstanding artist.

    I plan to mail your book tomorrow. I so hope you enjoy meeting Dulcy.

    Thank you for giving me permission to print your comment. I'm glad you feel there are no negative vibes lurking around this site! How blessed you and Karma are to have one another.

    I'm going to do a guest post on Elisa's blog next week and explain just how Dulcy's book came to be. The story always bemuses and mystifies me.

  12. Pam,
    After Dulcy's book was published in 1992, many readers wrote me to say that the book was a love story and that anyone, with or without animals in their lives, would respond to it. Our relationship did go through the ups and downs of any relationship I've ever been in.

    Yes, Dulcy was a great blessing in my life. She taught so much about unconditional love. I'm glad that you'll be reading the "vow" posts as I'd like to know your thoughts on them. You look at things straightforwardly and I appreciate that.

    I hope that if you read Dulcy's story you'll find both the entertainment and the orneriness of the tabby with whom you live!

    Your excitement is contagious! Thank you!

    Mary E.,
    I was so glad to receive two comments from you today. It reminds me of when we roomed together in college and shared our day with one another each evening before bed. Thank you.

  13. Hello, Inger sent me to your blog. And I like what I read. Being 'catless' for the last 5 years(my Rita died after 16 years), this is just what may push me to find another.
    Nice to meet you.

  14. How wonderful. She is so beautiful and indeed was a priestess in her home, and in your soul. I can't wait to learn more about her.

  15. A heartwarming story on the joys and positive benefits that cats add to our lives. we have three. I'm here through Desiree and pleased to meet you.

  16. I was never a cat lover until seventeen years ago when my daughter brought home a tiny little black kitten that she had hidden in her pocket. It was love at first sight. I lost my Martian this year and just thinking about him brings tears to my eyes. We do have two other cats that we have picked up along the way, but as sweet as they are, they are not Martian. There will only be one of him.

    BTW, the music on the video on my blog is "Love is Blue" by Paul Mureat.

  17. Dear Dee, I look forward to hearing even more about Dulcy and your life with her. What a beautiful thing it is to honor her with your words and your book.

    We are cat lovers here Unfortunately, allergies have left us in a feline free zone for a long, long time. Our first cat, Zoe, was a wedding shower gift from a friend (38 years ago). Ah, I'm feeling a post coming on.

  18. Inger sent me over to your site. She has said such wonderful things about your book. I have just sent in an order... well, two orders... for two books. The link to purchase the book would not allow me to change the quantity - so what looks like a duplicate order is not, in fact, a duplicate! I have two cat lovers in the family, so I was thrilled to find the perfect gifts for them!
    I also bought the Kindle edition for me!
    Can't wait give the books as gifts.
    -Dreaming (Cynthia)

  19. Awe! This was just what I needed to read after all the trouble my kitties have had in the past couple of weeks.
    When I've lost long-time pets I'm always amazed at how their little "ghosts" are still in the house even after they're gone. They add so much joy to your life!

  20. You--& Dulcy--deserve all the wonderful reviews, posts & comments I've been reading!

    I love you both.

  21. I've been reading your posts for some time having "found" you through Life on the Cutoff's blog. It would take a CAT to lead me to comment. I've been a cat lover all my life. Currently two share our lives, or is it five? The neighbor's cat and half grown kittens spend the weekends. Just ordered the book and in a hurry I went to Amazon and got it for my Kindle too!!! Joyce in KS

  22. Jim,
    I'm pleased you've come to visit. Right now life is too busy for me so I won't visit your blog until Monday or Tuesday, but I will be there soon.

    Indeed she was a priestess and I her acolyte. She claimed and trained me.

    As I said to Jim, I'm pleased you've come to visit. Within the next few days, I'll visit your blog to see what I've been missing. Life has overwhelmed a little in the last few days.

    Martian must have been your soul mate as Dulcy was for me. And thank you for the name of the song. It stayed with me the rest of the day.

    I hope that Zoe makes it into one of your postings, which are always written so beautifully and would do justice I'm sure to the grace of any feline.

    Thank you so much from Dulcy and me both for purchasing two books as gifts and also an e-blook for yourself. I sent the two trade paperbacks off today. I hope Dulcy enchants you with her sweetness and . . . her stubbornness!

  23. Stephanie,
    What troubles are the kittens with whom you live having?

    Thank you for your support all these months and your boundless enthusiasm for Dulcy's book. And also, for encouraging me to do an e-book and to sell the trade paperbacks. This wouldn't be happening without you.

    Thank you so much for ordering both the trade paperback of Dulcy's book and the e-book. I hope to get the paperback in the mail to you on Tuesday. I do so hope she speaks to you as she spoke to me--softly.

  24. I was sent here by Inger. So nice to learn more about you and the book you have written about Dulcy.
    I can see through this post that you have a fabulous writing style. Thanks for sharing all the special moments you two had together.

  25. I received Dulcy's Story in the mail today, Dee, and I'm eager to read it! What a love affair indeed. Priceless! I also want you to know that I have nominated you for a Liebster Blog Award. I hope you'll take a look at my December 9 post and see what I had to say about your wonderful blog. And if you are able to take the challenge of the award and pass it on, that would be wonderful. This is a busy time of year and I'm sure you can take your time in doing so! You are a wonderful writer, and I think you have more books in you to be shared! Debra

  26. Lori,
    It's so good to meet a new reader. Sharing stories about Dulcy has always been a pleasure for me. She was a great gift from the Universe to me.

    Thank you so much for the award. I truly appreciate it and will take on its challenge and pass it on. That probably won't happen until next weekend because this weekend is replete with demands on my time. But next weekend I'll be sure to write about five blogs that I truly appreciate and that have fewer than 200 followers.

  27. My daughter gave me a Kindle for my 60th b-day, and now I can down-load books. (I like to hold books and feel them, so this may take some conversion process.)
    I love hearing about the aspects of your life, Dee!

  28. it is really awesome. i just say you have made it awesome.
    Pet Food

  29. I'm sorry to hear your cat passed away. Cats are very precious and loving animals.

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