Jeanne Adlon has devoted her life to the care of other people’s pets. As New York City’s first full-time cat sitter she administers plenty of TLC to cherished felines while their owners travel.
In between house calls she writes a weekly advice column for catchannel.com and has just released her first book, Cat Calls: Wonderful Stories and Practical Advice from a Veteran Cat Sitter (Square One Publishers). She and coauthor Susan Logan, Editor of Cat Fancy magazine, have packed the book with 35 years worth of anecdotes and “commonsense” cat care. Even better, a portion of the proceeds is donated to animal welfare agencies.
In the course of her 24/7 job Ms. Adlon has dodged tarantulas, fed pampered felines in Waterford goblets and wrestled a determined cat for the Thanksgiving turkey. She also has a great story about the late Beatle John Lennon.
10 Minutes with Jeanne Adlon
Karen Jones: What was your inspiration for writing Cat Calls?
Jeanne Adlon: Each cat is special to me and I’ve cared for hundreds. At this stage I felt I had a lot to share with readers about the wonderful, funny and quirky cats (and owners) I have known. I have been asked to do everything from fill a litter box with facial tissues instead of litter to making sure cats keep kosher for the holidays. The stories in Cat Calls are a tribute to them. I also have a great deal of practical knowledge about cat care which is included.
KJ: What would you like readers to learn from the book?
JA: I want people to know that cats are wonderful pets and affectionate companions. They ask very little and give back so much. Also I am a big believer in shelter adoptions so if someone reads my book and is motivated to give some shelter kitties a good home, that would make me very happy—and please don’t forget to spay and neuter!
KJ: Did you enjoy writing your first book?
JA: It was hard work, but well worth it. I do write a weekly cat advice column so I have experience putting my thoughts together. However, I was very fortunate to have Cat Fancy magazine editor Susan Logan as my co-author. She is a true cat person and was able to take my stories and help me make them come alive on the page.
KJ: Is it true John Lennon was a client?
JA: Before I became a full time cat sitter I had a small store on 88th St in Manhattan for cats and cat owners. John Lennon used to come in with his family. One day he arrived in a flurry, hoisted a tall cat tree covered with cat hair onto his shoulder, gave me some cash and ran back down the stairs to a waiting limo before I could offer to order him a new one. It was really amusing.
KJ: Any advice for aspiring writers?
JA: Like anything else you need to be committed. Keep focused on your goal, surround yourself with people who will support you and don’t let anyone convince you can’t do it. In between make sure you give your cats lots of TLC and cat food treats—I am a big believer in treats.
For more information visit Jean at The Cat Channel.com
by Jeanne Adlon and Susan Logan
Foreword by Jim Davis, creator of Garfield.
(Square One Publishers $14.95)