2012-01-27 / Community

Rockaway Resident Pens Cat Book

By Debbie Fleury

The newly released book entitled, “Cat Sense: A Feline Style for Living” by Karen Farrell, is a fully illustrated account of felines. It’s supported by an examination of what it is about a cat’s natural behavior that can inspire us on how to live well.

In person, Farrell exhibits an animated personality. She has a genuine enthusiasm for her work and when articulating her personal experiences and preferences, her charisma is evident.

Currently a social worker, Farrell devoted a lot of time gathering information and researching cats. And in my interview with her, she discussed how she was able to discover a fuller engagement with the world while constructing her book. Considering her experience as a social worker and a cat lover, I asked her what inspired her to write “Cat Sense.”

“I had a lot of family loss,” she said. “When my mother, brother and uncle passed – I found it very therapeutic to sit and write.”

Relating to her professional training and experience as a social worker, I wondered how she was able to combine her career skills and her animal-loving lifestyle. “It’s the perspective,” she pointed out. Having an awareness of felines and their behaviors made her feel more connected to the natural world. We’re all having one-dimensional relationships with our computers and our iPods, she continued. We’re the generation of text-messaging and we’re managers of our public appearances on Facebook and Twitter. But cats are reserved. They’re quiet. And they have a presence that can relax us when we’re being too hard on ourselves.

“If we can embrace certain attributes – calmness, focus and relaxation – from cats as elaborated in the book, then we can learn to be … gentler,” Farrell explained. This, in a ‘nutshell’ expresses the lessons she has learned; that we’re so conditioned to inorganic ways of interaction through keyboards and touch-screens that we forget the simple pleasures. “Engage in the present,” Farrell wrote in one of her passages in the book. A principle charm of cats is their ability to engage in the moment.

Learning to live more abundantly is what readers can expect from “Cat Sense.” Farrell illustrates each of the ‘lessons’ in the book with her own drawings of cats. And the book is a concise collection of material or, “cat-a-logs,” as Farrell describes them.

“Cat Sense: A Feline Style for Living” is available on trade paperback at Mansard Books and Amazon.

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