Smokey’s Lockout: a tale of mischief and mayhem

Advance clip Aug 15

By Galen Simmons, Advance Reporter
Cats can be a constant source of aggravation, mischief and curiosity, not to mention entertainment for those who read about them, a concept that a Melville author took advantage of when she submitted a story about her cat, Smokey to an upcoming Chicken Soup for the Soul book.

Susan Harris, the author of the acclaimed Little Copper Pennies and Remarkably Ordinary – and Melville’s temporary tourism and economic development manager – is one of many featured authors in the upcoming Chicken Soup for the Soul: The Cat Did What? – a book filled with 101 stories of friendly felines doing what they do best – cause trouble.

“I like cats and cats, they just amuse us so much. When I heard that they needed cat stories I thought the fact that Smokey had locked himself in my husband’s car by pressing on the knob that locks the car door – we had to call the CAA (Canadian Automobile Association) to unlock it because the only keys were in the car – he’d just come from work and arrived at the farm, so I thought the story was kind of unique,” Harris explained.

The short submission, entitled Smokey’s Lockout, details what was supposed to be a relaxing evening out at the farm for Harris and her husband, which turned into a two-hour scramble to release the trapped Smokey from a prison of his own making. As Smokey sat relaxed in the car, isolated from the chaos he had created, Harris and her husband frantically tried first to break into the car, and then, admitting defeat, called CAA to release the mischievous cat.

“Pay attention to the everyday little things that your pets do because anything and everything can become a story. Even when I go o Facebook, I don’t see as many dog pictures as I see cat pictures, so I think there is a very big market for cats and kittens. Cat owners, if they have a real story, and if they look for opportunities like this they can become published very easily,” Harris said.

After writing Smokey’s Lockout, Harris wasn’t entirely sure it was good enough to make it into the Chicken Soup for the Soul book, and was thrilled to discover her first submission to the series was immediately accepted by the publishers.

Chicken Soup for the Soul: The Cat Did What? will be released in stores and online Aug 19, and Harris will be at the Yorkton Coles Aug. 30 for a book signing.
The Cat Did What_front cover

Author’s Note – Request an autographed copy on the Contact page.

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