{Guest Post with a Ginger Cat} “Home with Henry” by Anne Kaier

Anne Kaier, author of "Home with Henry," guests posts for RedWhiteandGrew.com

Today I’m delighted to guest host author Anne Kaier who has a new book out this summer. If you’d like to purchase a copy of her new book, you are invited to use my Amazon Affiliate link.

I started writing my memoir Home with Henry while my ginger cat Henry still quivered under my bed. He’d been a feral cat. I’d rescued him from sure death on a busy suburban road. As far as I knew, he had little experience of humans. I had no experience of untamed cats. How could I get him to trust me and come out from his hiding place? I kept a journal in small spiral notebooks, noting down each small step in his progress.

Every evening and often at work, I scrawled in a notebook, finding comfort in the physical act of pushing a pen across the lined paper. When I’d finished the daily entry, I’d sprint across the hall to share it with another copywriter, my coworker, Lynn. One morning after Henry had been with me for two weeks and still hid under the bed, I burst into Lynn’s office in our ad department. “Guess what Henry did last night,” I said. “Instead of arching his back, he rested his head on his paws and looked steadily at me.”

“That’s an intimidation technique,” Lynn explained, tapping a pencil against her stylish hairdo. “I don’t think you’re getting very far with this taming business.”

Our conversations went into my notebook, too. Although I don’t, as a rule, keep a journal, this project of taming Henry fascinated me. Perhaps I wanted to encourage myself. Keeping careful, exuberant notes helped. Eventually, my journal filled four spiral notebooks which lay in a drawer for several years. Then an editor at a small Philadelphia publisher offered to publish my tale. My journals, which had to be turned into a book, had the immediacy of a story unfolding since I didn’t know how the story would end as I was keeping the notes. Would Henry stay under the bed forever? Would he find it impossible to get used to human beings and just scuttle around in the spare room for years? When I worked on the book, I had the answers to these questions, but I decided to keep the journal entry format, so the reader would have as much excitement and apprehension as I did while I lived through the events my book described. It took me two rewrites to get the book into shape, to clarify the story line and check the details. But rereading my journal entries and working on the book brought the events of those days vividly to mind. I’d brought a small frightened feral cat home. Very gradually, he stopped hissing and spitting, learned to trust a human being, and revealed his deep and genuine sweetness.


This post is the first spot on Anne’s tour for her book. Other stops in coming weeks include:

June 30:  https://storycirclenetwork.wordpress.com/

July 1:  http://judyalter.com/

July 2:  http://www.MochasMysteriesMeows.com

July 3:  http://consciouscat.net/

July 4:  http://www.bloodredpencil.com and http://www.marianallen.com

July 5:  http://joyceboatright.blogspot.com/

July 6:  http://maryannwrites.com/

July 7:  http://womensmemoirs.com/


{Guest Post with a Ginger Cat} “Home with Henry” by Anne Kaier

Book Review: The Complete Idiot’s Guide Composting


The Complete Idiot's Guide to Composting
Click to buy the book on Amazon.com


When it comes to composting, I’m only semi-literate. Well, I was until I read Chris McLaughlin’s new book.

The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Composting closed the knowledge gap for me in most areas. As we’ve come to expect from this series, the information is provided in a clear, easy-to-read format. It helps, of course, that McLaughlin is a good writer, contributing regularly to VegetableGardener.com and serving as the San Francisco Gardening Examiner at Examiner.com. 

Here McLaughlin’s created a light, lively text that lays out composting’s nuts-and-bolt for, well, all of us composting idiots. There’s no pretense or hooks, just the facts laid bare. The tone is conversational, much like what you’d expect from chatting with a more seasoned garden pal in person or online. Between the covers of this slender volume, expect to read up on the “why” and “how” of compost piles as well as the oh-so-trendy vermicomposting, mulching, and green manures and cover crops. My personal fave–sheet mulching–is mentioned, too. (It’s my fave, honestly, because it’s the only type that I’m familiar with.) Considering that I’ve been considering a tumbler bin, it was nice to see McLaughlin write about container options, site selection, and maintenance. Continue reading “Book Review: The Complete Idiot’s Guide Composting”

Book Review: The Complete Idiot’s Guide Composting