There's a bit of everything here: music, poetry, essays. Soon I will have a site that is devoted exclusively to selling my books. You can read of RV journeys in my zany travel memoir, THE ROAD HAS EYES. My novel, CONFESSIONS OF AN HONEST MAN has just received an award from Writer's Digest. As a science fiction and fantasy writer I offer a powerful epic, THE GODS OF THE GIFT. Welcome to my world. Click on links at the right side of the page to purchase my books.
I can't post this entire story because I am marketing it. Agents/editors, I invite you to take a look at this children's story. It is 5500 words long. The crowdfunding is at Indiegogo funding
Photos and text Copyright 2012 by Art Rosch
The Cat Without A Purr
"Oh no! ANOTHER cat!" David said this to
himself as he looked at the big furry animal that had jumped over his fence and
landed in his yard.
In David's neighborhood he was called "The Cat Man" or "Mister
Zoo" because he adopted lost and hungry animals.
David wanted all creatures to have good homes and plenty of food.
He had six cats, four dogs, a parrot, a guinea pig and a pony. They
all lived in the house except for the pony, who slept under an awning in a
fenced patch of grass. He was only about the size of a little boy and spent the
day wandering around with the other animals.
David watched the cat quietly. The animal was sitting like a king in his
garden. He had long black and white fur. His ears were torn from
fights and there was a scar on his nose. His paws were so big that David
already had a name for him. He was Paws!
David knew that trouble was coming. The wind changed direction. It
carried the smell of a strange animal. Six cats, four dogs, a guinea pig,
a parrot and a pony caught the smell of the new cat. Their heads turned
at the same time, eyes and noses searching for the stranger in their garden.
They saw him, sitting calmly in the middle of a patch of red flowers.
It was as if someone had blown a whistle to start a race. Tweet!
All of David's animals went zooming across the yard at top speed, barking,
flapping, neighing and hissing. Attack attack! A stranger is in our
midst! Drive him away!
That's how animals treat strangers. Animals think about food a
lot, and strangersmight eat their food. So their first
idea is to chase away new animals.
Paws didn't run away. The animals came to a sudden stop in a
circle around the new cat. Wait a minute! What's going on
here? This cat should be running for his life. Instead he's
standing straight and tall and telling everyone, " You don't want to
mess with me. I'm a pretty tough cat."
Sniff sniff. Sniff sniff. The animals circled the stranger,
sniffing his nose, sniffing his toes, sniffing his ears and sniffing his other
parts. Paws sniffed back. In animal language this sniffing is like
seeing a movie or reading a book. The sniffing says everything.
After sniffing, animals aren't strangers any more. They decide by
sniffing who's going to be their friend.
This time David's animals decided that Paws was going to be a friend.
They turned and walked towards the back porch, escorting Paws like a
super hero. They let him go up the steps first. The food and water
dishes were on the porch. The pony
waited for everyone else to get up the steps and then he followed. His hooves made sounds like drum beats on the
hungry and thirsty. The animals stood back while the cat drank a long
drink, his tongue going "flup flup flup flup." Then he ate all
the kibble in one of the dishes.
He was a big cat and he was really hungry!
David went into the house. The animals followed. Even the horse went into the house.
David had never seen anything like this, never seen his
animals make friends so quickly. They not only accepted the cat: they
made him their leader, just like that!
Paws rubbed against David's legs with his tail going swish swish swish
swish. David got onto the floor and gave Paws a scratch on the ears and a
scratch on his tummy. The cat rolled onto his back while his tail went
swish swish swish swish.
One thing was strange to David. Paws didn't purr. David could
tell if animals were sad or lonely. He could tell if they had made a
great journey across mountains and deserts. Paws was one of those cats
who had traveled a long way. Today he had found a new home! He should be happy.
But he didn't purr. That was strange. Happy cats purr. Don't
David was tired from working in the garden all morning. He went into his
living room and sat on his big soft chair. He was surprised when Paws
jumped right onto his lap and looked straight into his eyes.
"I wonder," thought David, "what stories this cat would tell me
if only he could talk."
It seemed as if the cat heard his mind. He's trying to tell me his story,
David realized. Paws opened his mouth and said softly, "Yow?.
Myow?" His voice was gentle, almost too quiet to hear. It was
a sweet voice for such a big tough looking cat.
I wish, thought David, that I could speak the language of animals. They
could teach me so many things!
David stared into Paws' eyes. As Paws said, "Myow?", a light
slowly came from his eyes, a golden light that floated like a cloud around
David's head. The cloud became so thick that David couldn't see his house
any more. Instead, he saw people and places, he saw summer and winter, he
saw deserts with cactus and high snowy mountains. He saw good people and
bad people. Then David heard Paws' voice. Inside the golden cloud,
the cat was speaking to him in a new kind of language, and he
understood! There were words in this language but there were also
pictures and feelings.
"I remember," the cat said, "I remember the first time I opened
my eyes. I was being fed by my mother. My sister and two brothers
and I were drinking milk
and purring. All I knew
of life was a giant purr, the sweet taste of milk and the sound of my mother's
Mother had given us our names. These are special cat names that a mother
gives to her kittens when they're born. There is no way to say them in
human language. I may have many names in my life but nothing is more
important to me than my first name, the name my mother gave me when I was born.
As I got older, huge hands picked me up and held me in a warm place where there
was a giant heart beat. My mother told me that these were the family that
we lived with. They gave us names, too. They called my mother
Violet. They called my sister Fanny, and my brothers, Manny and Lanny.
My name was Claude. Don't ask me why. I thought I might be Danny or
Sammy, but someone named me Claude.
Maybe it was because of my big paws.
When I was about a month old I found out that I was different. We had
just stopped being a pile of kittens at mama's tummy and were getting picked up
by people, one at a time. The family's kids picked up Manny and I could
hear him purring all the way across the room. Lanny and Fanny didn't have
any trouble purring. It was just me. When I got picked up, my tail
went swish swish, swish swish, but there was no purr. When we were all
together I thought I was purring but now I knew I was different and it made me
very sad. I tried to purr. I rattled the bones in my throat, blew
air through my teeth, wiggled my tongue as fast as I could. Nothing I
tried sounded like a purr.
My mother was worried. Late at night she took me to the computer and used
her paws to Google the word "purr". We read all kinds of things,
but it seems that no one really knows how a cat purrs. It just
does. Or, in my case, it doesn't.
"I'm sorry, little one," my mother said. "Without a good
purr your life might be harder than most cat's lives. Just swish that
tail of yours and you'll find someone to love you."
I hoped she was right. Another month passed and Manny found a home.
Then some people came to the
house and fell in love with Fanny. She went away with those people.
I missed my brother and sister but this is the way things are with
kittens. They have to find new homes or pretty soon there will be a
hundred cats in the house and in my opinion I would not want to live around a
hundred cats. Not even fifty. Or twenty. Two or three is just
Pretty soon I was the last kitten. A very nice lady came to the house,
smiled at me and picked me up. I swished my tail as fast as I
"You are very handsome, little kitten," she said. I was
thinking THIS IS IT THIS IS IT! Someone will love me and take me home.
A strange look came over her face. It was a look I would get to
know. I would know that look on a hundred faces in a hundred
places. It was a look of disappointment. It was a look of
rejection. That's when someone sends a feeling at you that says,
"No, I don't want you!" That's what rejection is. And it
hurts. It hurts really bad.
"What a shame," the lady said. "He doesn't have a
purr. Not even a little vibration. I'm sorry but I can't take
him. Who wants a cat without a purr, a cat that can't tell you when he's
"I can tell you!", I yowled desperately. "I swish my tail
like this, see? Swish swish. Swish swish. I'm happy I'm
happy, see? See?"
She didn't see. She couldn't understand my language.
The next day my family put me in a box and took me to the grocery store.
The kids sat with me out
front. They had written words on the box: FREE KITTEN.
People picked me up, stroked me, my tail went swish swish, but always that look
came, that look of disappointment and rejection. The look that said NO I
DON'T WANT YOU. People put me in the box and walked away
Then a man came along. He barely looked at me. He didn't pick me
up. He asked the kids, " I have some mice in my apartment. I
need a good mouser. Is this cat a good mouser?"
The kids didn't want to lie. They shook their heads kind of up and kind
of sideways and said "ummmm, welll....there aren't any mice in our
house. Not a single one."
"All right, I'll take him" said the man. He picked me up,
tucked me in his jacket and drove me to his place. I was filled with
joy. At last, I had a new person, I had a home! It was sad to leave
my first family but that's how nature works. Kittens get adopted.
And now I was too. I was, at last, adopted by a new person.
The man gave me food, water, a scratching pole and a box to go in. Then
he went to work and he was gone all day. The windows and doors were
closed. There was no fresh air. The place didn't smell good.
I was terribly lonely. The hours went by so slowly that I wanted to cry.
Then I heard a tiny sound. I looked under the couch. A little
creature with a pointy nose and a long tail was looking back at me.
"OH!" It was surprised and almost ran away. "OH!" I
yelped and almost ran away too. Then the creature took a close look at
me. "Whew, what a relief," it said. "For a minute I
thought you were a mouser. But I can tell you're not the type.
"A mouser?" I said. "You mean? Uh..."
"See?" the creature said with relief. "Your mother wasn't
a mouser and your grandmother wasn't a mouser and I'll bet your great
grandmother wasn't a mouser either. It runs in the family. You
either are or you aren't. And you're not!"
I said,..."I presume that you are a mouse."
right, I'm a mouse. My name is
extended his paw and we shook paws and decided to become friends. All the rest of that day we talked and
played. When we talked we used the
language that all animals use. It's
called Everything Language. All around
the world animals talk to one another in Everything Language. For some reason, people can't speak this
language. That's sad because if people
spoke Everything Language maybe they wouldn't treat us like we don't have any
man came home Duke vanished under the couch.
the man sat down with his newspaper I jumped up on his lap, swishing my
tail. "Hello kitty," he said,
"we haven't given you a name yet.
What shall we call you?"
over on my back and stretched. I rubbed
my chin on the man's knee. I was doing
everything a happy cat can do. I was
watching the man's face. I was praying
that I would not see that dreadful look on the man's face.
the matter," the man said.
"Don't you like me?"
There it was, the look that I feared.
If a face could be a door, this one was closing.
gave you the best food," he snarled.
"I got you a bed and a scratching pole. Why can't you give me one little purr, to say 'thank you'"?
doing my best," I said in Everything Language, which of course the man did
not understand. "I'm swishing my
tail! That says I'm happy,
see?" Swish swish, swish swish.
didn't understand. At that very moment,
Duke poked his head from under the couch and said, "Forget it, dude. The guy's a total loser. He doesn't have any friends, he doesn't do anything,
he never goes out except to his job. He just watches TV
all the time."
Duke ran scampering all the way across the room and vanished beneath the
refrigerator. Talk about bad timing!
had seen my new mouse friend. His face
turned red, and he picked me up roughly.
"That's it! I've got a name
for you. Useless! That's your name! Useless, Useless, Useless!"
opened the door of the apartment and threw me into the street. The door slammed shut.
know what to do. This was supposed to
be my new home. I had a new
friend. I couldn't leave Duke. I scratched at the door and cried. When it opened I thought I had been
forgiven. I was wrong. The man hit me with a rolled up newspaper
and yelled "Get out of here you useless cat!"
and ran until I came to a place with trees and a little creek. It was getting dark. I found a hole in a fallen tree and crawled
inside as the night covered the woods like a blanket. I heard the flapping of owls' wings and the wind whispered
through the moonlit branches. I was so
scared that I could only repeat my first name, the name my mother gave to me,
my secret cat name. I said it over and
while I was so hungry that I forgot to be scared. I went back to the place where the man lived. I saw people putting bags of good smelling
stuff into silver cans. When I was sure
no one was looking I jumped on top of one of the silver cans and tried to get
food out. The lid was too tight, so I
made the can rock back and forth until it fell to the ground with a big
was food all over the place. There was
chicken, hamburger and cheese. I was
just taking a bite when something came running out of the woods and knocked me
backwards so hard that I turned a circle in the air.
are you?" I whispered. I was
looking into a face full of sharp teeth.
They belonged to a creature with a long ringed tail and a black mask
over its face. Behind the leader there
were four more of the animals, snorting and growling. I thought it was the end.
I was done for.
animal stood up on its hind feet and puffed out its chest.
am Raccoon Tour," it said.
"And these are my brothers, Raccoon Bob, Raccoon Slob, Raccoon Knob
and Raccoon Job. They are so stupid
they wouldn't be able to find their own tails if I didn't help them
Tour shrugged his shoulder. "What
can you do? Family's family,
other raccoons muttered "Yeh yeh yeh yeh," as they chased one
another's tails. One of them thought it
had someone else's tail but turned out it was its own tail and when it pulled
hard, it fell over and yelled "Ouch!
Cut it out!"