Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Welcome Brady the Cat ... and Author Joanne Durgin!

I was denied the pleasure (a nice way of saying I wasn’t allowed) to have a “real” pet as a girl, so we had box turtles and frogs and assorted amphibians. Ugh.

Yeah, I tried begging (“Mom, you can’t cuddle with a turtle!”), but nothing worked. Now my husband, Jim, grew up with big, rambunctious and affectionate dogs. So, as soon as we moved into our first house in California, we’d picked out a pure bred Yellow Lab within a week.

I have photos of Prince growing bigger during the next few months just as my expectant belly also expanded. Then came Polo, a Sheltie, in Philadelphia. Then Callie in Boston (after Polo died, I’d suggested no more dogs, yet guess who led the parade to find another puppy at the animal shelter?). Pointing at self here.

Then we moved to Indiana, and when Callie died suddenly at age eight, I said, “Sorry, but that’s it, people. No. More. Animals.”

Not that I don’t love dogs, mind you, but my mother also lives with us. She was bit by a dog as a child and has been afraid of all canines ever since. But…then along came Brady. The cat?!

Jim had never liked cats…until Brady. Like my father, Jim even made disparaging comments about cats. Even told a few bad cat jokes. You know the kind. For my part, I’m allergic to cats (and so is our oldest daughter) and let’s just say I’d met a few less-than-friendly felines.

Sure, they’re cute, but no thank you! Then…a little over a year ago, we noticed this sweet little cat that kept hanging around the house. He’d sit on our front step or on the back deck and the kids would give him food and water (against our better judgment). Talking with our neighbors, we learned several of them thought they’d take the cat in if no one claimed him. He looked like he’d been well-cared for, but he wore no collar.

We’ll probably never know if someone just dropped him off…or what. One night, as my girls and I were going into a store, the sky was dark and ominous and heavy rains were predicted. Jim said, “I’ll be back in a few minutes.” I knew exactly what Jim was thinking. He was worried about that cat!

Twenty minutes later, we came out of the store and there’s Jim in the car stroking that cat. I wasn’t sure whether to laugh or think it was one of the sweetest things I’d ever seen. Another twenty minutes later, we walked into a pet store. It was near closing time. I zeroed in on a sales clerk and said, “New cat owners here. We’re going to spend some money!” Within hours, our cat was named Brady (yes, after THAT Brady, as in Tom—Jim’s from New England and we are diehard Patriot fans).

So, male or female, cats are definitely divas. Brady is playful, cute as a button (look at that deceptively innocent face!), intelligent (yes, you can really tell!) and man, does this cat STRUT! Serious wiggles on the back end. It’s pretty hysterical, actually.

And guess what? After a few initial misgivings, neither one of us is allergic, amazingly enough! I’ll say that a cat’s meow is far less irritating than a dog’s bark (our dogs were all barkers).

We don’t have to go out in the freezing cold to walk Brady or let him out to do his business. And best of all? Seeing my husband with Brady on his lap, watching that other Brady on the big screen TV. Yeah, they’re buds. Pretty sweet. So, thank you Lord, for Brady the Cat.

Thanks for hosting me on your blog today, Maria. Blessings, friends!

Jacob Marston, Starlight, Iowa’s hometown hero made a long-ago promise to the Lord: he won’t kiss a woman until he knows she’s “the one.” Now at age twenty-eight, the rugged firefighter questions if it’ll ever happen. Then, he meets his best friend’s sister, and Jake believes he’s found the woman of his dreams. But what will she think when she discovers his vow?

When Julia makes an unexpected confession on Christmas Day, Jake shares his secret with her, and it looks as though happily-ever-after will make a holiday appearance.

But somehow, everyone in the tiny town of Starlight learns Jake’s secret, and he’s instantly transformed from town hero to laughingstock. Did Julia reveal his secret? Can Jake forget the humiliation and find his way under the mistletoe to share a forever kiss with Julia?

Dante Moretti, Texas-born goalie of an Italian World Cup champion team, expects Starlight, Iowa will be only a blip on the radar of his life. Grabbing a quick meal at Barney’s Diner during the holidays, Dante meets two women who capture his heart in very different ways. Then his rental car won’t start and leaves him stranded. Does the Lord have a plan for bringing him—and keeping him—in Starlight? Amanda Marston is excited to be home for her brother’s wedding. When she drops in for a cup of coffee at Barney’s, she’s charmed by the mysterious, Italian-spouting cowboy. Before she can blink, the handsome stranger is helping with projects all over town and working his way into her heart. Does God have a plan for Dante in her beloved little Starlight or will he take her heart with him when he returns to Italy?

In addition to the Christmas novellas, JoAnn Durgin is the author of The Lewis Legacy Series (Books #1-4 currently available, Book #5 coming in the spring of 2014), and a standalone novel, Catching Serenity.

She is an estate administration paralegal in a Louisville, Kentucky law firm and lives with her family and Brady the Cat in Southern Indiana. JoAnn loves to hear from readers! Visit her at www.joanndurgin.com or via her Author JoAnn Durgin page on Facebook.


  1. Thank you for being here today, JoAnn, and thank Brady for me too. Though I'm more of a dog person we do have one cat. She adopted us, and I think that's kind of the way it goes with cats.

  2. Love hear about Brady! I'm getting a puppy for Christmas.

  3. I am both a dog AND cat lover! Really enjoyed this "tail" of Brady the cat! I's so true that animals often find US rather than the reverse. He looks like a sweetie. :)