Two cats… six legs: Tolland writer’s storybooks focus on overlooked shelter pets
By Tyra McClung, Hartford Magazine
Kimberly Palmucci recently published “Purr-fectly Home,” the third book in her “Purr-fectly” series of children’s picture storybooks. The original, “Purr-fectly Lucky,” tells the story of her family adopting a three-legged shelter cat, Meesta, back in 2011. Another book, “Purr-fectly Wise,” about older shelter pets, followed.
“I want to bring positive awareness to shelter pets, especially the ones who are overlooked,” says Palmucci, who lives in Tolland.
Last year, Palmucci’s family wound up adopting a second cat with three legs. Princess and her four kittens were pulled from an overcrowded shelter in the South by Monkey’s Pack, an animal rescue group in Manchester, and brought to Connecticut the same day they had been scheduled to be euthanized.
“We never expected to adopt another three-legged cat, but something inexplicable pulled us toward Princess,” Palmucci says. She also says they did not anticipate the friendship that would blossom between the two cats — or that she would write a third book. “Purr-fectly Home” focuses on Princess’ introduction to the family.
Palmucci says she and her husband, Dominick, worried the cats might not get along, so they bought a baby gate to keep them separated.
Once the two cats had knocked down that barrier, Palmucci says, the bond between Meesta and Princess became evident.
“They bumped noses very gently, and — I cannot describe it any other way — he took her on like a walking tour of the entire house,” Palmucci says. “It was the cutest thing I’ve ever seen in my life. He literally took her room to room and stood in the doorway. She would do a perimeter sweep of the whole room, then go back to him, and together they would move on to the next room.”
Palmucci, who donates one-third of her books’ profits to local charities, works locally with animal rescue groups such as Monkey’s Pack, Hidden Treasures Adoption Center and Our Companions Animal Rescue & Sanctuary. She also has teamed up with The Lucky Fin Project, which supports children with limb differences.
She wrote the books because she wanted to spread positive messages about animals with disabilities, she says. “I quickly started realizing my audience was children who may feel different, or who may know somebody who feels different.”
She says she hopes her stories celebrating differences, portrayed through animals, will be uplifting. Of Meesta and Princess, she adds, “These two little souls found each other, and now their journey together can inspire others as well.”
Click here to read the original article in the Hartford Magazine.
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