How does one compare a heart-wrenching poem with a must-have encyclopedia, a beautiful piece of artwork with a life-saving article about new medical breakthroughs, a thoughtful video advocating rescue and adoption with a piece that made me laugh out loud. Each entry was a contender, but in the end my heart chose for me and this is why…
We who love all felines wish we could speak cat, I mean REALLY speak cat. I’m not talking about yawning and slow-blinking at a feral, signaling (we think) that we are no threat, but actually communicating on an intelligent level. It would be so much easier keeping my cats off the counters if I could just explain how their litterbox pawprints leave bacteria on the surfaces where I prepare food. I could also explain why they have to be inside kitties, and let them design their own catio and catwalks.
If I could speak cat, perhaps I could reach the hard luck cases, those rescued feral or abused souls found in shelters that you just want to take home and love. I live with one such cat, my gorgeous Nemo on page 37 of your program. For 9 years now I have told him with slow-blinks and heart-to-heart talks that I am no threat. He just began vocalizing to me two years ago and is now cruising by offering his tail for a gentle long stroking tug. Patience is not one of my virtues, but I will take what tidbits Nemo offers gladly.
And so my heart chose the entry that made me cry and my heart ache every time I read and reread it during the choosing process. It is a Nemo story.
The winner of the President’s Award this year is “Sideways” by Catherine Holm.
- MAC Center for the Arts, Newport, VT
- Green Mountain Books and Prints, Lyndonville, VT
- Bear Pond Books, Stowe, VT
- Flying Pig Bookstore, Shelburne, VT
- Fiddleheads: A Great North Woods Shoppe, Colebrook, NH
- Creative Natives, Colebrook, NH
- North Country Marketplace, Colebrook, NH
- Toadstool Bookshop, Keene, NH