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Stray cats inspire librarian’s book for children

Book Cover - This is Klaus

It was during the gloomy month of March in the early stage of lockdown that librarian and author Heidi Jacobs found herself restless and distracted. Staring out her back window to the garden her she was entertained by the antics of two stray cats who had made a home for themselves in her backyard.

“I spent a lot of time staring out my back window, drinking coffee, watching the winter fade to spring,” said Jacobs. “It was the funny antics of these cats, who I named Klaus and Sebastian, that brought inspiration to my distraction.”

Jacobs admired the little creatures; they were kind and genuine despite facing difficulties of their own in an already difficult time.

“Rather than focusing on what I couldn’t do, I tried to see those lockdown days as an opportunity for doing something I could finally do,” said Jacobs. “I wanted to do something creative and collaborative and I realized I had no excuses to put things off.”

Jacobs then put pen to paper and started the story of Klaus.

Jacobs teamed up with local artist Lydia Joy Palmer to illustrate the story with 28 pages featuring Klaus and his adventures with friends in his South Walkerville backyard.

“Lydia’s final pictures blew me away — the colours and the plants, the way she got Klaus’s expressions and poses just right,” said Jacobs. “The illustrations tell as much of the story as the words do — maybe even more.”

Jacobs and Palmer were keen to use their creativity to support the community and agreed that the story of Klaus could bring awareness to organizations such as the Windsor-Essex Humane Society who care for stray animals.

Klaus will join the shelves of Leddy Library in the Curriculum Resource Centre for aspiring educators. The book is available to purchase on Etsy with a portion of every book sale being donated to the Windsor Essex Humane Society.