Hi everyone! I just heard the good news that my short film AVALON received the audience award at the Sundance Short Film Competition. Thanks so much to everyone who voted. If you haven't seen the short film, you can watch it for free at eepurl.com/bYqgNr. Or, if you prefer, you can read the original screenplay here: http://amzn.to/1ARrqs0
Friday, May 20, 2016
Sunday, April 24, 2016
Do you want to see Avalon's latest short film Next to Her?
I am giving my readers free and exclusive access to the movie which is currently not available anywhere else.
Next to Her tells the story of an elderly man, Maurice, who visits his demented wife in the nursery home. A shared lunch is the only thing they have left, but his wife's mind drifts off to the ghost of her deceased cat Avalon whom she sees walking around in her room.
I'd love to send you the movie so you can all see it. Click here to have access.
Sunday, February 14, 2016
Sunday, January 24, 2016
Do you want to see your pet featured on this blog and on Avalon's Twitter, Facebook, and Pinterest pages? Then send pictures of your pet posing with Avalon's book to lionavalon(at)gmail(dot)com mentioning 'Cats Reading Books' or tweet them to @AvalonTheLion. You can also post them to Avalon's Facebook page.
Thursday, December 24, 2015
Wednesday, December 2, 2015
Do you want to help a cat this Christmas?
I have decided to donate 50% of Avalon's royalties of the entire month of December to the cat shelters Cat Rescue and Ever'y Cat in Brussels, Belgium.
Some cats need nine lives to make a difference. Avalon only needed one.
From Amazon bestselling author Vanessa Morgan, Avalon is the heartwarming and once-in-a-lifetime love story of a girl and her neurotic Turkish Van cat.
With humor, the author details how Avalon made other creatures cringe in distress whenever he was around, how he threw her dates out by means of special techniques, and how he rendered it almost impossible for her to leave the house. Avalon was so incorrigible that even her landlord ordered her to get rid of him. But beneath Avalon's demonic boisterousness, Vanessa recognized her own flaws and insecurities, and she understood that abandoning Avalon would be the worst she could do to him. Thanks to her unswerving loyalty, Avalon transformed into a tender feline, and even landed a major role in a horror movie. In turn, Avalon made it his mission to be there for his human companion.
Avalon is a memoir for anyone who has ever been obsessively in love with a pet.
Around three o’clock that night, Avalon was fed up with the strange man in his bed. He plonked his rear down on Gilles’ pillow, complaining fretfully in his ear while tapping him on the face.
After nearly an hour of incessant wailing and poking, more drastic measures were required. The new solution: pushing Gilles out of bed.
Climbing back under the covers wasn’t an option. Unable to sleep, Gilles got up. "I guess I didn't pass the test."
"Give Avalon some time. Maybe he was just irked because you took his side of the bed."
But Gilles had already understood that this wasn't going to be a one-time event.
For several minutes, Gilles and Avalon sized each other up. Then Gilles said, "I’d better leave the two of you alone now. It’s clearly what the little guy wants."
I swear I could see Avalon smirking when Gilles put on his jacket and left.
Instantly, Avalon leapt onto me, and compensated for the evening before. He entered a kiss-induced trance. This cat was all about exclusivity, and when granted that exclusivity, his love was immense.
"Are you really that happy that Gilles is gone?"
In reply, Avalon looked at me with swoony eyes and purred loudly, then swatted out his paw to urge me to continue to pet him, which I did.
A phone call interrupted our tender moment. It was Gilles.
"There won't be any train to Brussels for hours," he said. "Is it okay if I come back to your place for a while?"
"Of course." His return would offend Avalon, but I couldn’t possibly leave Gilles outside in the rain for several hours. As soon as Gilles appeared at the front door, Avalon’s pupils widened to a pitch black.
Let's see who's the boss here, he seemed to be thinking.
Being a cat of action, Avalon went through his usual attention-seeking routine: making a selection of irritating noises, scratching the wallpaper, and pushing objects to the ground. When that didn't work, Avalon opened Gilles' overnight bag and threw out a piece of clothing. His eyes so dark and evil they could be gateways to hell, Avalon stared at his adversary and waited for a reaction. He then pulled out a box of gel wax. Again, he looked up at Gilles to make sure he understood that all this bungling was meant to get a message across. A third object followed, then a fourth, a fifth, a sixth, until there was nothing.
Hell-bent on winning the game, Avalon took Gilles' coat in his mouth and towed it toward the front door. There, he used his right paw to tap the keys hanging from the wooden doorframe.
Avalon’s message couldn’t be any clearer: there was room for only one man in my life. A feline one.
Normally, I don't ask people to buy my books, but this time I am. Please get your copy of Avalon today while 50% my royalties for this individual story are being donated to Cat Rescue in Brussels. It's a heartwarming Christmas present for all the cat lovers in your life. Avalon can be found at the following locations: Amazon US, B&N, Amazon UK, Amazon FR, Amazon CA, etc.
And if you'd also like to check out my other books, they can be found at the same locations.
Please help me spread the word for this cause by sharing this post on your social media (Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, StumbleUpon, GooglePlus, etc).
Thank you so much for helping out a good cause, and I hope you enjoy the book. Merry Christmas!
Friday, September 25, 2015
People are obsessed with pets. Over fifteen percent of the web is cat-related content. That's a lot.
Pets are now taking over the literary world as well. No matter what genre you look at – horror, mystery, Christmas, romance, memoir – it's easy to spot books in which dogs, cats, and other animals are an important part of the story.
Here's a list of the top 20 best books about cats, dogs, and other pets that you'll read this autumn.
To make things even better, you can now win a package with ALL these books by filling out the Rafflecopter at the bottom of this page! The giveaway is open worldwide! Good luck.
Avalon by Vanessa Morgan
Some cats need nine lives to make a difference. Avalon only needed one.
From Amazon bestselling author Vanessa Morgan, Avalon is the heartwarming and once-in-a-lifetime love story of a girl and her neurotic Turkish Van cat. With humor, the author details how Avalon made other creatures cringe in distress whenever he was around, how he threw her dates out by means of special techniques, and how he rendered it almost impossible for her to leave the house. Avalon was so incorrigible that even her landlord ordered her to get rid of him. But beneath Avalon's demonic boisterousness, Vanessa recognized her own flaws and insecurities, and she understood that abandoning Avalon would be the worst she could do to him. Thanks to her unswerving loyalty, Avalon transformed into a tender feline, and even landed a major role in a horror movie. In turn, Avalon made it his mission to be there for his human companion.
Avalon is a memoir for anyone who has ever been obsessively in love with a pet.
The Legend of Tabby Hollow by Kathi Daley
Cait lives in a cabin on her aunt's oceanfront estate where she helps her aunt run Harthaven Cat Sanctuary. When she isn't working with the cats, she helps best friend Tara, operate the coffee bar/bookstore/cat lounge they own, named Coffee Cat Books.
In the fifth book in the series, Cait is led to the body of the local mayor who was killed in an area known as the hollow. The hollow is populated only by the feral cats, and since the mayor hates cats, Cait can’t imagine what he was doing there in the first place.
As she begins to investigate the mysterious death, along with her kitty sidekick Ichabod, she finds a twisted and disturbing set of facts, that taken together, have far reaching implications for the island as a whole. When a second body shows up near her cabin, she knows it is time to call in the gang and get to the bottom of motive for the strange deaths.
Talking with Dogs and Cats by Tim Link
“Why has my cat suddenly stopped using the litter box?” “Why is my dog barking incessantly?” “Why doesn’t my dog or cat listen to me when I ask him to do something?” “How do I get my dog to stop aggressive behavior at the dog park?” These are questions that have entered the minds of pet owners everywhere at one time or another. Pet owners want to know how to communicate effectively with their pets and understand their individual wants and needs. They also want to share their wants and needs with their pets. If only we could talk to them like we talk to each other. If only they could understand exactly what we are trying to convey to them by the visualizations that we are using when we speak.
Tim Link demonstrates how to effectively communicate with the animals by: recognizing that each animal has a unique personality, understanding the feelings and emotions of the animals, quieting the mind and opening the heart to communicate with the animals, communicating by speaking aloud to them with words while at the same time being able to visualize the information, using these methods to solve a pet’s behavioral and emotional challenges.
The Returns by M.K. Clinton
What happens if you arrive at the Pearly Gates before your time?
F.B.I Agent Bentley Clanton finds out the hard way as he is directed to a little-known area devoted to correcting glitches in the longevity system. The Returns Department specializes in finding appropriate bodies for “early arrivals” before sending them back to earth. It seemed an acceptable solution until Bentley realizes his new body includes long velvety ears, four stubby legs with giant paws, and a tail. Helping him adjust to life as a Basset Hound is his rookie Guardian Angel, along with three other canine Returns.
Laugh along as a delightful Golden Retriever, a feisty Chihuahua, and Flamboyant Westie join Bentley to form an unlikely brotherhood of crime-fighting heroes. The Returns takes you on a fun-loving, junk food eating adventure through the exciting streets of New Orleans during Mardi Gras.
Cattitude by Edie Ramer
It’s all in the Cattitude . . .
After Belle the cat switches bodies with a psychic on the run from a murderer, she wants her perfect cat body back instead of this furless human one. But she doesn’t count on falling in love with her former owner. Or that a CEO and a beauty queen want to use up her nine lives. Now is her chance to prove anything a human can do, a cat can do better.
“Cattitude is a magical tale that you won’t soon forget. Edie Ramer has a writing voice that charms, and she pulls the reader right into Belle’s amazing world.” ~Cynthia Eden, New York Times best-selling author.
Klutzy Love by Sharon Kleve
Corny is a hot chick with a great job that she loves. All that changed in the blink of an eye when her boss had an accident involving an oversized rubber band. She’s still a hot chick, but her boss is dead.
Steve Spears is a seasoned narcotics cop who ends up wanting to strangle Corny on a regular basis. After finding out Corny’s dream of opening a pet detective business, he decides he doesn’t want a girlfriend who routinely puts herself in danger. That’s his job!
Corny misses Steve, but she’s getting on with her life. She decides to get a month’s worth of dating out of the way in a single night, by combining her three favorite things—men, food, and alcohol.
Steve’s big gun and cop’s intuition saves Corny’s life, but not from another trip to the emergency room. He makes Corny promise never to get hurt again—she agreed, but has her fingers crossed behind her back.
Housecat Confidential by Fin and Meg S. Hart
Ever wondered what "Meow" really means? What would a cat say about her life, or about her observations of yours? Maybe our lives aren't so different. Fin's life is filled with many of the same struggles and joys we can all relate to. Her love of and frustration with her family, finding love despite the scandal (with her toy mouse), discovering her life's purpose (humans don't wake themselves), and protecting the ones she loves from danger (moths and the new family dog). After reading this humorous and heartwarming tale, filled with advice on living life on the inside, you may never think of "Pet Peeves" in the same way again.
Cats of Italy by Janet Wellington
If you love all things cat, then this ebook photo essay is for you! Enjoy 72 photos of cats Janet Wellington met in Italy, accompanied by 63 cute cat quotes. A fun, quick read--and a pictorial memory of a magical trip.
Piggy by Karen Malena
What do a cat and mouse have in common? One little kitten is about to find out.
“We don’t always have to fight or prove ourselves to be big and strong. Sometimes it’s the smallest of creatures who can teach us life’s greatest lessons.”
The grey-striped tabby cuddles her tiny kitten close. “Peanut,” she says. “What if I tell you the most wonderful tale tonight? A bedtime story I think you might enjoy. This is a true story, one of an unlikely friendship, great bravery, heroes and villains.”
This is Piggy’s story…
Murder in Cherry Hills (Cozy Cat Caper Mystery Book 1) by Paige Sleuth
Kat Harper has only just returned to her small hometown of Cherry Hills, Washington when she discovers the dead body of her neighbor, Mrs. Tinsdale. Matilda, Mrs. Tinsdale's orphaned rescue cat, just might be the only eyewitness to the murder. But how do you convince a cat to reveal "whodunit"?
The Corral Cat Caper: a Klepto Cat Mystery (volume 7) by Patricia Fry
Savannah Ivey’s horse goes missing and Rags, the klepto cat, goes into mourning. Savannah and her friends spend days on horseback searching for Peaches over miles of dense wilderness. Along with a few dead-end clues, they stumble upon Elsie, a most unusual elderly woman living under dangerously primitive conditions. Elsie harbors secrets—some of which may lead to the recovery of Savannah’s horse, but only after Rags puts his claws into the matter and Detective Craig Sledge gets involved.
The Corral Cat Caper features a lot of horse energy. It’s rich in adventure of the feline as well as equine sort. In one scene, Rags attempt to save their sweet kitty, Buffy, from a catnapper and Savannah helplessly watches this drama unfold via a surveillance camera app on her phone.
This story is full of sweet and evil surprises, unexpected twists and turns, and plenty of action and adventure.
Hide and Seek by Amy Shojai
A mysterious contagion will shatter countless lives unless a service dog and his trainer find a missing cat . . . in 24 hours.
A STALKER hides in plain sight. A VICTIM faces her worst fear. AND A DOG seeks the missing--and finds hope.
Eight years ago, animal behaviorist September Day escaped a sadistic captor who left her ashamed, terrified, and struggling with PTSD. She trusts no one—except her cat Macy and service dog Shadow.
Shadow also struggles with trust. A German Shepherd autism service dog who rescued his child partner only to lose his-boy forever, Shadow’s crippling fear of abandonment shakes his faith in humans.
They are each others’ only chance to survive the stalker’s vicious payback, but have only 24 hours to uncover the truth about Macy’s mysterious illness or pay the deadly consequences. When September learns to trust again, and a good-dog takes a chance on love, together they find hope in the midst of despair–and discover what family really means.
Adventures in Veterinary Medicine: What Working in Veterinary Hospitals Taught Me About Life, Love and Myself by Ingrid King
Adventures in Veterinary Medicine offers a unique look at what really goes on in a veterinary hospital through the eyes of a former practice manager. The book provides insight into what makes veterinary medicine such a rewarding profession through a series of heartwarming stories.
The Cats that Stalked a Ghost by Karen Anne Golden
The Cats that Stalked a Ghost is a thrilling, action-packed read that will keep you guessing until the very end. While Katherine and Jake are tying the knot at her Victorian mansion, a teen ghost has other plans. How does a beautiful September wedding end in mistaken identity . . . and murder? What does an abandoned insane asylum have to do with a spirit that is haunting Katz? Ex-con Stevie Sanders and the Siamese play their own stalking games, but for different reasons. An arsonist is torching historic properties. Will the mansion be his next target? It’s up to Katz and her seven extraordinary felines to solve two mysteries: one hot, one cold.
Unleashed Love by Jackie Marilla
Glenda Weber is tired of roaming around her big empty house alone. Her volunteer work at the local animal shelter in Cedar Grove, Iowa is satisfying, but she’d give anything to have a companion and a few pets. Too bad her loyalty to her deceased husband prohibits bringing pets into the house and her insecurities about finding new love complicates matters. When Glenda meets Loman Cejka at the animal shelter and he invites her for supper two times in one week, she starts to gain confidence that she can build a relationship and maybe even fall in love. Glenda and Loman agree their grown children need to be comfortable with their relationship, so when all four children are home for the town’s 4th of July Celebration, Glenda and Loman make plans to introduce everyone. Loman is sure his grown kids will love Glenda. She’s friendly and smart and loves animals, including Bert, the family parrot. When his daughter hatches a plan to reunite her divorced parents, Loman has to make a difficult choice—alienate his daughter or give up on his relationship with Glenda.
Love is Always Paws-able by Joanne Jaytanie
Second chances at life, love, and a forever home don’t come every day.
Faith Daniels leaves a successful Silicon Valley career to follow her life’s dream: in Cedar Grove she builds a foster home for unwanted and abused dogs. She knows dogs have the ability to love even after being abandoned. Abandoned by her fiancé and friends, Faith wishes she could learn to love and trust again.
Tanner Keen leaves behind the stress of his multi-million dollar advertising firm to save his life. He needs peace and quiet. So when a friend asks him to help a small town animal shelter, the opportunity seems perfect.
But all is not peaceful at the shelter in Cedar Grove. Can Faith and Tanner discover the deceit in others and still find trust in each other?
Love’s always paws-able.
Purr Prints of the Heart: a Cat's Tale of Life, Death, and Beyond by Deborah Barnes
Told by Mr. Jazz himself, an ordinary cat by his own admission, Purr Prints of the Heart is a touching meow-memoir that will strike a chord with anyone whose heart carries purr-prints of love as he shares the story of his life from kitten hood to his final days on earth in the physical sense. Cleverly written in cat likeness with incredible insight, candor, wisdom, and humor, Mr. Jazz takes readers on a heartfelt journey in book form to offer comfort to all who have had to deal with (or will have to deal with), the inevitable loss of a beloved pet. Replete with memorable moments that will have readers laughing, crying, and nodding in recognition, Mr. Jazz, carries an astute conversation with readers, putting them in real-life situations they can easily relate to and empathize with - from his days as a kitten that nobody wanted, to finally being adopted into a loving human and multi-pet filled family that had its share of ups and downs, to his final months whereby his health was declining and he had to deal with things like frequent visits to the vet, being force fed food, resentment issues, litter issues, and the finality of coming to terms with the fact he was dying and needing to convince his beloved humans to let him go. The ending is a welcoming upturn, a refreshing reminder of the celebration of life and the indelible purr prints cats leave on our hearts and includes an invaluable "Coping With Pet Loss" section to help readers on all levels - emotionally, mentally, spiritually, and even physically to empower themselves with ways to positively honor the journey of the pet lost as well as ways to find the strength to heal and mend a broken heart.
It's Just a Dog by Russ Ryan
What if your dog died and then came back as a ghost…that could talk? Would you welcome him back with open arms, or run away scared to death?
This is the premise of It's Just a Dog, a new novel about love, pet loss, and one man’s dog who rises up yapping from the grave.
Charlie Keefe is a world famous dog painter, a.k.a. “The Picasso of Pooch Portraits”. Unfortunately, Charlie’s beloved muse, Pete, his lovable Jack Russell terrier, has just died. And he’s totally devastated by the loss of his furry best friend.
So, after months of grieving over his dearly departed soulmate, Charlie reluctantly agrees to foster a new puppy from Janelle Jordan, the local dog rescue babe. But then complications arise when the ghost of his old dog, Pete, mysteriously reappears one night and comes back to haunt him and the new puppy –– setting off a bizarre chain of events that throw Charlie’s life, career, and entire belief system into chaos!
Christmas Dog Tails by Jennifer Conner
Three Christmas stories of love and whoofs from best-selling author, Jennifer Conner.
Christmas at Central Bark: When Tennyson’s boyfriend left her for her best friend from high-school, all Tennyson received in the break up was her dog. She’s sworn off men and now is rebuilding her life. The only thing Par does is work. He barely has time to do anything he wants for himself other than take his dog to the dog park. When Par and Tennyson find an abandoned dog at the park named Duke. Will they find room in their hearts to take him in? And can this Christmas season weave some special magic for the two of them?
Christmas Gift that Keeps Wagging: Julian Barrows has his hands full working full time and being a single dad to his kindergarten, special needs son, Gabe. Gabe’s teacher convinces Julian he doesn’t need to do everything on his own and introduces him to a seizure dog trainer, Hanna Acker. Hanna and her sister grew up without any ‘Christmas Cheer’. She’s trying to get her sister through college and doesn’t have time to let anyone too close, especially the handsome single dad with a kid. But, Christmas has a way of changing what we thought we wanted… especially when Santa and an adorable four-legged ‘elf’ are involved.
Dog Tags for Christmas: Willa Rayne’s spent her life doing what’s expected of her. Now she has a great job and a house of her own, but where’s the romance in her life? All of that changes when she bakes cookies for a soldier. Eben Yates has an important decision to make. Should he stay in the Army? He’s been on three deployments and he misses the States. When he finds a stray in a nearby village and discovers he can bring Hero back, the dog and Willa give him reasons to start a new life and come home. Eben and Willa’s Internet relationship deepens, will they find the family they both want for Christmas… plus a barking bonus?
My Old Dog: Rescued Pets with Remarkable Second Acts by Laura Coffey
“No Dog Should Die Alone” was the attention-grabbing — and heart-stirring — headline of journalist Laura T. Coffey’s TODAY show website story about photographer Lori Fusaro’s work with senior shelter pets. While generally calm, easy, and already house-trained, these animals often represent the highest-risk population at shelters. With gorgeous, joyful photographs and sweet, funny, true tales of “old dogs learning new tricks,” Coffey and Fusaro show that adopting a senior can be even more rewarding than choosing a younger dog. You’ll meet endearing elders like Marnie, the irresistible shih tzu who has posed for selfies with Tina Fey, James Franco, and Betty White; Remy, a soulful nine-year-old dog adopted by elderly nuns; George Clooney’s cocker spaniel, Einstein; and Bretagne, the last known surviving search dog from Ground Zero. They may be slower moving and a tad less exuberant than puppies, but these pooches prove that adopting a senior brings immeasurable joy, earnest devotion, and unconditional love.
Best books about pets giveaway
It's your lucky day because you can now win a package containing ALL of these books!
To enter, fill in the Rafflecopter below. You can pick as few or as many entries as you like. Of course, the more you enter, the more chances you'll have to win. Open worldwide.
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Wednesday, August 19, 2015
Avalon's book is now out in paperback!
So for those of you who still don't have a Kindle, now's the time to get your copy.
You can find it on all the Amazons including Amazon US, Amazon UK, Amazon CA, Amazon FR, etc. Other retailers will follow soon.
Reviews on Avalon:
"OMG, I love this book!!! I laughed, I cried, I even shook my head at Avalon's behavior! This author has such a way at making the reader feel every emotion she does! I love this story and highly recommend it to every cat lover out there! Bring tissues!" (Terri Berg)
"I'd give Avalon seven stars if Amazon would allow it." (Roger M. Woodbury)
"This book pulls at the heartstrings and conveys expertly the idea that a relationship with a pet can be as intense and meaningful as the relationship with another person." (K. Berry, author)
"This is a must read for anyone who loves cats, or animals in general. A fantastic story worthy of five GOLD stars." (Frank Cozzari, author)
"Avalon is a story of true love and the sort of relationship many people never find with another human, much less a cat. Avalon has put his oversized kitty prints all over my heart and I guarantee he will steal yours as well." (Elle Ay Esse)
"This is not just a 'cat story' - it is an account of a true meeting of souls, a partnership beyond that of human to human." (Diana M. Hockley)
"Avalon by Vanessa Morgan is one of the most moving books I have read." (Amy Palmer)
"It is a deeply intimate portrait of two damaged individuals who find themselves through each other. To be sure, there is humor. The kind you don't find amusing at the time but laugh at much later and quite loudly. Avalon deliberately throwing up on Borat the guinea pig every time he felt a hairball rising. Avalon eating everything from hot peppers to plastic bags. And ultimately, Avalon the movie star." (Cat Jones)
"I didn't expect how emotionally powerful her story and connection to her pet would resonate with me." (80 Shades)
"I felt the love and emotions between her and Avalon deeply. And, yes, I wept!" (M. Hartwell)
"Because of her writing skills she makes this story more encompassing than a person/pet tale. This is an expression of love, well-spelled." (Grady Harp)
"This is not an ordinary story because their relationship was deeper than any I have witnessed." (Marla Martenson)
"Avalon is touching, inspiring, and left me in tears." (Cayt Landis)
"This story made me cry. But I smiled through the tears and when I finished it, I hugged my dog and my cat, gave them some special treats, and when we snuggled together at bedtime, I felt whole." (Laura Thomas)
Read more reviews on Avalon here.
Friday, August 14, 2015
This past Saturday and Sunday, we shot the short film based on my story Next to Her. As you all know, Avalon has a major part in this film. He plays a ghost cat whom an elderly lady sees walking around in her hospital room, much to the dismay of her husband.
Avalon's picture graces the screen in almost every shot and his name is mentioned more than a few times. In fact, Avalon's part is so important in the script that the director, Vincenzo De Jonghe, decided the rename the film Avalon instead of Next to Her. *big smile*
Other actors include Anna-Maria de Schepper, Luc de Ruelle, and Annelies De Nil.
The short film will be part of the movie anthology Follow: Love, Life, Ghent, but will also be shown separately at festivals. The film will premiere at Film Fest Ghent in October, 2015.
Of course, you can always read the story on which the film is based on Amazon US, Amazon UK, Amazon FR, etc.
But first, let's look at some pictures of the film set.
Monday, July 20, 2015
Today marks exactly two years since Avalon crossed the Rainbow Bridge. Many good things may have happened since then - literary successes, film adaptations, remarkable travel experiences - yet I'd trade it all in for two extra years with my feline soulmate. I miss you terribly, sweetheart. You're the best. Always will be.
Help me keep Avalon's beautiful spirit alive by reading and sharing his book Avalon: a Heartwarming True Cat Story.