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A tribute to our lovable feline friends and their instinctive behavior

Illustrated by Dwight Kirkland
Published by VirtualBookWorm Publishing
ISBN 1-58939-962-5
        Book Cover


  • Buy this book
  • Excerpt from the book
  • Book description
  • About the illustrator
  • Reviews of the book
  • My Cats Merry and Pippin
  • How the book was born

Buy this book   Released February 2007.
My Cat At Home in the Wild will be available in softcover from Virtualbookworm.com, Amazon.com and BarnesAndNoble.com. The book can also be ordered from most bookstores around the United States and the United Kingdom.

Excerpt from the book
When she watches the room from the top of a tall bookcase, Kingsley looks like a leopard perched high on a tree branch.

Book description
Have you ever wondered why cats act the way they do? Why do they run around the house at night and sleep most of the day? Why do they hide in boxes and paper bags? Why do they like high places? This book follows a cat named Kingsley through her day and compares her actions to those of her big cousins who live in the forests and jungles of the world. Cat lovers will recognize the behavior in their own cats. Children who never had a cat in the family will discover a new appreciation for them. And everyone will learn some fun facts about the big cats that live in the wild.

About the illustrator
Born in Dallas, Texas, Dwight Kirkland has been an artist for as long as he can remember. He has had a lifelong passion for the arts. He enjoys all types of painting and drawing, and specializes in a unique, dreamlike, photo-realistic style of painting using the airbrush and paintbrush.

Kirkland studied at the renowned Art Institute of Atlanta and his extensive travels in the United States has given him unique vision and perspective. His great love for wildlife and nature has been a focus for his talent. He has created projects, including Limited Edition prints, to raise money for endangered animals.

He has also spent many years working with corporate clients and ad agencies to create award-winning illustrations used in all types of advertising throughout the world. His corporate clients include Coca Cola, Nike, The Cartoon Network, Super Bowl, World Cup Soccer USA, Arby's, AT&T, IBM, MCI World Com, State Farm Insurance, Bass Pro, Lucent Technologies, and the UniverSoul Circus, which enjoyed an HBO special in January, 2000. His fine art is also owned by private collectors around the country, including President George Bush.

Comments from Writer's Digest Contest Judge:
The artwork is exquisitely detailed. For example, upon close inspection, the reader sees the savannah reflected in the cat's eyes. The comparative illustrations of cat and lion, cat and cheetah, cat and jaguar, and so on, show the reader that the household cat indeed comes from a line of wild creatures. The inclusion of facts at the end of the story is welcome. After reading the story, the reader wants to learn more about the different cats. The author provides this at the end of the book.

Jo An Martin - The Baytown Sun: Jennifer Rogala's beautifully illustrated story about our feline friends and their instinctive behavior, "My Cat at Home in the Wild", is not your run of the mill cat book. Her cat, Kingsley, pretends to be and do all the brave activities her cousins in the wild do. When she runs she is a mother lion. She hides in the houseplants as if they are the jungle. On her perch on top of the tall bookcase, she is a leopard high in a tree. The curtains and drapes become her icy mountains of Asia.

Reviewed by Rita Lorraine Hubbard, The Original H.I.R. (Historical Investigative Reporter) www.yabookscentral.com

Just Purr-r-r-fect! If you’re a cat-lover looking for a purr-r-r-fectly delightful read, try My Cat at Home in the Wild, by Jennifer L. Rogala.  It’s all about the antics of a gray-striped tabby named Kingsley, that does everything from hiding behind plants to watching the scrumptious fish in the family aquarium.
My Cat at Home in the Wild is a sweet story about the enduring love between an energetic cat and its doting owner.  But it is a clever story too, using the colorful and lifelike illustrations of artist Dwight D. Kirkland to demonstrate the surprising similarities between the common household tabby cat and various big cats of the wild.  There is even a glossary of sorts at the end, chocked full of bright, bold pictures and fun facts about the big cats of the wild.
This cuddly book can be used as a bedtime story for your cat-loving toddler, or as a teaching tool for the science and reading classrooms.  Children will love it either way.

My cats, Merry and Pippin

Here is Merry. He is named after a hobbit. He has such a sweet face.

Here is Pippin. He is also named after a hobbit. The pictures of Kingsley in the book are based on photos of Pippin.

Here is Kingsley. Can you see the resemblance?

• When we first brought our girls home from the hospital so many people told us to be careful of the cats. They said they would be jealous and perhaps hurt the babies. Well nothing could have been further from the truth. In fact, both Merry and Pippin would sit outside the nursery door and guard it while the babies slept.

• The first word spoken by both of my girls was not "Mama" or "Dada". It was "Kitty".

• My mother has always insisted that she was allergic to cats. I suspect that she really just did not like cats because she has never shown any signs of allergic reaction while in my house. But she now tells everyone what good cats we have and she even buys them Christmas presents. :-)

• Merry and Pippin both have their own Christmas stocking with their names on them. Santa Claus always leaves treats for them on Christmas morning because they are such good boys.

• Although the book compares cats to their big cousins in the wild, my Merry also impersonates other animals. When he is wrestling with Pippin his tail gets really fat and he looks like a raccoon. When he is resting, his ears lie flat on his head and his face looks like an owl.

How the book was born

My cats Merry and Pippin and their quirky antics were the inspiration for this book. I never had a cat and in May 2002 my husband and I adopted two kittens. I was surprised at how often they made me laugh. I was curious about some of their behavior such as destroying our floor plants, diving into the toilet, their fascination with running water, and their fear of the vacuum cleaner. It was Pippin’s Olympic diver impersonation into the toilet and his peering from behind the floor plants pretending to be in the Serengeti that first sparked the idea that this would be a fun topic for a children’s picture book.