While the Chinese New Year ushered in the Year of the Rat on Saturday, here at WMG, we’re thinking about the Year of the Cat. No, it’s not on the Chinese Zodiac. But it is on the WMG calendar.

And it’s the name of a new Kickstarter project we’re launching this week that will feature stories all about cats.

We love cats here at WMG. Every one of us has at least one cat. I have three. All male. The boys, as I call them, are almost 16. They are litter mates that I rescued when they were barely four weeks old. They weighed 15 and 17 ounces, respectively. Sydney, the smallest, is a gray mackerel tuxedo tabby. Truman, the larger brother, is a medium-haired light-orange tabby. Sydney rules the house even though he weighs barely eight pounds. Truman is the classic lovebug that orange cats are known to be. Even approaching sixteen, they still chase each other around the house. Truman was chasing his own beautiful tale atop the cat tree as I was writing this blog. Sydney recently celebrated his hunting prowess by presenting me with not one, but two dead birds. As my cats are indoor only, I can only speculate as to how these birds found their way indoors. A fatal mistake, to be sure.

My third cat is a 14-year-old Maine Coon mix named Max. He looks like a classic Maine Coon and his name fits him. At 17 pounds, he’s a large cat. He prefers a more sedentary lifestyle and is content to spend the day in his cat bed waiting for a willing human to pet him where he lies. And he is not above calling his humans to demand attention.

You might recall that two years ago in March, Truman suffered a fall from the railing of the stairs and broke his right hind leg. Shattered the thigh bone would be more accurate. Even though he was 14, and his bloodwork showed the potential for early kidney disease, we okayed the surgery to fix it. That wasn’t even a question, really. We all felt he would be a good patient for the surgery and handle the confinement he needed afterward (six weeks in a dog crate) to heal. He did. He healed beautifully, with barely a limp. And although he is now officially in the early stages of renal failure, he’s managing that beautifully, too. I know the clock is ticking, but we might have lost him two years ago. And after my own major surgery almost one year to the day after his, I have a different perspective now.

Our cats make our lives better in so many ways. I can’t imagine going through my surgery recovery without Truman on my lap almost every minute I had a lap to sit in, which was quite a lot in the early weeks of my recovery. My constant loving companion. Even when I could do little else, I could pet his soft fur while he wrapped his paw around my arm in a little cat hug.  

Cats are a blessing to us for as long as we have them in our lives. Not only for the love they grace us with, but also for the endless entertainment they provide us (and we them, I’m sure).

Cut that silly orange cat chasing his tail again.

Cats are curious creatures. One could argue that cats domesticated humans rather than the other way around. They train us, or try to, at least. They are enigmas, really, which is probably why so many writers have cats. Writers love a good mystery…no matter in what genre they prefer to write.

Hence, the inspiration for our Year of the Cat Kickstarter, which launches later this week. One hundred stories about cats, inspired by cats, written by people who live with cats.

As soon as it’s live, I’ll add a link here so you can read all about it and watch a fantastic video featuring, you guessed it, cute and funny cats!

What a purrfect Kickstarter project to start the year!

Allyson Longueira is publisher of WMG Publishing. She is an award-winning writer, editor and designer, working mother, and brain tumor survivor.