Negotiating Disaster with Pawprints of Katrina
I talk a lot in this blog about community; about the need for all of us to understand that when you drill a hole in the other guy's side of the boat, you sink too. There's something about disaster on a grand scale that brings the best out in us -- creates heroes. And maybe, if you're inclined to ask why "bad things happen to good people" the answer is that we need to be reminded of our common humanity; common fragility; and, our common obligation to serve as stewards of the planet and all life on it.
So it is with more than a small amount of pleasure that I announce the book launch for my good friend Cathy Scott's memoir of the heroic pet rescues that took place in the wake of Katrina.
Cathy was one of the "kids" in my neighborhood fom the time I was five years old until we all left the old neighborhood for our adult lives. She was also a member of the first writers' group I was ever part of -- Sisters of the Pen -- a neighborhood "club" we started when I was in the sixth grade and Cathy just entering high school.
Only Cathy has truly fulfilled the dreams of that small group of children and teenagers. This is her sixth or seventh book and the one that I just know is going to sell a million or more copies for her.
Nostalgia aside, here is the information on the book launch! (for the r.kv.r.y. literary journal's special issue on natural disasters, click here).
A book launch event will be held on Saturday, July 26, marking the national release of author Cathy Scott's book, PAWPRINTS OF KATRINA: Pets Saved and Lessons Learned (to be released this summer by John Wiley & Sons).
The event will be held from 1:45 p.m. - 5 p.m. at Best Friends Animal Sanctuary's Welcome Center (5001 Angel Canyon Road, Kanab, Utah 84741, a 3-1/2-hour drive from Las Vegas). Refreshments will be served.
Attending and signing books will be actress and animal activist Ali MacGraw, who wrote the book's foreword, and photographer Clay Myers, who has more than 70 compelling photos in the book. Also signing will be police K-9 handler Cliff Deutsch, who is featured on the cover rescuing a dog.
On display at the Welcome Center patio deck during the event will be Ark, a full-sized replica of a flat-bottomed boat used to save animals from floodwaters. It was created by Cyrus Mejia, in-house artist and a co-founder of Best Friends . The 4-by-10-foot boat is covered in a unique collage of animal admissions forms (with rescued pets' pictures), photos from volunteers, satellite images of Katrina, maps of New Orleans and strips from pet product bags used during the rescue effort.
Volunteers from Katrina will be at the event, and many Best Friends staffers who worked in the region will be attending too, so it will very much be a reunion. While book signings are scheduled for other parts of the country (including New Orleans on the third anniversary of Katrina), this is the kick-off event and a great opportunity to visit the sanctuary.
To find out where to stay in Kanab, go to: http://www.bestfriends.org/atthesanctuary/angelcanyon/visitorfaq.cfm.
A new Holiday Inn Express has opened in Kanab (435-644-3100), so if the sanctuary cabins and cottages or other hotels are full, the new one will probably have openings. Summer is a busy time in the area, because of nearby Zion, Bryce and the Grand Canyon, and booking early is highly recommended.
If you'd like to take a free tour of the sanctuary, which sits on 33,000 acres in Angel Canyon with about 1,800 animals on any given day, you'll need to book a reservation by calling 435-644-2001, ext. 4537. Or, for more info, go to: http://www.bestfriends.org/atthesanctuary/angelcanyon/visitorfaq.cfm
To learn more about Pawprints of Katrina, go to: http://www.wiley.com/WileyCDA/WileyTitle/productCd-0470228512.html