Saturday, July 16, 2011


I began sending out invitations to zoos, animal parks and wildlife sanctuaries announcing the upcoming release of SERVAL SON to see if they might like to carry it as a cautionary tale against wild animal ownership and, in doing so, I mentioned some of the folks who will be endorsing the book. (Two of the endorsements come from high-profile people who are ardently anti-exotic pet, as I am in most cases.)

It turns out their factions are giving them some flack for endorsing a book that is about a person who owned an exotic cat. Of course, the naysayers haven't read the book yet, or I truly believe they would see the method in my madness.

Their worry is that, even though the book is a cautionary tale, the people who read it may still want a wild cat after reading it. 

My response: I doubt it. Not the way I wrote it. That's why it took me so long to decide to write it in the first place--because I DIDN'T want to encourage anyone to adopt a wild cat. This book soundly discourages it.

Bottom Line: People committed to getting a wild cat will get one, no matter how many books they read about the dangers and costs, including mine. I can't reach them with this book. I can only caution them. No other book out there does that. The rest are rose-colored glasses versions of the ordeal, usually written by pro-exotic pet factions who want to sell more critters.

It's the fence-sitters I'm after, the folks who are hankering for a wild one like there's no tomorrow. The folks who want to do it right if they do it at all.  These folks can still be persuaded not to do it.

That's what my book is all about. 

And for this reason, BOTH sides (those with integrity) should be endorsing the book.  Because if a wild cat breeder can say, "Read SERVAL SON and then get back to me if you still want a wild cat [after you've read the unvarnished truth about taking care of one its entire life]" the book will screen out the impulse buyers, the "I want one and I want one NOW," uninitiated folks who end up relinquishing their charges like clockwork; the ones who burden wildlife sanctuaries with their cast-offs left and right.

But unfortunately, many--if not most--wild cat sellers are gonna HATE this book. They're gonna see that anyone who reads the book will have a whole new perspective on the matter and most (I believe) will decide against getting a wild cat and will instead help support sanctuaries (like Tippi's and others) that take in cast-off pets.  They'll turn their emotions from "must have one" to "must help the poor castoffs who are abandoned through no fault of their own."

A little controversy is good for a book.  I hope the book develops more of it.  I'm ready to take on the issue head on in the way any good animal advocate should.

Let the games begin!


Beryl Hall Bray said...

I so agree with your passion for educating the hearts. Please, let's use our brains' ability to foresee consequences. I know someone that adopted a wolf FOR LIFE. Every precious thing she and her husband owned was completely destroyed or had teeth marks in/on it. The couple moved to Colorado and purchased enough land for their wolf/child to be happy. Not everyone can do that. If you can't provide what the animal needs--then, restrain yourself and get some videos. Kris. hopefully your book will educate the honesthearted and make a real difference in the wild cats' lives. Looking forward to reading it!

Kristine M Smith said...

Thank you for this, Beryl. From your pen to reader's eyes and hearts! I pray the book will influence people in the right direction and that those who DO take the leap and decide to get a wild one will do it 125% right from Day One till Rainbow Bridge!