|Publicity photo of actress Elinor Donahue from an appearance on the television program Goodyear Theater. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)|
The Cat Who Read the Mail
"The Cat Who Read the Mail" sixteen amazing stories about our mysterious bond with animals Can a dog understand the grief and loss of 9/11? Can a cat expose a cheating husband? Can a research dog let his rescuer know he wants to be called 'Rexy"? Absolutely! And here are the stories to prove it. These are accounts of extraordinary interactions between people and pets. Stories that surprise, perplex and move us. But The Cat Who Read the Mail is not simply another collection of 'amazing" animal stories. Instead, animal writer and columnist Elinor Donahue explores the interaction between people and pets when it moves beyond amazing and becomes inexplicable, mysterious, profound. She's interviewed dozens of ordinary people who have anything but ordinary stories to tell.
Here, told in a lively, journalistic style, are the most compelling encounters with the unexpected through an animal. Samson the cat began chewing and ripping the mail - selecting only the mail addressed to the husband of the house. He'd then deposit the remains at the front door where the wife would see it when she came home. Samson was on to something. Annie, the 12-pound therapy dog at Ground Zero, gathered the gazes of a circle of bereaved men a few days after 9/11 - whereupon each of them spilled out, one by one, whom they lost there. 'My mother." 'My brother." 'My sister." When Malibu the dog died, her housemate cat, Whip, watched in fascination -- and the next day took on Malibu's daily habits, including opening the kitchen cabinets to forage for dog treats.
While each story in this entertaining and fast-reading book stands on its own, the narratives gather momentum as acollection, suggesting there is more mystery and meaning here than our limited vantage can account for. However, Donahue does not attempt to explain or interpret. She simply showcases these special pets and the ordinary people who have glimpsed the extraordinary because of them. The Cat Who Read the Mail offers 16 stories that, in quick and glancing style, suggest that animals are in on the play of the universe in ways beyond our imagining. Still, each episode is real and occurred in the ordinary life of a grounded human being. The people in these stories never expected or sought the unexplainable event they experienced. Donahue has interviewed each of these individuals in depth, selecting the most compelling stories. Like Joel, the optometrist who dealt only in rational fact. He wasn't expecting that an eerie howl from the cat would precede the apparition of Baxter, his recently deceased dog. And a renowned dog trainer found that indeed it matters what you call your dog. When it hears the name it really wants, like 'Jazz," the animal will respond far more readily than when the moniker is a misfit, like 'Daisy." Though not sentimental heart warmers, these are stories for the good. That is their power. These occurrences can't be explained-and because of that they make their way into the crevices in our thinking. They take us to the moment of inswept breath-the aha! that catches us unaware. And they're fun to read!
copied from alibris.com
here is the wiki page about Elinor Donahue:
Elinor Donahue Interview on the Archive of American Television: