Whether they were cat lovers, former students of author Gail Wilson Kenna, or just curious, a large group of people came to the Northumberland Public Library last Tuesday for Kenna’s “Books Alive!” presentation about her book “The Contumacious Cat.”
As Kenna explained, The Contumacious Cat is a children’s book with healthy doses of adult humor. It is based on her edgy relationship with one of her daughter’s Persian cats while Kenna and her husband looked after the children and cats when their daughter and son-in-law, Army captains, were both deployed to the Middle East in 2003.
In the book, the contumacious Persian and the people, including the cat’s favorite target, the military father of the household, learn to live with each other with the help of a lady who knows how to communicate with cats. Other than the father, all the characters are female and strong characters, which isn’t surprising since Kenna’s daughter is a full colonel in the U.S. Army and a brigade commander in the Middle East. Her husband is also a colonel.
Kenna, whose husband is a retired Air Force colonel and State Department officer, talked about the book but spent a good deal of time talking about being in a military family and how many people seem to have no regard for the members of our military. She told of one artist who had declined to have her art used in a “book to glorify the military.”
Kenna has taught university and college courses around the world as she and her husband traveled. After moving to the Northern Neck she taught writing and literature courses for adults at Rappahannock Community College for 10 years.
For the full article pick up a copy of this weeks Northumberland Echo Newspaper 1/31/18