Most of my summer events have been cancelled, but please keep checking the site to see if that changes in the future. Till then please enjoy these fun bios of characters from my books.
The feral kitten later known as the Valley Cat, Boonie was the only surviving kitten of his litter. The location of his exact birthplace is not known, but somewhere deep in the Valley woods is assumed. Born as dawn was breaking on an early spring morning, his calico mother vowed to teach her green-eyed, tabby baby to be a survivor like herself.
The tabby baby spent the first six weeks snuggled up to his mother, drinking her milk and growing strong. When his kitty eyes had matured, he opened them. He saw a ray of sunlight piercing through a crack in their cozy hollow stump. He vowed to explore the sun-filled world as soon as he could. One fine day, he was playing with his mother. She swatted him playfully and he bit her teat. She pushed him away. He darted under her belly for his last suckle of mother’s milk and before she could warn him about the world outside their cozy stump-home-- he was gone!
His mother knew from his very beginnings, her green-eyed, male kitten would grow up to be a leader. He was kind, thoughtful, and brave. She taught him to hunt, eat summer berries and to avoid the few cars traveling on Valley Road. As he grew, he loved to explore, observe nature, and to play cat-games.
Boonie adored his forest home. The pine trees smelled good. He mastered the art of hunting the clever native birds and unsuspecting avian visitors. There were plenty of mice and small rabbits to eat. He dined often on chipmunks and an occasional gray squirrel. He and his mother spent their summer days exploring the hills and valleys of their forest home.
Boonie Was observant, an excellent listener, and learned to have a keen understanding of the natural order of things. He had memorized everything about the Valley woods. As he grew, he became an excellent hunter and back woods navigator. One of his favorite places was a cute little house tucked in the woods near the far-end of Valley Road. The house had a big vegetable garden and two nice dogs. Grace, the human female who lived in the house had seen him several times as Boonie stopped to admire her home.
When The hardwood trees were bare of leaves, his mother insisted it was time to leave her and to venture out on his own. She knew by the icy feel of the north wind, cold snowy weather would come soon. It was time for her to release her nearly grown son. It was time to put him to the ultimate test, surviving an Upper Peninsula winter without her.
Reluctantly, he obeyed his mother and left her side. He walked embraced in sadness through the Valley woods. It was a late fall day when Boonie wandered near Grace’s house. He could smell a fire in the fireplace in the kitchen and he longed for a bite of food. The field mice had found winter homes and were not available to be eaten by a cat. Birds were scarce, many having already flown south for the winter. The remaining chickadees were cat-wise and gave him little opportunity to capture them for supper. Boonie was lonely and hungry. As he broke through the thick woods, he spied Grace sitting on her porch clutching a cup of steaming tea. She looked nice. After all, they were neighbors. The apprehensive cat drew in a deep breath, choked down a lump in his throat and approached the lady human.
"I’ve been watching you, Mr. Cat," she smiled. "I have named you, "Daniel Boone", after the great American woodsman and adventurer. I will call you, Boonie for short."
Boonie visited grace often throughout the remaining fall. She left small bowls of food and water out for him. He had yet to be invited to join her in the house. So, Boonie fashioned himself a winter home in a critter-hole burrowed under some exposed tree roots in a nearby hillside. It was a very cozy home. It had been the winter home of one of the forest animals, perhaps the gray fox. It had a bed of dry leaves and tuffs of soft warm fox fur. Boonie was very happy there.
As fall turned to snowy winter, Boonie’s cozy den became surrounded by frozen snowdrifts. He could barely make it through the deep snow to Grace’s front porch to eat the food and drink the water she left out for him every day.
One very cold and windy winter afternoon, Grace appeared at his critter-hole entrance. "I tracked you to the hillside. The first blizzard of the season is coming, and I want you to spend the remainder of the winter with us in the warm house.
Boonie has been living with Grace ever since. Weather permitting, Boonie ventures deep into the woods and down Valley Road to the mailboxes. He ventures over the ridge where reality and fantasy blur. He knows the secrets of the forest. But this was not enough for Boonie. He longed for friends and even a mate. Although he enjoyed his outings, he longed for a cat-friend with whom to share adventures. It was at the Valley Pet Parade, Boonie met his fellow adventurer, River. This was the day Boonie had been waiting and preparing for all his life.
For more about Boonie and his cat-pals, read the Valley Cat series of children’s chapter books! Read all about their antics in "Valley Cats: The Adventures of Boonie and River." In the second book, like the title says, “More Valley Cats,” make for more gonzo fun. Don’t miss, “Valley of the Cats: Earth, Wind and Sky.” The Valley Cats venture boat-camping on Grand Island in this third book in the series. You won’t believe what happens on the island! And coming soon, “Valley Cats: Best Friends Forever” will not disappoint Valley Cat fans. Visit our website, www.prestonhillpress.com. The Valley Cats can be found on their own youtube channel. Help us build it by submitting a book review, read a chapter on-line or present your own Valley Cat video. Valley Cat fans who make a submission, receive a gift from your favorite cat-pals. Go to; www.youtube.com/Valley Cats Childrens Books to view current posts. Send your email, audio, and/or video submissions to me Gretchen Preston at firstname.lastname@example.org
Thank you for being a Valley Cat fan, I REALLY appreciate it!
Your Friend from the Valley,