The Colonial Cats series is an exploration of American History, beginning with the first permanent English settlement in Jamestown. It is written for a Juvenile audience ages 8-12.
The cats come in as the Point-of-View characters for the series. I chose the cats for a number of reasons.
- I think children’s books written from a kids POV, but sometimes an animal can be a good substitute.
- Cats are great at observing what is happening around them. If they could use human language what stories would they tell?
- There were no kids on the Sea Venture, which is the setting for my first book, so in looking for a substitute, I chose cats.
- The lives of the early colonists were dismal in the extreme. The cats illustrate that, without making the books dreary and cumbersome.
As I began researching cats, I realized that domestic cats were not indigenous to the Americas. They came along on every ship that sailed to the New World, and eventually spread across both continents. I imagine that cats were behind the scenes for every major event in American History. Some of the first cats would be those who traveled on-board the Sea Venture, like my characters, Salt and Katie. Many of the cats that live in the United States today are descended from those first “colonial cats.”