Ocracoke author's newest book stars a cat and a dog
author Pat Garber's newest book, "Paws and Tales," is a story told by a
dog and a cat, which doesn't seem at all strange to anyone who knows
the writer -- an animal lover whose two most popular books feature the
The new book features mystery, adventure, and
romance all rolled into one story that will please the young,
young-at-heart, and Ocracoke lovers everywhere.
Kali is a
sailboat cat, whose human, Sam, steers his boat into Ocracoke harbor
one day and it's clear from the beginning that there is a mysterious
something, perhaps not all that good, in his memory of the island.
Harvey, a loveable Doberman pinscher, resides on the island with his
human, Emily, who is working to stop a rather obnoxious man who wants
to drill for oil off Ocracoke.
four have a rather auspicious first meeting when Harvey jumps out of
the back of a pickup truck and chases Kali off the Community Store dock
and into the water. Sam is very upset with the dog's behavior, and Emily is upset and embarrassed by her pup.
Meanwhile, Kali, washes up on shore underneath the fish house and into the world of the homeless, feral "Ocracats."
finds his way back to Sam, who tracks down Emily at the ice-cream stand
where she works to report that the cat has been recovered and invites
Emily to dinner on his sailboat.
As life on the island goes on,
narrated by Kali and Harvey, there is a community meeting and much
outrage about the proposed oil drilling. Eventually the nasty man who
plans to do it, Rakes, turns up dead.
When Emily is arrested for
the murder, the dogs and cats, of course, have to go to work to prove
-- with a little human help -- that she is innocent.
with Pat as a writer for more than 20 years now, and always enjoy her
work -- from wildlife to conservation to Ocracoke history and her
profiles of the island's people. This, however, is one of my
favorites. An earlier version of it was serialized in 2007 in the
Island Free Press.
The tale, published by Shroeder Publications
of Lynchburg, Va., is a charming tale that is both endearing and
whimsical. It will really be enjoyed by lovers of Ocracoke, who
will recognize many of the sites, sounds, and customs of the island.
and Harvey are based on Pat's own pets -- her cat, Miss Kelley, and her
dog, Huck. "Paws and Tales" is illustrated by rustic drawings by the
author. You may recognize scenes such as Emily's house, which looks an
awful lot like Pat's cottage in the marsh, and the sailboat tied up at
the Community Store docks. She's also done drawings of the various cats
and dogs who make up the supporting cast, each with its own personality.
most popular books are "Ocracoke Wild" and "Ocracoke Odyssey" about the
island's wildlife and her own naturalist's observations about the flora
and fauna. She's also written "Little Sea Horse," based on the story of
the Ocracoke ponies, and "Heart Like a River," based on her
great-grandfather's diary of his times fighting for the South in the
The book is for sale on Hatteras at Buxton Village
Books and on Ocracoke at Village Craftsman, the Variety Store, and
Books to be Red. Online it can be ordered through Buxton Village
Books (see ad on IFP Front Page) and Schroeder Publications, http://www.civilwar-books.com/.