Lua was born on 19 July 2013. Her mother was Merri, a short-haired, black, feral cat who gave birth to two other kittens: a male named Sonic, who looked just like their mum, and a female named Sonia, who was a medium-haired tabby.
After an accident crushed Lua’s lower vertebrae when she was a few weeks old, Lua was fostered by my closest friend, who co-founded Vancouver Orphan Kitten Rescue Association (VOKRA) and is very experienced with cat medical care. There, Lua made her first friend, Bruce, who was very loving and gentle with her.
But because my friend was extremely busy with VOKRA, I met Lua and took over fostering her. Soon, Lua and I were inseparable and I adopted her. We live on the southwestern coast of British Columbia, Canada, with other rescued cats, some of whom also are differently abled. The book is set on Gabriola Island, where we lived when we were writing it.
While still fostering Lua, I started posting about her on Facebook. Soon, Lua had her own page, and people of all ages in many different parts of the world began to learn about and get to know her. Some were children or adults who live with mobility challenges themselves or whose family members, friends, or colleagues do. Some were teachers whose students enjoyed following Lua’s adventures and learning about what life is like for her as a semi-paralyzed cat.
Although many people were asking for a book about Lua, it took us a little while to decide what sort of book to create. We wanted to reach as many people as possible of all ages, from young children to elders –– anyone who would like to find out what a great life a cat can have even if she can’t walk. We believed that through Lua telling her stories, we could encourage a better understanding about all sorts of differently abled individuals, whether cats or humans or anyone else.
That is how The Book of Lua came to be. Lua and I hope that it will bring readers as much happiness and love as we put into its creation.
A little bit about Dania. I’m a freelance editor and writer with a doctorate in English Language and Literature from the University of Oxford. In June 2017, I received the Tom Fairley Award for Editorial Excellence, which recognizes Canada’s top editors. For as long as I can remember, I have loved cats and all other creatures, great and small (but especially cats).
Since 2005, I have been a volunteer with Vancouver Orphan Kitten Rescue Association. In 2009, after spending most of my life in Vancouver, Canada, I moved to Gabriola Island, where this book is set. I am also involved in a coalition of British Columbia animal rescue groups working to further best practices in rescue, rehabilitation, and advocacy.