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I borrowed Catty-Cornered by Cheryl Ware from my local library based on the cover art. Although I sometimes found Venola Mae Cutright's complaining a bit much, I did feel a connection with this adolescent protagonist.
Venola Mae keeps a journal of her time living with her recently widowed Grandmother in the trailer or motorhome in the Cutright's backyard. Venola who hates her Grandmother's thirteen cats more than any of her siblings is the one pegged with the job of keeping Grandmother company while she grieves.
Like Venola I spent time living with my grandmother, although she lived a mile away from my home. I stayed with her after she had a heart attack and I think a couple other times but the reasons why elude me right now. Like Venola's grandmother, mine had a number of cats (five not thirteen but still, a lot of cats). Although I don't hate cats they did add an extra dynamic to staying at my grandmother's house (and extra chores).
Venola also finds herself living under a new set of strict rules: an early bed time, an early wake up call in the morning, no TV except religious shows (brings back memories of Heehaw and Lawrence Welk) and no friends over. My grandmother wasn't as strict as Venola's but I did have to live under a different schedule and different rules.
I think Catty-Cornered could have been a little quicker out of the gate. Venola is given too much time and too many pages to complain early on in her diary. Otherwise, though, I enjoyed the story and the memories it dredged up for me.
I love Sean's new quote. He's right you sure can't take a walk with a bowl of fish. Thanks for stopping by."