Meet Author Dusty Rainbolt

Learn more about the inspiration behind her book ?Ghost Cats: Human Encounters with Feline Spirits.?

By Stacy N. Hackett

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Courtesy of Dusty Rainbolt
Dusty Rainbolt and her cat, Vanna
1.  Why did you write the book?

For years I’ve had both a skeptical fascination with the paranormal and a deep love for cats. It seemed like a natural subject.

2. How did you put together the book?

All the stories came from people who kindly shared their encounters with me. The people were as varied as their experiences. I heard from clergy, doctors, attorneys and cat rescuers, just to name a few — mostly people who never believed in ghosts before their special meeting. The stories range from humorous episodes, like the phantom litterbox at a California hotel and the ghost cat who constantly teased the family dogs, to the thought-provoking visit to a dying woman by a cat named Grungy before the cat’s fate had been discovered. Rather than being frightened, people felt blessed and happy by the cat’s return.

3. Do you have any other books?

In addition to “Ghost Cats: Human Encounters with Feline Spirits,” I’m the author of “Kittens For Dummies” from the popular “Dummies” series. My book “Cat Wrangling Made Easy: Maintaining Peace and Sanity in Your Multicat Home” will be out in mid-December. I also wrote “All the Marbles,” a humorous science fiction adventure (with a cat, of course). I coauthored a humorous fantasy called “The Four Redheads of the Apocalypse” with redheaded authors Linda Donahue, Rhonda Eudaly and Julia Mandala. Our sequel, “Apocalypse Now,” will be out in 2008.

4. What has the feedback been on the book so far?

Some readers tell me they’re pleasantly surprised when they discover that it’s not full of scary stories, although a few encounters may make your spine feel a little tingly. Readers have drawn great comfort from the stories. “Ghost Cats” has helped many grieving people deal with the loss of their pets. Since the focus is on hope and love rather than fear, parents have said the book has helped comfort their children after the death of a pet.

5. Are you a cat owner? How many do you have?

My husband and I have six cats with a revolving door of foster kittens. I’ve been heavily involved in cat and kitten rescue for 22 years. I work mainly with bottle babies and have unfortunately experienced the loss of those fragile lives on many occasions.

6. Do cats influence your writing? How so? 

Every writer has her muse, and all my cats and foster kittens are mine. I used to be a newspaper reporter. More and more, my features revolved around cats, their plights and the people who rescued them. Now whether it’s cat care and behavior in books or magazine articles, science fiction, fantasy or humor, you’re sure to meet my cats in some form or other.

7. What was the best part about writing the book? 

I got to know each and every cat in the book through the eyes of the people I interviewed, usually the owner. By the time I finished writing each chapter I felt like I knew each kitty personally. Even though I never met them, I was sorry I had to say “goodbye.”

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Reader Comments

Kathy    Grand Island, NY

12/17/2007 4:19:32 PM

I loved the article. I had a cat when I was a girl that I absolutely adored. He would actually suck on my finger. We didn't know about shots and Frisky died of feline lukemia. We took him to numerous vets, but there was nothing that could be done. I never cried so hard. About a week after his death, I was asleep in bed when I awoke to the ever familiar feel of Frisky against my leg, licking himself. I just laid there without moving to be sure what I was feeling was real and that I wasn't dreaming. When it kept up, I sat up in bed, but nothing was there. I know what I felt and I know it was Frisky's way of saying he was ok and wasn't suffering anymore. When I told my mom, she said she felt Frisky's tail brush up against her.

Karyn    Cincinnati, OH

12/10/2007 7:25:27 AM

I'm glad to see that the book "Ghost Cats" is finally receiving some recognition. It is a lovely book containing really great stories. Of course, I might be a bit biased since one of my cats has his own little chapter in the book.

Stephanie    Austin, NY

12/3/2007 7:28:57 AM

I've lived with cats since my life first began in 1980. They have a very big role in my life and i'll never forget any of their names, or special qualities. If I see any of Dusty's books out for sale near me I'll be sure to get it! I love cats!!!!

Dyann    Grants Pass, OR

11/28/2007 5:01:36 PM

I had previously bought GHOST CATS when my cat died and I saw a ghost of my own kitty! I liked the book and emailed Dusty---she was so sweet and nice! I was really thrilled to see the magazine had given her a special interview about it! I hope other people will see it and get her book and find comfort in it about their cats who have passed over!

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