Sunderland woman published in cat-themed ‘Chicken Soup for the Soul’

  • Christine Grecsek poses for a portrait Wednesday at her home in Sunderland. Grecsek contributed a story to the Chicken Soup book, “The Magic of Cats: 101 Tales of Family, Friendship and Fun.” Staff Photo/DAN LITTLE

  • Christine Grecsek poses for a portrait Wednesday at her home in Sunderland. Grecsek contributed a story to the Chicken Soup book, “The Magic of Cats: 101 Tales of Family, Friendship and Fun.” Staff Photo/DAN LITTLE

  • Christine Grecsek poses for a portrait Wednesday at her home in Sunderland. Grecsek contributed a story to the Chicken Soup book, “The Magic of Cats: 101 Tales of Family, Friendship and Fun.” Staff Photo/DAN LITTLE

  • "Chicken Soup for the Soul: The Magic of Cats: 101 Tales of Family, Friendship and Fun" by Amy Newmark. Contributed photo

Staff Writer
Published: 9/10/2020 9:22:28 AM

A lifelong cat owner, Christine Grecsek, of Sunderland, has never had a shortage of stories about cats to tell.
So when “Chicken Soup for the Soul” sought submissions for tales about the adventures of cats and their families, Grecsek knew she had a tale or two she could share.

One such tale, which has since been published in Chicken Soup’s new collection of nonfiction stories, “The Magic of Cats: 101 Tales of Family, Friendship and Fun,” takes place in a Connecticut city, roughly 20 years ago. It tells the tale of Meatloaf, an abandoned, pregnant cat who makes a home for herself in the roof and fire escape of the building next door to Grecsek’s attic apartment.

The book contains 10 chapters, each with 10 stories from different authors. Grecsek’s story is part of the chapter titled, “When the Cat Chooses You.”

In the story, Grecsek writes about her Maine Coon cat named Boomerang.

“It was really sweet,” said Grecsek, of being included in the new Chicken Soup collection of stories. “It was very exciting.”

Grecsek has written other short stories and been published in regional publications, she said, but “Chicken Soup” is her first book and also her first published piece of nonfiction.

“I write when I can, as much as I can,” she said.

As exciting as it was to see her name in print in a well-known publication, finding a way to benefit the community locally sweetened the deal, Grecsek said.

Part of her book contract, she said, was receiving 10 copies of the publication. But the books came in cases of 20, rather than 10, and because of COVID-19 safety precautions, the cases couldn’t be split.

Grecsek decided to offer the books she was given to her Facebook community. In a post, she asked that anyone who wanted a book donate a minimum of $5, which she would send to the Dakin Humane Society, an animal welfare nonprofit with adoption centers in Springfield and on Montague Road in Leverett.

“We raised about $250 … which was amazing,” she said. “People were very generous.”

The Dakin Humane Society is where she adopted her current cats from about seven years ago, Grecsek explained.

“Getting published was sweet and all, but it was nice to parlay that to something locally,” she said.

Copies of the book can be purchased via Amazon, Barnes & Noble and IndieBound.org. According to Chicken Soup, royalties from book sales will benefit American Humane, a nonprofit protecting animals.

Mary Byrne can be reached at mbyrne@recorder.com or 413-772-0261, ext. 263. Twitter: @MaryEByrne




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