CH Cat Book Teaches Children About Disabilities, Perseverance
Thanks to author Ruth Hartman Berge, cerebellar hypoplasia cats just became a bit more famous!
On June 7, Ruth’s book Betty Tales: The True Story of a Brave Bobblehead Cat, was published. It’s a lovely story that shares a number of charming anecdotes about how Betty learned to overcome the limitations and difficulties of CH.
Throughout the short book the reader learns about many of Betty’s challenges, which most CH cat parents can easily identify with. Betty learns to climb stairs, how to jump off her pet parents’ bed, and more.
Written for children, Ruth tells Betty’s tales in easy to comprehend ways — and the book sends an important message. As Ruth says in the book’s introduction, disabilities don’t define a person (or cat, for that matter), and those with disabilities can accomplish wonderful things.
This is such an essential message to get out because young children are so impressionable, and it’s important to teach them the right lessons from the beginning. As far as I can tell, there’s no better way to help a child learn that disabilities and differences aren’t funny, scary or limiting, than to touch their heart with the story of a differently-abled cat.
After hearing Betty’s tales, I hope children will be more open and accepting of children and animals who face challenges. Who knows — perhaps these children will even go home and ask their parents if they can adopt a “bobblehead cat” or one with other special needs.
The story truly is brought to life thanks to the illustrations by Ray Russotto. Ray does a fantastic job conveying Betty’s facial expressions and movements; my favorite truly has to be when Betty is struggling to climb stairs. It reminded me so much of when my CG learned how to climb up carpeted stairs!