Mewsings: My Life as a Jewish Cat

Book Title: "Mewsings: My Life as a Jewish Cat" -Jewish holidays, humor
About the Author: Concert pianist-turned journalist Greta Beigel was raised in an Orthodox Jewish home in South Africa at the height of apartheid. After winning a piano scholarship from the University of South Africa,  she migrated to California where she metamorphosed into a music journalist, working for many years on staff at the Los Angeles Times. She has contributed to the New York Times. Greta  is the author of three Jewish-themed e-books, including the recent "Kvetch: One Bitch of a Life--A Memoir of Music & Survival."  
From the author: At a cat writers' conference I attended--yes there is such an organization-- a publisher once remarked: "Why on earth would you write a book about a cat who thinks she's Jewish?" Yet of all my writing, "Mewsings: My Life as a Jewish Cat," educational yet funny, gives me the biggest meeow.

Set in Hawaii, Iceland, New Zealand, South Africa, and LA, and narrated by a calico cat called Ketzel—yes, she's really my alter ego—"Mewsings" offers one quirky take on modern Judaism, with special focus on the High Holidays. Whether sneaking into synagogue in Honolulu, or noshing tidbits in the kitchen during Passover preparation or reclining and idle absorbing those biblical tales before Rosh Hashanah, Ketzel remains ever-respectful and in awe of Jewish traditions and teachings. But watch out come December and Hanukkah--she's ready to pounce on those spinning tops and piping potato latkes. I'm often asked how "Mewsings" came about. Well, relaxing on a beach one fall afternoon in Oahu, and feeling somewhat apprehensive about the fast-approaching Day of Atonement, I heard myself engaging in make-believe catty chat: "Oh my," a ginger tabby cries, "Oh my, I'm so worried. It's nearly Yom Kippur and what happens if my Mama forgets to feed me?" A kindly Siamese, prone to preaching faith, generosity and love responds: "Don't worry kitty. You can share my dish of fish. I'm not Jewish. I can eat all I want." Soon I composed my rhymes.  Most fun of all, was describing "Dubious Brethren in the Animal Kingdom," a series of meditations on assorted frogs, birds, one fat New Zealand hedgehog and a silly lorikeet I encountered during my many travels. And just in case, a concluding glosssary of Yiddish terms explains all.

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