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Writer visits Estevan to inspire kids and share her love of cats

Lisa Erixon discussed her book No Ordinary Cats while visiting Estevan recently.
Lisa Erixon, the author of No Ordinary Cats, was at Pleasantdale School and the Estevan Public Library to visit with students and share her experience as a writer.

ESTEVAN - Lisa Erixon, the author of No Ordinary Cats, visited Estevan last Wednesday to meet with students and talk about her book.

Erixon stopped at Pleasantdale School and at the Estevan Public Library to visit with guests, share her writer’s experiences and teach kids about writing.

Her book consists of stories about cats, and Erixon talked to students about what it takes to write a story. Then she asked them to try creating a plot about their pet, real or imaginary. She said the topic she chose for the book was inspired by her love for cats.

"I've always been a cat person. My mom had taken a picture of me when I was about three years old. And I'm holding a little wicker basket, and in this little wicker basket are two snow-white, blue-eyed, gorgeous, adorable kittens. And I'm looking down at them with a combination of awe and wonder and complete love. And that hasn't changed in 60 years," Erixon said with a laugh.

Erixon is a retired high school English teacher and a 2015 Distinguished Teacher Award recipient from Brandon University. She has always been interested in writing and has published her stories in Canadian magazines, including Our Canada and More of Our Canada. A mother of two grown sons, Erixon lives on a farm near Lyleton, Man., with her husband and her cats.

No Ordinary Cats was published at the end of 2022, and Erixon has been promoting it through school and library visits. She said the reception has been really positive.

"I have been to multiple schools in my old school division, which was in Manitoba, and in South East Cornerstone, I have been to Carnduff, Carievale and Estevan," Erixon shared.

The book tells the stories of the cats who live on the farm – cats with unique names and distinct personalities, like Fluffity, Riser and Chairman Meow.

"The story was inspired by this handsome boy here, Chairman Meow," Erixon shared. "He died last January. And I felt I needed to write about his life and his story to make sense of it for both him and I. And then I realized that all the other cats that we had over the last three decades, had interesting lives and they all deserve the voice too."

No Ordinary Cats shares the cats' ups and downs as they interact with their humans, explore with their littermates, face challenges with new arrivals and learn about the dangers that lurk beyond the property.

"The cats and their humans know there are lessons to be learned from both their lives and their deaths. Together, they discover the importance of family, friendship, acceptance and trust," says the book description.

Erixon added that there are a lot of interesting discoveries and ideas kids may find in her book.

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