At the age of 3, we lived in a dark apartment next to the EL, somewhere in Chicago. My father loved animals and one day he brought home a tiny striped kitten. I was enchanted and carried the poor thing around all day, clutched tightly in my arms. Just as all children do, I decided to dress up kitty, complete with bonnet. Unfortunately, I couldn't tie the strings to the bonnet, so I found a rubber band. Oh dear. The kitten got away from me and ran under the bed where it made terrible croaking noises. Luckily, my mother came to see what I was up to and the kitty survived my fashion show. All my life, every time I see a small child with a kitten, I remember that day.
My own love of animals continued through my life, and carried into my writing. Thank you, kitty!