Castle of the Cats

Something exciting happened yesterday. My friend in Texas, Mike Klaybor, showed me how to create a virtual background for a recorded story video. You can do it on Zoom.

I’ve been using Zoom during the quarantine to take a yoga class and keep in touch with friends. I never knew it had that capability. Mike told me how to get started. I spent yesterday experimenting with it until I finally felt ready to record a test story. It came out way beyond my expectations.

Check it out! Castle of the Cats is one of my favorite stories. It was originally suggested to me by my artist friend Katya Krenina, who created the beautiful pictures for the book. Katya grew up and went to art school in Lviv, one of Ukraine’s major cities. My grandma came from Kolomyya, which is about 50 miles down the road.

The original folktale comes from Latvia. I found it in a book of Latvian folktales that Katya sent me. It was one of the books she used to teach herself English. I liked the story a lot, but I didn’t feel any personal attachment to Latvia. I don’t know anything about Latvia. I asked Katya if she’d mind if I moved the story to Ukraine. She jumped at the chance. As she said, “I can do Latvia, but my heart’s in Ukraine.”

So is mine, even though I’ve never been there. Here’s a link to the story. I hope you enjoy it.

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