John Des Fosses
John Des Fosses is a sixty-five years old retiree, living in
Williamsburg, VA, with wife of 43 years, Sandra Anne.
John was raised in Holyoke, Massachusetts with one brother and
three sisters and two loving parents. He graduated from Holyoke
High School, where in his senior year he earned an All American
High School swimmer title.
John attended one semester at Springfield College, Springfield,
MA. A financial crisis forced him to leave college. From
1966—1970 he served with the US Navy aboard a submarine, the
USS Salmon, SS573, stationed in San Diego, CA. He attained a
rank and rate of E-5 torpedoman.
John returned to college, after a two-year stint with a
property management company in San Diego. He attended a local
college for two years after which, Sandi and he left San Diego
for Manhattan, Kansas and Kansas State University. He graduated
in 1976 with a BS degree in Biology with a minor in Chemistry.
After college he worked for GE Medical Systems, Marquette
Electronics, Decision Data, and Econocom. In 1987 John started
he own computer company and he is now semi–retired after 22
years in business.
Congratulations to John for being in the 2012 Preditors and Editors top ten
Young Adult Novel Category for The Cat Lottery.
New Title(s) from John Des Fosses
ORDER the PRINT BOOK Today!
Click on the thumbnail(s) above to learn more about the book(s) listed.
|Camille has exhausted the last of her
nine lives. Under strict cat law, she must depart this earth for
the eternal tenth life. Pioline and Poulet, her eight-week-old
kittens, are left behind. Willed by Camille’s departed spirit,
Boots, her aging brother, finds the kittens under the deck of
John and Sandi’s house. They are wired with fear and spirits so
lost they might never be found.
Boots, a life long stray, confesses he is ill suited for the
caring of kittens. He must devise a plan to convince the humans
to take the kittens into their home. A more daunting task is to
convince the kittens they should become house cats. Sandi
becomes an unwitting partner in his plan. John becomes an
unwitting foil. Learn the laws that govern a cat's life and how
they deal with death, fear, joy, humor and love.
Word Count: 33000
Pages to Print: 121
File Format: PDF
ORDER THE CAT LOTTERY PRINT BOOK! (ISBN
|The Cat Lottery
Camille’s kittens were born in early October when leaves fell
from the tall trees in the yard, weaving colorful patterns of
red, gold, and orange. As they landed, the once-green grass of
summer gave way to the hues of fall. The warm breeze turned
cool, signaling to all the coming of December’s wintry nights.
Camille wished her two kittens had been born during the spring,
but this hadn’t happened.
Mother and litter lived beneath a wooden deck attached to a
house at the end of a dead-end street. The owners of the house,
John and Sandi, built the large deck so they could enjoy the
only comfortable seasons in Virginia Beach: spring and fall.
The deck had a rectangular shape and was eighteen inches off the
ground. A forty-two inch railing followed the edges. At each end
were two sets of wooden steps each with three planks: one
leading to another set of stairs and the back door of the house,
the other to a covered stack of firewood some thirty feet away
and parallel to a cedar fence. John had cut a hole in the deck
so a twenty-foot tall maple tree wouldn’t have to be cut down.
The tree provided ample shade for the potted plants scattered
about the deck.
The ground beneath the deck was covered with years of
accumulated leaves, some put there by John, some blown there by
the wind. Although the leaves had a musty smell, they made a
soft bed on the hard clay soil and offered protection from the
winter winds. The leaves also provided a hiding place from
humans, and from animals that walked through the yard. It was a
safe place to live and play, and it was the only world the
kittens had ever known.
From time to time, Camille would leave her kittens while she
hunted, but she had come to realize she couldn’t run or stalk
her prey the way she once had. She remembered the days when to
catch a bird at a feeder was mere kitten’s play. And when mice
were just as easy.
Because winter was nearly upon them and food supplies were
scarce, Camille often felt her kittens were being punished for
the poor timing of their births. She also knew she’d used up all
of her nine cat lives and her time on earth was limited.
The kittens were too young to know their mother was preparing
for a journey—a journey traveled only by those cats who had used
up their nine lives. Camille knew she was about to travel alone
to a place where her ninth life would end and her eternal tenth
life would begin. It would be a place where there were fields of
catnip and pools of honey milk. It would be a place where peace
and harmony were joined together. A place unlike anywhere she’d
visited as an outdoor cat on earth. She had to take great care
to keep this trip a secret from her kittens. They must not know
anything about it, she thought. Not knowing was important for
With all her courage and determination, Camille put off her
journey as long as the rules that govern a cat’s life would
allow. But on this afternoon when colored leaves fell from the
trees, she knew her time had come.
She was thankful her kittens were nine weeks old and fully
weaned from her milk and could eat solid food. There had been
few occasions lately, however, when she could make solid food
available to them. One of those occasions was the previous
night; it would be their last meal together.
Just before dawn, while the kittens had slept soundly and safely
beneath the deck, Camille had seen an opossum snatch a
half-chewed turkey leg from a tipped-over garbage can. The can
more than likely had been turned over by Boris in the night.
Boris was a three-year-old Doberman Pinscher who hated every
living thing. Camille worried about her kittens when Boris was
around. He often passed through the yard. She knew that had he
seen her kittens he’d have tried to snatch them up. But why
would Boris miss this morsel of food? Camille figured he had
found something more alive and challenging to chase and catch.
From under a red-berry holly bush, Camille watched the opossum
climb head-first into the trashcan and back out with his prize.
He gripped the brown, meaty turkey leg like a fat cigar in his
narrow, pointy mouth and headed toward the back of the house.
Camille followed close behind.
Waddling as fast as he could, the opossum found a safe spot near
a pile of leaves and twigs by a cedar shed. He sat down and
prepared to eat.
Camille crept up without his noticing her. Quietly, she filled
her lungs to their fullest capacity and let go a howl that broke
the night’s silence like a fire truck’s siren.
The startled opossum jumped two feet in the air, fell hard to
the ground, and played dead. Camille wasted no time worrying
about whether the opossum was actually dead. She bit deeply into
the turkey leg and dragged it to her hungry kittens. She’d been
sneaking up on and scaring opossums all of her life, and she
really enjoyed doing it. They fell dead before her scream every
Her kittens ate heartily until their stomachs were full and
little was left. The bone remained near the nest of leaves like
a trophy won by a great hunter.
The next morning, Camille watched her kittens play as the sun
began to rise. The boy kitten, Pioline, stalked his sister,
Poulet, who tried to ignore him. Pioline had long, jet-black
fur. Camille thought this was odd because there had never been
longhaired cats in the family. Black fur looked very good on
him, she decided. Poulet had jet-black fur, too, but it was
short like Camille’s. The true family resemblance was in their
golden eyes and ink-black pupils. They have my eyes, Camille
thought, smiling. Their day together was quiet, peaceful and
It was a half-hour before the sun dropped behind the weathered
fence when Camille left her kittens. She did not utter a sound.
The kittens watched with surprised eyes as she passed the
perimeter of the deck and headed toward the shed. She had never
before left to hunt at this time of day. The kittens thought
something was wrong, but didn’t say anything.
The Cat Lottery