Angels and Cats and Birds…Oh My!
A conversation with Margaret Atwood by Women for Nature member Laura Couvrette.
While she may be best-known for her critically acclaimed novels “The Handmaid’s Tale,” “The Blind Assassin,” “Alias Grace,” and the like, Margaret Atwood made a special appearance at the Toronto Reference Library on Tuesday February 22nd, to present the much-anticipated 2nd volume of her graphic novel series, ANGEL CATBIRD: TO CASTLE CATULA.
More than 200 people eagerly awaited Margaret’s arrival, sitting patiently yet excitedly in the spacious atrium of the library.
The diverse crowd of literary enthusiasts, students and Atwood fans spanned all ages, and was a true testament to the universal appeal and continued relevance of Margaret’s works.
Those who are fortunate enough to have heard Margaret speak know that she is a witty, eloquent, and captivating storyteller with a hint of mischief behind her words. The lively conversation, moderated by host Mark Asquith of the Space Network, and joined by Johnnie Christmas, illustrator of the Angel Catbird series, spanned a variety of topics including Margaret’s childhood interests, the changing political climate, the enduring appeal and influence of comic books, and of course, the inspiration behind the Angel Catbird graphic novels.
As a long-time environmental advocate and a founding member of Nature Canada’s Women for Nature, Margaret created the perfect opportunity to blend her passions for bird conservation and cat welfare with her special interest in graphic novels and her talent for writing, through the Angel Catbird series.
Angel Catbird is a curious combination of bird, cat, and human being who faces an ongoing identity conflict. Sprinkled throughout the novels are statistics and tidbits of information related to Nature Canada’s Keep Cats Safe and Save Bird Lives outreach campaign, aimed at protecting birds by keeping pet cats from roaming unsupervised. It’s an entertaining story that aims to educate readers about the declining bird population in Canada, and the ripple effect it has on our forests, and wildlife in general.
So, what’s next? Margaret assured her fans of a third installment in the Angel Catbird series, but as for further volumes? Margaret says we’ll just have to wait and see. Something tells me that whatever she comes up with, it will be worth the wait! Until then, we encourage you to take the pledge to keep your cat from roaming free outdoors. Visit www.catsandbirds.ca and join the movement.
Laura Couvrette is a fellow Women for Nature member through Nature Canada, and a Partner at Fuller Landau LLP, a dynamic mid-sized accounting, tax, and business advisory firm. Fuller Landau is a proud sponsor and supporter of Nature Canada, and has had the privilege of providing professional advisory services to Margaret Atwood for many years.