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The Antelope

Biology professor tells creative ‘tail’ about her feline friend 

During the COVID-19, Janet Steele wrote about her cat, Nimbus. Photo courtesy of Janet Steele

The second day of anatomy and physiology class in the 2020 fall semester, a student handed Janet Steele a box that contained a kitten that they had found in an alley. That is when the story of Nimbus and his adventures began.

The story starts when the orphaned kitten joined Steele’s home and was introduced to her seven other cats. She titled it, Nimbus: Prince of Fluff. 

“During the pandemic this became this giant distraction,” said Steele. “I build this story around what the cats think they’re doing. So obviously to start this new kitten’s story, Nimbus, descended from royalty.”

Within the story there are two kingdoms, Kingdom of Fluffiness (inside the house) and the Kingdom of Evil (outside the house). Nimbus and his friends go on multiple adventures throughout the book, including, discovering the scary basement, fighting off invading armies of aerial shrimp (grasshoppers) outside the window and watching for Evil the neighboring cat outside. 

Steele began to write the book in June while she was recovering from her knee replacement surgery. She sent out copies to her friends to get their feedback, and they loved it. She published it in July and announced it on Aug. 1. 

Although her book is available on Amazon, she does not keep the profit and instead donates it to the Kearney Animal Shelter and Humane Society. She also has given the animal shelter 15 copies of her book to sell. 

“Each physical copy makes about $2, and the Kindle version makes about $3,” Steele said. “So, I just sent it (to) the animal shelter and they wanted 15 copies that they were going to sell. I never intended to make money. It was just for fun.” 

Readers of Nimbus: The Prince of Fluff will be excited to know that Steele will be writing another book.

“There are so many new adventures to write about,” Steele said. “I think the next book would focus more on Evil, the neighboring cat, and how he attempts to breech the premise. People also ask me if I have ever let Evil into my house, but would you let evil into your house?”

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