Artist & Z Girls Press Author
Clyde: The Cat That Came in From the Cold
Clyde lived on the street in Sacramento 25 years ago, until he looked in the living room window of Daphne’s house and thought it looked cozy and comfortable. He worked hard to get her attention, and she fell in love with the skinny little homeless cat.
During their years together, Daphne made several watercolor paintings of her new best friend and way back then, turned them into a one-of-a-kind handmade book.
Clyde’s legacy is his tale of dreams; if you want them more than anything in the world, they can become reality. His story is of life’s ups and downs, a friendship full of love, and the life-changing act of rescuing a pet.
Daphne Stammer’s Story
Why would a high school art teacher and accomplished artist feel that a few watercolor paintings of a homeless cat she owned twenty-five years ago and turned into a homemade book is her most significant work? She creates beautiful pieces using every technique in the book—oil, watercolor, acrylic, mixed-media, and more, creating pieces that are one, two or three dimensional. And, she has a history of gallery shows and blue ribbon pieces to her credit.
It’s not because she glued the paintings together and literally stitched them by hand into a one-of-a-kind hand-made children’s storybook called Clyde The Cat That Came in From The Cold. It is because Clyde the cat’s legacy, if you want it more than anything in the world, your dream can become a reality, is his tale of dreams which Daphne beautifully captured in the book she wrote twenty-five years ago.
Multi-media artist Daphne Stammer is a retired high school art teacher who taught for 30 years, many of those in Sacramento. She began painting walls and paper bags when she was three years old and says no one in her family was artistic except her father who was a writer and managing editor of newspapers in New York, North Dakota, Idaho, Washington, and California. Daphne, her Mom, older brother, and younger sister, were used to changing schools as their Dad’s career took them around the country, and cats were always the family pet and Daphne’s favorite companions. The kids usually attended a small school which did not have art programs, so the art teacher did not officially study art until she was in College. Her watercolor illustrations of Clyde are almost three dimensional and so lifelike. She captures Clyde’s movement, both tapping her for food and chasing his tail, in two of the book’s endearing illustrations. It is a beautifully written and artistically presents a real story that is making some early readers teary-eyed.
Daphne went straight into teaching and loved it! Her classroom was usually the “safe place” where students came before and after school and when they didn’t want to be somewhere else. Mrs. Stammer, “the foxy art teacher” as they called her back in the day, welcomed the students who shared a cup of coffee with her in the morning before class. She says she was not a surrogate mother to her students, more of a good friend or big sister, and loved seeing them looking happy working on art projects during class or any other time they were in the classroom. “My classroom floor was always full of stuff. The kids would make all kinds of school projects there instead of at home, you know Homecoming floats and things like that.” Psychologytoday.com says “Art therapy helps children, adolescents, and adults explore their emotions, improve self-esteem, manage addictions, relieve stress, improve symptoms of anxiety and depression, and cope with a physical illness or disability.“ Mrs. Stammer may not have realized how much she was doing for her students back then.
Maybe, unbeknownst to him, Clyde brought a bit of Pet Therapy which is also known to be a powerful therapeutic tool, to Mrs. Stammer’s home. Though Daphne has had numerous cats over the years, there was something special about this skinny, white cat with four or five rubber bands around his neck, who was always hanging around her house. She had three cats at the time and didn’t need or want another, but when she noticed his neck and knew the elastics had to be removed before they did any damage. Daphne had done sketches of many of her cats, but something special about Clyde’s quiet, friendly nature, especially given the circumstance of being a skinny street cat wearing a rubber band necklace, who exuded tons of patience and wanted nothing more than to please. Even when he was 21 years old and spent most of the day in his bed because he could hardly walk, he wanted to make sure that Daphne was O.K. and would wobble about looking for her, then go back to his warm bed.
Though the most recent cat to share her home, Alexander the Great (affectionately called Alex) recently passed away from old age, Daphne says that the opportunity to see that Clyde’s book of watercolor illustrations become a real book is her dream come true. Z Girls Press, a local publisher, just published the book in hardcover, paperback, and Ebook format so that his legacy can inspire kids today and in the future. Daphne’s heart may be broken by the loss of Alex, but her sweet Clyde is still making sure that she is O.K., this book project has kept her so busy that she doesn’t have time to be too sad!
Did you know that experts say a city like Sacramento can have as many as 80,000 feral cats in need of people to love? Daphne plans to share some of the proceeds of her book with non-profit organizations that help manage Sacramento’s feral population. It’s true, maybe Clyde’s story will help a few more of homeless cats follow his dream, if you want it more than anything in the world, your dream can become a reality, and find people to love who will let them come in from the cold.
Press About Daphne Stammer
“Clyde is the true story of author/illustrator Daphne Stammer’s adopted cat. Through beautiful narrated illustrations it tells the sweet story of their happy life together.
Twenty-five years ago, Daphne took in a homeless cat that became her perfect pet. She painted him, and those paintings became a one-of-a-kind handmade book…
She beautifully captured his playful cat ways, from begging for food, to chasing his tail, to taking up residence in an empty box.
This sweet book will delight children and adults alike.”
Press Release: Just in Time for the Holidays, Great for Stockings: Clyde the Cat’s True Story Will Entertain Children While Grown-Ups Enjoy Coloring a Quick Succession of Busy Nothings
New from Z Girls Press: Clyde the Cat That Came In From The Cold by Artist/Author Daphne Stammer for children and A Quick Succession of Busy Nothings by Kate Zarrella. Clyde tells the true story of how a once homeless cat found a home in beautiful, lively...