Stretchy McHandome

With fur the color of a dreamsicle, a heart-shaped nose and eyes of two different colors, readers will fall for “Stretchy McHandsome,” a fetching feline sprung from the imagination of Judy Schachner.

Stretchy lived with his clan in a big box in a deserted alley “with no one in charge. There was Fergus, McDoogle, Binny and Roy. Roo, Jamie, Callie and Joy.” Whew!

Stretchy wasn’t only adorable — he was unique. He could stretch his body into all kinds of contortions, was “the Tom of the tumble club.” Stretchy loved his clan but sometimes their quarters were too crowded, so McHandsome set a plan in motion. He took a vacation, jaunting around the town to see what was happening. In the process he put himself in some perilous predicaments and then decided to take a break with a sunbath in the window of an old bookstore.

That’s where a “real sweet human beanie” spied the kitty of her dreams. It was love at first sight for Beanie and Stretchy who had a number of commonalities.

Back home, Stretchy’s family was worried about their wandering box mate, and set out to look for him, resulting in a reunion Beanie couldn’t have imagined, and Stretchy couldn’t have foreseen either. Nine cats — nine new lives. Enough said. Ages 3-5.