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Devin Febbroriello, OR

Senior Writer

Originally from Connecticut, Devin has been in love with the arts, creativity, and storytelling since childhood. You could find her deep in the woods building a secret fort, organizing a three-act play (complete with handmade sets & costumes), or choreographing a dance number to perform for the neighborhood! After studying filmmaking in Boston and the Czech Republic, she went to work in NYC on feature films & TV shows for over a decade. Sensitive and intoxicated by the subtle details of the world, relationships, history, and culture, Devin has learned to channel her empathetic observations into screenplays, poems, short stories, and her first novel.

As a Story Terrace writer, Devin interviews customers and turns their life stories into books. Get to know her better by reading her autobiographical anecdote below.

I Believe in Magic

There was nothing more that I wanted in life than a kitten. Not just a kitten, but MY kitten. I was met with a great deal of resistance from my mother who had the hunch that an eight-year-old may not be able to take on the full brunt of the duties required for its care.

There were many “kitten close calls,” where, for one second of pure bliss, I thought that my dream was about to finally come true. The most dramatic of such instances happened at my grandmother’s house one afternoon. To my absolute delight, the neighbors brought over a cardboard box full of kittens that their sassy outdoor cat, Vera, had unexpectedly delivered a few weeks prior. By the time my mother arrived to pick me up, I had already dedicated my life to one I lovingly named “Misty,” aka MY sweet, grey, fluffy best friend forever.

When I was told I could not bring Misty home with me, I threw a tear-choked fit so epic that every adult within a two-mile radius had to huddle around my tantrum for twenty minutes in order to get me on my feet and into the car. On the ride home, I can still remember peering through tear-blurred eyes at the grass stuck to my knees from kicking and screaming my grief into the lawn.

One summer when I was around ten, my friend’s family began a massive edition on their old colonel home. The project would take months and required a whole team of carpenters, contractors, and construction equipment to complete. At some point during demolition, a very large dumpster was hauled onto their property in order to dispose of the materials coming off the building. On the day the dumpster was delivered, I happened to ride my light purple Schwinn ten-speed up the driveway.

I immediately noticed a small group of adults in discussion next to the dumpster. It seemed odd, so I went over to investigate. My friend’s mother greeted me with a most delightful surprise. The construction company had discovered a young black cat living inside the dumpster. No one knew how long it had been there, but they all agreed it must be a stray and looked to be female. I was immediately smitten.

My friends and I ran into the house to get milk, cheese, and whatever other comforts we thought our lost friend might enjoy. We gathered around, trying to comfort and nourish her while the adults discussed what to do. They decided to let her stay in the dumpster for the night and search for a family to adopt her in the morning. We made a tiny bed out of blankets and left out treats and water for the evening ahead. Although she did not fit my criteria of being a tiny kitten, I sincerely hoped that my mother might consider adoption. I lovingly named her “Olive” before saying good night and heading back to my house.

I took the path that cut through the woods between our homes. It was thick and overgrown with summer flora. About halfway down the path, I heard a small rustling noise in the bramble. I paused to look back and was shocked to see that Olive was following me! My heart nearly burst from my chest with joy! I kneeled down and gently beckoned her out of the brush. Coy and cautious she slinked up to my hand and began to purr as I scratched behind her ears.

I must admit, I did try (though quite unenthusiastically) to tell Olive to “Go back to the dumpster,” but, the cat followed me all the way home. By the time I reached my yard, I felt 100% confident that my mother would simply have to understand that we must adopt Olive because the cat had in fact chosen me and not the other way around. I knocked on the front door and stood proudly with Olive by my side.

My mother answered the door, and I immediately launched into the most epic pitch for why we must, must, must adopt this cat. I told her of the dumpster and how she chose me. I told her she was sweet, gentle, and kind. I pleaded my case with confidence, like a seasoned professional. And, through some kind of miracle, or at the very least total exhaustion over this whole “my daughter is obsessed with cats” thing—my mother agreed!

My dreams had finally come true. She may not have been a tiny kitten, but she was good enough for me.

I was in heaven.

BUT.

Two months later Olive suddenly vanished. I searched the house from top to bottom. I posted fliers at the country store. I screamed her name from the back porch until my throat was hoarse and dry. I worked myself into a complete hysterical panic. I could barely sleep or eat.

However, just when I’d started to lose hope (about three days after her initial disappearance), my mother came shrieking from her bedroom with an unbelievable discovery.

Olive had not vanished at all! Quite the contrary!

She had nestled herself into a deep recess of my mother’s closet, into a basket with old quilts, and had quietly birthed five kittens. Or, in other words… this was the best day of my life. Five kittens! Five kittens in a basket, in a closet, in MY house! Olive had been pregnant when she followed me home?!

Needless to say, I was ecstatic.

And for the first time in my life, I started to believe in magic.

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Get in touch today to work with Devin!