A lot of people baked bread during the first year of the COVID-19 pandemic. Others "Netflixed and chilled" until the cows came home. But daytime alum Eyal Podell (ex-Adrian Korbel, The Young and the Restless) and his wife decided to do something way more inspiring: they published a children's book! And General Hospital's Rebeka Montoya (ex-Delores Padilla) joined the couple on their project.
Called The Little Cat That Zoomed, the sweet story follows a house cat named Sugar whose daily routine gets disrupted when the coronavirus forces her human family into lockdown. She's not happy with the changes, the loss of her privacy, and the incessant noise that ruins her daily naps. But when the little boy in her family introduces her to his class over Zoom, her mind is blown, and a previously untapped love of learning emerges as she discovers all the amazing things in the world.
The Little Cat That Zoomed was written by Eyal Podell and his wife, Ashley, who were inspired by their real-life cat, Sugar, who would jump on their kids' desks and sit with them during their school Zoom sessions. Early on in the COVID-19 lockdown, the couple's son introduced Sugar to his fifth-grade class, and everyone loved her -- including the teacher.
With a little nudging from a family member, Eyal and Ashley decided to write a children's book about Sugar and asked their friend Rebeka Montoya (who is listed as Rebecca Montoya Dieppa on the book) to do the illustrations. The result is a story that helps teach children perseverance, how to adapt to change, and the importance of making lemonade when you're handed lemons.
"The Little Cat That Zoomed began as an attempt to commemorate a small part of our family's experience during this historic and insane time," Eyal shares. "In the beginning of 2020, my wife Ashley underwent hip replacement surgery and was recovering at home. When COVID hit and everything shut down, she was put on furlough and a few months later fired. During that time, she not only became a full-time stay-at-home mom but also, like many of us, was looking for a creative outlet and an opportunity to turn the lemons of the lockdown into some kind of lemonade."
He continues, "We shared some fun pictures of [Sugar Zooming during school] with my mother-in-law, a former teacher. She suggested my wife write a children's book about it. Something just clicked. Ashley sat down and wrote a first draft, we collaborated to fine-tune the story and were then lucky to bring Rebeka Montoya Dieppa (a talented artist and friend) on to the team to do the most incredible art. This book is a love letter to our children and an acknowledgment of how strong and resilient they were during this time."
And while the book is geared toward children, we've all had to make some adjustments over the past couple of years to our ever-changing world.
The Little Cat That Zoomed was released on September 13. For more information or to order a copy, continue reading here. You can also follow The Little Cat That Zoomed and the adventures of Sugar on their Instagram account or their website, thelittlecatthatzoomed.com.
Eyal Podell starred as Y&R's Adrian from 2006 to 2008 and later went on to become an accomplished screenwriter. Some of his writing credits include Cars 3, The Angry Birds Movie 2, and Scoob!.
Rebeka Montoya starred as GH's Delores from 2011 to 2012. Some of her other credits include Mistresses, One Day at a Time, The Storm, and Grey's Anatomy.
What do you think about Eyal Podell and Rebeka Montoya teaming up to publish a children's book? What are your thoughts on The Little Cat That Zoomed? We want to hear from you -- and there are many ways you can share your thoughts.