So begins Cleo: the Cat who Mended a Family by Helen Brown. Poor Helen. She's like my husband, who didn't know you don't just "look" at kittens. The writing is exquisite in this book. But I'll admit I stopped reading it for a couple of days when tragedy hits the family. I simply could not go on. My own daughter is nine. And to even imagine losing her to some freak auto-accident is a place I cannot go to and remain sane.
Now that I'm in the thick of it, I'm savoring it. There is love after loss. Even laughter. My family thinks I'm bonkers sitting in a corner cackling to myself as I read this book. I can't help but think of the half finished stories of my own first cat. I got him at a tumultuous time in my life ... he's still with us (17 years old), still demanding our attention, still behaving like an Indian husband. Ah, yes, he deserves his own book. Someday.
I was a bit put-off by the cover saying: the next Marley and Me. Don't get me wrong. I've read it. Enjoyed it. But Cleo is nothing like Marley. For heaven's sake, don't the people who market know anything about cats and dogs? Marley is a dog. And some of us are right offended by the comparison. Puh-leeeese.
So, cat lovers ... get this book. Cleo will burrow into your own heart as have other cats. Perhaps it will jog some of your own cherished kitten and cat memories. Pen them. Write a tribute.
I love the title chapter and subheadings. Here's a sampling:
Choice ~ A cat chooses its owner, not the other way around.
A Name ~ There's only one correct name for a cat -- Your Majesty.
Loss ~ Unlike humans, cats are accustomed to loss.
The Intruder ~ A cat doesn't go where it's invited. It appears where its needed.
Trust ~ A cat is always in the right place at exactly the right time.
I could go on and on, but you simply must get the book, curl up with your own feline and enjoy this book for yourself.
ps: I wish the owners of Marley and other dogs and their owners only well. After all, we also have a lovable doggy in the house. But cats are cats and dogs are dogs, and the two shall not compare. Cats rule!