Cleo, The Cat Who Mended a Family
Citadel Press, 2009
This is a wonderful and poignant story of a family that allows a scruffy little kitten to come into their lives at their most vulnerable moments and how she brings life and joy back to a house steeped in tragedy.
To give you an idea of the tone of this non-fiction book, here are a few of my favorite quotes:
Leaving what our world had become was the easy part. Returning to it was almost unbearable. Opening my eyes next morning, I heard a thrush call, its “took took” echoing across the hills. For an instant I imagined life was normal. I’d just woken from a nightmare of grotesque proportions. With sickening horror, the events of the previous day exploded in my mind and sent me plummeting into despair. Pg 27
Cleo’s motto seemed to be: Life’s tough and that’s okay, because life is also fantastic. Love it, live it—but don’t be fooled into thinking it’s not harsh sometimes. Those who’ve survived periods of bleakness are often better at savoring good times and wise enough to understand that good times are actually great. Pg 102
When observed from a great height, pain sometimes shrinks and subsides into the wider pattern of life. With practice and time I was learning it’s possible to disengage emotion occasionally and experience the serenity of a cat observing the world from a rooftop. Pg 114
The book traverses Cleo’s nearly 25 year life span as a guardian to the author and her children. Cleo helped her humans survive through immense grief and journey into a new beginning. She was their touchstone to reality and blessed them with unconditional love and silent understanding.
The author’s memoir of her life and Cleo’s is touching and lyrical. My human recorded 2 pages of quotes for me and it is a book I will definitely be rereading it again and relive the glory days of Cleo, a beautiful black part Abyssinian.
Rating: 4 out of 5 paws for Cleo’s instincts that allowed her to be exactly where she needed to be at the right moment.
Cleo with daughter Lydia
This is the sequel! I’m going to my human to look for it!!