Hamblen’s fiction debut narrates the adventures of one woman’s many cats—during life as well as after death.
Jane, the epitome of a cat lady, adopts kittens William and Tibby—two cats in a long line of feline companions who have known Jane as “Second Mom.” Like other books told from animals’ perspectives (A Dog’s Life by Ann M. Martin), this one features a creative, realistic portrayal of a cat’s-eye view of life. For example, William and Tibby quickly learn that domesticated life has many ups and downs. On one hand, nothing beats sardines and cream or the joy of hunting in nearby fields. But the cats must also brave trips to the vet and try not to upset “Hon” (Jane’s husband). It’s often entertaining to consider the cats’ point of view, as when they describe Jane’s cars as “the two beasts that lurked in the garage” or worry that “the vacuum cleaner was on the prowl with Second Mom in close pursuit.” One night, William gets hit by a car, ending his life. He immediately wakes up in heaven where he is greeted by Third Mom, another kind woman, and all of Jane’s previous cats. As William acclimates to heaven and his new companions, Jane continues to tend cat after cat as she ages, leading to her posthumous and glorious reunion with her eager family of felines. This book’s leisurely plot has moments of tension, such as when the cats get stuck in a tree or have mild tiffs, but most of these are not particularly fraught. Its heavy focus on cats’ day-to-day lives is something that will only be truly appreciated by those who love cats. Jane’s deep adoration for her feline friends sometimes comes off as awkward or cloying—she calls her cats “my little Tibby Wibby” and “William, my little glum-wum”—but there are also many heartwarming moments that stem from this adoration. Lastly, Hamblen effectively teaches Christian lessons about God’s love, having compassion, and the importance of growing in goodness “until we become perfect.”
Slow but maintains an entertaining feline perspective—ultimately for cat lovers only.