In this memoir written in third person, a widowed woman finds comfort and solace from her new relationship with a feline friend.
After losing her husband, Barrett (First Love: Just Once in a Lifetime, 2011) vowed to never allow herself to become attached to others for fear of experiencing more loss. She made no exception for animals. However, she found herself looking forward to seeing a little, orange-striped cat on her porch each morning. Living alone in the Ontario home she once shared with her husband, Barrett slowly began to welcome the companionship of the cheerful cat. Barrett tried to keep her emotional distance by only referring to him generically as “Cat” (perhaps a wink to Holly Golightly in Breakfast at Tiffany’s). Never before a “cat person,” Barrett foresaw no risk of attachment from simply feeding the cat. Yet gradually, she became more attached to the animal and found herself missing him when he was away. Subsequently, she began to domesticate the untamed cat. Perhaps since Barrett hadn’t been a cat person, she began the domestication process with leash training and field trips to the beach. In this story, she marvels at the cleverness and uniqueness of her cat but spares readers most of the mundane details about its habits; instead, in polished and clear prose, she focuses on how he affected her life, making for a more relatable story than most in the cat-book category. As Barrett’s bond with the cat developed, she also built connections with other cat owners, and though the pain of her husband’s loss remained, her loneliness abated, and her desire to connect with others was restored. The heartfelt story will, of course, especially appeal to those who cherish the companionship of cats or other animals, but Barrett’s underlying story of recuperation and the restoration of hope may resonate with readers who have also experienced loss. Color photos, most slightly manipulated with a painterly filter, round out the comforting book.
A lighthearted, sincere story of appreciating the simple aspects of life after loss.