Thursday, May 28, 2015

CWA's Purr-Worthy Cat Books

For the past few months I've been writing book reviews for the Cat Writers' Association blog. Today we're sharing a couple of them here so that our regular readers have access to all of our Tortie Shorties reviews :)


From the publisher: In a northern Minnesota mining town, cats have always maintained the Great Purr, a force that holds the Real World, the UnderEarth, and the Spirit World together. But when the Great Purr becomes corrupted and threatens to destroy the world, the magical cats of Ironton must work together to prevent disaster. Can Karma use her exquisite sensitivity without it destroying her? Will Target harness his gift of focus at the right time? And will sensual Kali be able to resist the temptation of the Evil that threatens to unravel The Great Purr?

Tortie Shorties Review: With fantasy not being my typical genre of preference, I was unsure of what to expect when I started reading The Great Purr. I never imagined that I would be so completely drawn into the magical world created by this talented author.

While each character in the book, both human and feline, is unique and vividly portrayed, I had a few favorites. First there is sweet, sensitive Karma, who lost her entire “fur family” as a kitten and then the beloved owner who rescued her just moments before she was to be euthanized. Now she lives with her owner’s son and his wife in a house with great turmoil where she is made to feel unwanted and unloved. There is one particular scene where Karma is trapped in an animal shelter overnight where she remembers her early years that broke my heart. Then there’s the beautiful, three-legged Kali, a “grumpy little cat with the heart of a warrior and a fierce hate of humans.”

Memorable humans include Helen, a woman who experiences powerful grief over the loss of a beloved cat to cancer, and Michael, a tormented man who doesn’t realize the important responsibilities he has.

The entire time I was reading this book I kept thinking what a wonderful movie it would make, and in the end I was left with one burning question: is there going to be a sequel??? I would love to have the opportunity to infiltrate these cats’ lives again.

Purchase Link


From the publisher: Deborah and her beloved cat Ragdoll cat, Mr. Jazz, spent a lifetime together. The bond they shared was special – he was her companion through the best and worst of it all. So when the inevitable happened – the realization he was dying at 15 years of age and she would have to face the painful and difficult decision of helping to let him go, their relationship changed, causing Deborah to learn some invaluable lessons from him about life, love, grieving, and letting go.

Tortie Shorties Review: Every time we bring a new pet into our homes and our hearts, we do so knowing that the day will come when we will have to say goodbye to them. No matter how many years you have together, this always happens much sooner than we are ever ready. One of my all-time favorite quotes is by Irving Townsend: “We who choose to surround ourselves with lives even more temporary than our own, live within a fragile circle, easily and often breached. Unable to accept its awful gaps, we still would live no other way. We cherish memory as the only certain immortality, never fully understanding the necessary plan.”

As a cat mom who has had to say that final goodbye 5 times now (I know, that is probably a much smaller number than many of you reading this), I have read many books on coping with the loss of a pet. Purr Prints of the Heart by Deborah Barnes is a must-have for any cat lover’s bookshelf.

Yes, there were times this book made me cry my eyes out. Mr. Jazz and my own precious Tara passed away the same summer, 7 weeks apart. They were both sick for a long time and while reading about Mr. Jazz’s final days, I felt like I was reliving my last days with Tara. The similarities were just uncanny.

On the other hand, Purr Prints filled me with an incredible sense of comfort. Mr. Jazz comes across as such a wise old soul, showing us that our beloved cats cherish every single moment of their all too short lives, and we need to remember to do the same. We’re the ones who forget to live in the present, too obsessed with the past and future. We’re the ones afraid to let go. They are so much braver and stronger than we are, and we have so much to learn from them about what living a full life means.

The loss of a pet is one of the most heartbreaking experiences we ever go through. Sadly, it is also a pain that is minimized by much of society. This book shows that there are wonderful people out there who have shared the same journey and understand that we all need to grieve in our own way. It’s nothing to be ashamed of or to feel the need to hide; it is a kinship we all share. But in the end, the years of joy our precious cats bring into our lives makes the heartache worthwhile.

Purchase Link


Hannah and Lucy said...

It looks as though the Great Purr will be a good book to read.
Luv Hannah and Lucy xx xx

CATachresis said...

I have Purr Prints already on kindle and will read it soon! The Great Purr sounds interesting, but like you, it is not my usual genre!

pilch92 said...

I plan to get Purr Prints in the near future.

Fur Everywhere said...

I received Deb's book a week or two ago and can't wait to read it, though I am sure it will be painful at times. Jewel has been the only cat I've had to make that awful decision for -- and two years together was not nearly enough time. I cannot even imagine how awful it will be when it is Carmine or Lita's time. And yet, I know that I will never live without a cat in my life.

Kitties are so much wiser than we are, in my opinion. They know how to live in the present, not obsess about the past (as you'll see in Lita's post next week), and how to love unconditionally.

Anonymous said...

Thanks, Melissa! I think I'd have to start with Purr Prints, too.


We read Purr Prints and had the uncanny feelings about Mr Jazz and my beloved Abby. LIke you with Tara our losses were very close to one another and then both Deb and I lost another beloved cat within months of our first loss. I cried buckets. I didn't know some of the things that were going on with Deb because at that time I was in the throws of my own deep Grief.

Layla Morgan Wilde ( Cat Wisdom 101) said...

Thanks sharing these two special cat books you know I love. P.S. CWA has an awesome booth at Blogpaws.

Layla Morgan Wilde ( Cat Wisdom 101) said...

Thanks sharing these two special cat books you know I love. P.S. CWA has an awesome booth at Blogpaws.

Layla Morgan Wilde ( Cat Wisdom 101) said...

Thanks sharing these two special cat books you know I love. P.S. CWA has an awesome booth at Blogpaws.