Home With Henry: Cat Memoir Book Review

Home with Henry- anne kaier

Have you read any good cat books this summer? Let our blog editor, Layla Morgan Wilde know at Layla@LaylaMorganWilde.com

Summer is rife with distractions but CWA book reviewer Melissa Lapierre found a cat memoir Home With Henry by Anne Kaier well worth the read.

Home with Henry- anne kaier

When I first saw the cover of Home with Henry I knew it was going to be a very special book, and I was right.
From the publisher: When copywriter Anne Kaier stops traffic to rescue a stray cat, neither she nor the cat knows what lies in store … You’ll lose yourself in this witty, true-life story of how Anne hopes a beguiling cat called Henry can help her as a single woman in the amped-up city. But first, how will she lure Henry out from under the bed-when not even her ten-year-old nephew can get him to stir?

This book is written in journal form as the author chronicles the first year of her life with Henry, as well as starting a new life herself in her very first home. Rejecting the old-fashioned notion that a woman should wait until she’s married to buy a house and create a traditional life, they live on their own terms and build a rich and meaningful life together. It’s a scary time for both human and cat, but with great patience and love they prove that home and family is what you make it.

Another star of the book is an aging calico, Lucille. In a couple difference passages Anne writes how she can’t help but view Henry as a “spare”. She knows she won’t have Lucille forever and fears being alone when the dreaded time comes. As someone who has always had just one cat at a time, I’ve often wondered if the heartbreak of losing a pet is any duller when you have another there for comfort.

Watching Anne and Henry’s bond deepen with each turn of the page was such a heartwarming experience, especially since many people don’t believe a feral cat can be domesticated. It became obvious that Henry had found his forever home when the opportunity arose for him to escape over the walled garden in Anne’s yard, and he chose to stay. What a beautiful moment.

If you’re anything like me and believe that cats are synonymous with home, this little book will touch your heart and warm your soul.

Anne Kaier

Anne Kaier holds a Ph.D. from Harvard University,teaches creative writing and literature at Arcadia University and Rosemont College. She serves on the Fulbright Creative Writing Student Screening Committee. Anne lives in Center City, Philadelphia.

Visit the author at her website AnneKaier.com or her publisher PS Books

 

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Purr Prints of The Heart: Book Review

Melissa Lapierre reviews a heart-warming new book, Purr Prints of The Heart by Deborah Barnes.

PurrPrints-ePub

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.

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.

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.

Amazon purchase link: Purr Prints Of The Heart

 

Visit Deb Barnes at her website/blog Zee and Zoey or listen to her recent radio interview on Blog Talk Radio

Melissa Lapierre blogs at MochasMysteriesMeows