Some years ago, Tracy Doren adopted a tortoiseshell cat from a rescue centre and fell in love with her. The cat had been a stray, and nothing was known about her apart from the fact that she had had kittens. Her reflections on what might have happened to the tortoiseshell and to her litter before she was adopted inspired her to write this story. Although the beginning, at least, is therefore fictional, it is an honest story, lovingly written, with heartfelt insights into how a mutually beneficial relationship between human and cat can be created with patience and a readiness to accept the cat on her own terms.
The story follows two women and their families who adopt the mother cat and one of her kittens, and who eventually find friendship when they meet in the vet’s waiting room. Of particular interest to this reader were the detailed descriptions of life in a cat rescue centre and the methods used to gradually transition strays into the shelter environment and later on into a forever home. The themes of adoption – mirrored in the character of the little boy Adam, who is himself adopted and therefore has a special affinity with his adopted kitten – and of fostering are thoughtfully developed and ring true, if occasionally a little textbook. There may well be an autobiographical element here; the author must surely have first-hand experience of a cat rescue centre.
The story would have benefited from a good edit to eliminate unnecessary repetitions, and the human characters are rather one-dimensional. They seem almost like props designed only to support the cat protagonists. Except, that is, for Julie (is this Tracy in disguise?), whose warm, motherly nature shines from every page, and whose pronouncements resonate deeply with those of us who value their pets as part of their families and ‘know such a great joy of companionship and love that cannot easily be replaced.’
We could do with any number of Julies in this world.
This review was written for Katzenworld by Susanne Haywood, author of Tigger: Memoirs of a Cosmopolitan Cat (e-book version FREE on Amazon from 26th to 30th March: https://www.amazon.co.uk/-/e/B00J3ZW02Y)