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Sisypuss: Memoirs of a Vagabond Cat Paperback – January 12, 2008
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Sisypuss is born to a stray mother cat, a mother of many litters who is on the edge of death. The birth takes place in a cold, filthy unused dog house. The entire story is told through the eyes of our leading character, Sisypuss. It is a cat's eye view of the world, a stray cat, an unwanted cat. Sisypuss is by nature, an optimistic cat, and is always willing to see things in their best light. The story takes us through a world that is all around us, but one which many have never had a glimpse, nor, for that matter, ever imagined. From an over burdened animal shelter, to a horrible compound where animals are kept before being sold to "research" facilities, into the actual facility (yes, these places do exist, I have had dealings with them), to the open fields, woods and city streets. This is a grim tale indeed.
Ms. Patricia Halloff is an excellent writer. There is absolutely no doubt she knows and understands the nature of cats. With this work the author is not only giving us a story, but she is making a rather strong statement about animal treatment in this country. Actually, "strong" might not be a strong enough word, come to think of it.Read more ›
True, it is a title you might find hard to pronounce. You might want to call it "Sissy puss" and then blush about it, roll your eyes, or laugh, but I can tell you now, this book is no joke. I would say Patricia Halloff's book now ranks in the top five books of all I have read this year.
If you are an animal lover, even if you are not; if you have a beating heart that society hardens from time to time, and you yearn for some emotion to remind you just how fragile life really is sometimes, how life could be much worse for you, then I encourage you to sit and spend a night with this book. It is some of the most brilliant, heartfelt, poignant writing that I have read in some time.
The name of the book comes from the Greek myth of Sisyphus, a king whose punishment was to roll a large boulder up a hill endlessly, only to have to watch it roll back down. Doomed to repeat this process over and over again throughout eternity, the word sisyphean is often used to described a task that is unending, pointless, and repetitive. Now, think about those words for a moment and think about how perfect they are as descriptions of stray pets, cats and dogs left on the streets to fend for themselves. They fight for food and shelter, fending off prey and sickness, often running away from the hands of abusive owners. Yep, it's a cruel world and the abuse is unending. Enter Sisypuss.
From page one, when Sisypuss is born to a sickly mother who is near death , we are shown a grim world with no hope in sight. The entire book is told from the point-of-view of Sisypuss the cat and his outlook on the sinister unforgiving world.Read more ›
Reading this book is like visiting an animal shelter -- haunting and rewarding at the same time. Patricia Halloff speaks for the animals in a way that tugs at your heartstrings and does not let up until the very last page.
Coincidentally, I found a small dog running around a major thoroughfare in my city over 20 years ago. I brought him home and named him "Fairbanks" after the street I found him on. He was one the best dogs I've ever known; happy, friendly, always had a zest for life and adventure much like the cat narrator of this book. I like to think that Fairbanks the dog and Fairbanks the cat would have been great friends.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
The most intense book I have ever read, and I've read tens of thousands.
After reading "Sisypuss: Memoirs of a Vagabond Cat", I realized that I had just read a book... Read more
horridly sad story, I cried all the way through it. I did not realize kittens were used as science experiments. Read morePublished 3 months ago by mommers
Loved it. Learned things I didn't know and was saddened by that, but the writer's description of the spirited behavior and supposed thoughts of Sisypuss were touching and made the... Read morePublished 4 months ago by Jeanne Surber
I just finished this book and I have never felt so much sadness reading a book in a long time. What Sisypuss learns in this book is two things: Man is the cruelest animal on the... Read morePublished 4 months ago by Kathleen N. Koepke
Heartbreaking and so sad. But the people who need to read this book, won't. There is so much cruelty in this world and most animals can't take care of themselves or speak for... Read morePublished 6 months ago by helen z todd
There are some good ideas here, but the book is such a downer. Which is maybe the point, right now, perfectly good cats are suffering from starvation, cold, and abuse.Published 7 months ago by J. LaBomascus
I was recently adopted by a cat that was hanging around my backyard and I kept thinking of her reading this. Read morePublished 8 months ago by Keli Blankenship