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Sisypuss: Memoirs of a Vagabond Cat Paperback – January 12, 2008


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 212 pages
  • Publisher: Patricia Halloff (January 12, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0615172911
  • ISBN-13: 978-0615172910
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.5 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (59 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #5,985,852 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Patricia Halloff's short stories have appeared in literary journals such as New England Review, The Cream City Review, New Letters, Witness, and in various anthologies. She is the author of two other novels: Roadblocks to Nirvana and Memorial Candle, and the short-story collection Self-Validation. Her work as legislative consultant for major animal rights organization novels has given her insider knowledge of the problems facing homeless animals, and her own formerly homeless cats have taught her all she needs to know about cat psychology. She lives in New Jersey with her husband and cats. --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

More About the Author

Patricia Halloff was born in Newark, NJ and now lives on prime swampland in Freehold, NJ. Her stories have appeared in literary journals and anthologies. She has been a news editor for a PBS TV Channel, a copy editor for the American Institute of Physics,a journalist for local newspapers, and a lobbyist for a couple of animal organizations.

Customer Reviews

Thanks so much to the author for reminding us of the value of life, all life.
Fierce Goose
I can almost promise you that you will feel quite uncomfortable reading it; at least I hope you do.
D. Blankenship
The story, as told from the cat itself was incredible, well written, and totally believable.
Vandweller

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

37 of 37 people found the following review helpful By D. Blankenship HALL OF FAMETOP 50 REVIEWER on May 7, 2008
Format: Paperback
This is a very difficult review to write. Sisypuss: Memoirs of a Vagabond Cat by Patricia Halloff is, by any definition, quite an emotional story, and in reading the work, it took quite a lot out of me. The story is just what the title would indicate; a story of a stray and unwanted cat. Now folks, be warned. This is not one of those "kitty is born, wonders around having adventures, has some hardships, has some fun, and is finally adopted by a loving little girl and lives happily ever after" kind of book; far, far from it! First though, a brief look at the story line. I have to be careful here as I do not want any spoilers.

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.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Musicalperson on February 17, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This is a horror story about the awful testing of animals for the sake of science. It was very difficult to keep reading, but I couldn't put it down and continued hoping for a happy ending. Unfortunately that didn't happen. Please don't think this is a good book for children. It has very graphic details that would frighten a child. However it is well written.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By David G. Truitt on April 14, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I bought this book on a whim, not really knowing anything about it except that it was about a cat. This is the type of book you never forget. There are so many memorable characters and they are very well developed and complex. I work in an animal shelter and this just has so much meaning for me. It is an important book for anyone who loves animals and cats in particular. If you love animals and cats, this is a "must read." My favorite character was a disabled cat named "FDR." I read many animal themed books in my life, but I can truly say that this is the BEST animal book I've ever read. I want them to make this into a movie!!! Highly recommend!!!
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Shannon L. Yarbrough VINE VOICE on August 12, 2008
Format: Paperback
Sisypuss. Interesting name for a book, no? One might think, "That could only be a POD book."

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.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Elizabeth Scott on July 13, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
After reading the reviews on here, I knew this would be a hard book for an animal lover to read. I read the sample and immediately ordered the book. It's 5am and I've been awake, unable to stop until I found out how Sisypuss and his hardscrabble life turned out. It was so sad and poignant and touching and terrible and heartwarming all at once. I couldn't help but cry over the immense love and indomitable spirit two litter mates shared. The menagerie in my household includes two kitten brothers and the thought of anyone deliberately hurting these sweet, innocent souls is beyond my comprehension; yet, I know it happens.

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.
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