- Paperback: 128 pages
- Publisher: Dogs Bark Publishing; 1st edition (April 1, 1998)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0968327303
- ISBN-13: 978-0968327302
- Product Dimensions: 5.8 x 0.5 x 9 inches
- Shipping Weight: 7.2 ounces
- Average Customer Review: 49 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,794,092 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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My Cat Saved My Life Paperback – April 1, 1998
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"This is a small story in the stories of the world," announces author Phillip Schreibman in his introduction to My Cat Saved My Life. "It's about a man and a cat and what the cat showed the man before it was too late."
Schreibman was a composer for theater and television in Toronto when both of his parents died, six years apart, after long illnesses. The losses hit him hard, and he plunged into despair. He found himself "confused among people, angry at trifles, depressed and distracted in all my endeavours." At 39 years old, he felt that his life had "ground to a halt."
Enter Alice, a tiny, abandoned kitten in desperate need of rescue. Schreibman, whose own cat had been killed two weeks earlier in an act of monstrous cruelty, could see that if he didn't save the kitten, it would die. What he didn't yet know was that the 6-week-old life he was saving would in turn revive his own.
As he and the cat began living together, Alice insisted that Schreibman pay attention to her. She'd wake him up early, sometimes by knocking the alarm clock on the floor if he didn't respond to gentler urgings. "C'mon, let's have breakfast," she was telling him. When he was stuck indoors fretting over bills at his desk, she would pull him away to show him something in her world. "Usually it was a bird in a branch or a sudden summer downpour; maybe a burst of midwinter sunshine was flooding the yard. I had ceased paying attention to these things." And that may have been Alice's greatest gift to Schreibman (and to us): teaching him to notice and appreciate the small wonders of everyday life.
My Cat is a book of rare emotional candor. Its beauty lies in the author's willingness to expose his rawest nerve, describe his own pettiness and fears, and recognize the fallacy of human superiority over other life. "My cat woke me up," Schreibman concludes. If we're willing to pay respectful attention, perhaps our cats will do the same for us. --Charles Smyth --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
"A breakthrough, a momentous 'cat' book, perhaps the best ever; an astonishing memoir [and] a stunning critique of human nature." -- David Rosenberg, Best-Selling Author of "The Book of J", June 3, 1998
"A map to an unknowable destination." -- Cate Terwilliger, Denver Post, November 11, 2000.
"This is a wise little book that will provide consolation to anyone who has lost hope. " -- Cecily Ross, Toronto Globe and Mail, April 28, 2001
Top customer reviews
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Phillip Schreibman was grieving over the loss of both of his parents after long, tortuous illnesses. He had found himself inconsolable and depressed. Much to his surprise the one who finally led him out of his depression was a tiny little orphaned kitten he took in and named Alice. Over her lifetime she managed to teach him important lessons he had never understood before, and ultimately even prepared him for her own passing. There is no question that there is great sadness in this book, but it is ultimately uplifting, as the lessons Phillip learned from "Cat School", as he called it, let him regain a firm foothold on his own life.
This book was particularly touching to me as it paralleled an encounter with a kitten, "Ghost Blimp" (a.k.a. "Gloovis") who I took in when she was a tiny ball of fur, and who graced my life for seven years, like Alice. Although those seven years were far too short, in that time her presence helped me recover from the loss of my father. My point here in telling you this is that the lessons Schreibman learns from Alice are universally applicable to other lives as well. I believe that whatever animal you choose to keep company with has lessons to teach you.
My only critique of the book would be a disagreement with a couple of the specific conclusions that Schreibman draws about "Creation" versus "Culture." Having said that, it is his book, and the conclusions he draws are important for him to tell. Everyone would have slightly different conclusions after going through events like those relayed here, but that does not diminish the power of this little book.
I highly recommend this book for anyone who is grieving for any reason, particularly after the loss of a loved one, and also to any animal lover. Thank you Phillip, and thank you, Alice, even more for this beautiful book.
The wisdom and insights that I enjoyed Philip learning as I read, I learned also. Many of his experiences mirror my own, particularly, "the Big Blue Car". But through Philips's experience, I have learned to *see* Creation, and enjoy it.
I have made many purchases of this book and it has been a gift to many of my friends, and I do re-read it every so often. I need to re-learn the lesson now and again.
Thank you Phillip and Alice
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