Monday, October 20, 2014

Biography: The Good Luck Cat by Lissa Warren

Depending on who you listen to, the Internet is alternately ruled by cats or made of them. Either way, it is well established that denizens of the Internet like a good cat tale. And, honestly, they don’t get much better than what can be found in Lissa Warren’s The Good Luck Cat (Lyons Press).

The author’s father was gifted a retirement companion, a Korat cat called Ting with whom he would bond and who would, in many ways, become the very heart of the family. Warren covers the introduction of the cat into the family with affection, while explaining her own long-standing affinity for cats:
Bilbliophile. Ailurophile. I like books and cats. Lovers of the written word do seem naturally drawn to cats. Perhaps it’s because reading is a solitary activity but feels less so when a cat’s bside you. Not even my favorite books could hold my attention like Ting, though, with her delicate purr and appreciative licks -- and propensity for trouble. I don’t know what it is about cats that makes people like them better when they’re naughty. But they are, most certainly, the biker boyfriend of the animal world: You know you should stay away, but you can’t.
Ting’s incorporation into her new home was rapid and complete. More than a decade later, Warren’s father died of a heart attack. Less than a year after that, his constant companion, Ting, was diagnosed with a potentially fatal heart condition. Warren and her mother determined to fight for the little cat’s life, unwilling to lose yet another member of their small family. And it is work that prepares the two women for yet another diagnosis still to come.

The Good Luck Cat: How a Cat Saved a Family, and a Family Saved a Cat is gorgeously written and generously shared. And it is a beautiful tribute not only to a beloved and much missed father, but also to feline companions everywhere who give far beyond the obvious to the people who adore them. ◊

Linda L. Richards is the editor of January Magazine and the author of several books.

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