Letting Them Roam A Little
Cats And Daughters by Helen Brown continues Helen’s story from where her book Cleo left off. However I had not read her first book but it didn’t matter as any info I needed was provided. I now intend to read Cleo as I loved Helen Brown’s style of writing.
I was attracted to the book by the cover and thought I would be reading about a small kitten. The book is about so much more. It is about Helen’s life after Cleo (her first cat). Jonah, her second cat, only makes an appearance after about a hundred pages.
Helen Brown has not had an easy life, far from it. She has faced much heartache. She has found that cats can help you heal. Cats can be very therapeutic. They are intuitive, sensing a need and responding. “Cleo had taught Rob (Helen’s son) to trust life again.” Cleo had left a hole in the family’s life but “as I wrote about her, Cleo seemed more alive than ever.”
Helen faces breast cancer. She realises that “the only thing that really matters is love and kindness.” Life can be hard enough without people causing more hardship. We need to go through life helping people, sensing their needs and loving them.
Whilst facing this cancer struggle, Helen’s older daughter was exploring Buddhism. Helen shares her fears about potentially losing her daughter to a monastery. Helen shows that one of the hardest things about being a parent is having to let go and let your children be who they want to be. “Daughters, like cats, are only ever on loan.”
Helen Brown writes Cats And Daughters with very raw honesty. She shares her fears as she faces her own mortality. “Does a brush with death mean you’re going to stop living?” She shares her pain after surgery. She shares her love for her family and her cat.
There are some very light hearted moments in the book following Jonah’s arrival. Kittens are always a bouncing bundle of joy and Jonah is no exception. I laughed at some of his antics and despaired at others – knowing all too well the awful smell of a territory marked by a cat.
If you love cats, you will like this book. If you are a parent, you will like this book. In fact, whoever you are, this book is a great read.
Thank you Helen for sharing your story – your hopes, your fears, your family and your cat. Bless you all.