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Andrew Bloomfield was not a cat person. The world traveler and spiritual seeker moved to Hollywood to break into the movie business. He expected to pitch screen plays to studio executives and producers, and to become a part of the Hollywood scene. What he didn’t expect was that he would not only be drawn into caring for the colony of feral cats living behind his new bungalow, but that taking care of these wild cats would transform his life. In Call of the Cats: What I Learned About Life from a Feral Colony, Bloomfield shares his journey from self-absorption to selflessness.
From the publisher:
When aspiring screenwriter Andrew Bloomfield moved into a bungalow in Southern California he soon discovered that he shared the property with a large colony of feral cats — untamed, uninterested in human touch, not purring pets in waiting. But after a midnight attack by predators that decimated yet another litter of kittens, Bloomfield decided to intervene. He began to name and nurse, feed and house, rescue and neuter. Drawing on his time living in Asia among spiritual teachers, he takes us on the contemplative, humorous, and poignant journey of saving these cats, only to find it was they who saved him by revealing a world of meaning beyond his unrealized Hollywood dreams.
I did not expect this to be the kind of book that I couldn’t put down, but I found myself drawn into Bloomfield’s world from the first few pages. He shares the frustrations that come with caring for these wild, yet vulnerable beings, but also the many rewards. This independent, single, middle-aged man who never had to care for anyone but himself, embraced being the caretaker of his feral family wholeheartedly. “My love affair with this feral cat colony made me challenge my notions of love and family,” said Bloomfield. “These cats became my family.”
The best writers paint a picture with their words, and Bloomfield does this masterfully by painting a sweeping, sometimes brutal, but always honest emotional landscape. This is not always an easy read. There are passages that will tear your heart out. Bloomfield’s feline charges are essentially wild cats, and experience many of the calamities that all outdoor cats can encounter. And while some of that is hard to read, it also made me appreciate even more just how transformational this experience was for the author. There are also plenty of funny and heartwarming moments that any cat lover will recognize.
Interspersed with fascinating glimpses into the history of cats, and reflections from Bloomfield’s journeys to Nepal, this beautifully written, honest and heartfelt book about a man whose life was turned upside down and changed forever by a colony of feral cats will make your heart sing. For me, this quote from the book best sums up the entire book: “I’ve never felt as strong a connection with any living being before,” Bloomfield writes about one of the cats. “She is the breath in my lungs, the true purpose of my life.”
Call of the Cats is available from Amazon and everywhere books are sold.
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I received a copy of this book from the publisher. Receiving the complimentary copy did not influence my review.
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