"They call me Mama-cat and I answer to it, so I suppose that is my name, though it wasn't always. I was born in Andalusia, southern Spain, in Granada, an area that is hot in summer and cold in winter, and I survived thanks to the ingenuity of my mother, who hid me in a deserted house along with the brothers and sisters of my litter."
So begins the picaresque, picturesque tale, true in the telling by its feline protagonist.
She describes her neighborhood, of streets piled upward upon streets, the old city on the hill, with its labyrinth of narrow winding lanes, the Albaicín's spectacular vistas and crumbling Arabic abodes, The tourists, passers-by, thieves and outcasts, donkeys and dogs.
If in need of inspiration, we could gaze at the graceful Alhambra overlooking our vicinity, with the serene Sierra Nevada mountains behind.
A diverse collection of original paintings and illustrations accompanies the text, at times literally putting the reader into the picture as the yarn unfolds. Included are cultural images.
"From the time I was adopted my context was one of belonging. I might say that I began to enjoy novel feelings of security, pleasure, and, yes, happiness. I even started to purr, the involuntary sound of which- a softly vibrant erupting rumble- astonished me."
A worldly-wise versatile feline, Mama-cat is part philosopher and quite well-versed culturally, especially where cats are concerned, She enjoys quoting notables, such as Mark Twain, who asserted unequivocally, 'If a man could be crossed with the cat, it would improve the man but deteriorate the cat.' Or...
"'Do you see that kitten chasing so prettily her own tail? If you look with her eyes, you might see her surrounded with hundreds of figures performing complex dramas, with tragic and comic issues, long conversations, many characters, many ups and downs of fate.' So said Ralph Waldo Emerson."
Apropos of Emerson's statement, Mama-cat does indeed render her colorful world visible, depicting its grandeur and pettiness, portraying its various and sundry inhabitants, bringing its sounds and sensations to vivid life. We are Mama-cat. We suffer her sadness. Feel her fears and frustrations. Delight in her joys.
If one has ever looked in a mirror hung on a wall across the room from another mirror, the reflections issue from one another intriguingly, ad infinitum, in ostensible layers of reality. In a similar sense, Mama-cat not only relates her own chronicle, but that of her "lady" as well. Tragedies like the loss of her kittens and periods of deep despair echo those her mistress undergoes in seeming synchronicity. She plumbs her experiences for profounder meanings and reverberations, sharing her reflections and musings.
The great affection she and the lady hold for one another rises above all and dissolves the distinctions of their species. For she also realizes herself as part of a whole web of realities of cause and effect... something far greater than the mere creature she was born as in the form of a cat.
"If there is any impression I would wish my autobiography to engender, with those readers who have remained throughout, it may be that there are deep dimensions of love which resonate eternally- bonds of connectedness that even death cannot destroy."
And, ultimately, the cycle continues... for, in the end, "... the waves of life and death roll on, as they have for thousands of years and shall for thousands more ..."
|Publisher:||Kirk W. Wangensteen|
|Product dimensions:||6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.46(d)|
About the Author
Harley White writes poetry, songs, stories, short and long, works based on fairy tales, among other things.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Anyone who enjoys quality literature skillfully written with exceptional vocabulary will want to read this story in its telling from the roguish hero Mama-Cat's point of view. Her life of survival on the ancient streets of Granada is woven together in this tale with original art, illustrations and evolving time that builds the foundation of its authentic milieu. It is Mama-Cat who binds this story together and between these pages, you will find that the capacity of the human heart to love endlessly, is in forever time.
Poetic and charming!
The life and musings of an erudite cat, as reported by Harley White, a brilliant writer who has an uncanny understanding of the mysteries of the cat world. However, this work is so much more than a story of a cat. It is magical. A real treasure!