My Cat Saved My Life

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9781585420636: My Cat Saved My Life

My Cat Saved My Life is one of those unexpected books, like Jonathan Livingston Seagull or Ishmael, with the power to change lives. A self-published success, it is the true story of a man who learned to live and rebuild his life through the lessons taught to him by the cat whose own life he had saved. It tells how one human found the way to reconnect to his essential being through the friendship of a beloved pet, and how his entire life was then forever changed.

Phillip Schreibman rescued a sickly, stray kitten when he was struggling with both his parents' deaths. The emotions he experienced had driven him into a deep depression, which had begun to fracture his relationships, disconnect him from the everyday world, and impair his work as a composer.

Alice, the kitten, soon began to insinuate herself into all aspects of Schreibman's daily routine. Nurturing Alice, the author decided to set out on a personal journey to discover the cat's "strategy of life." Their ensuing adventures and the exploration of the bond that grew between them make a remarkable tale of how one species can teach another-with respect, compassion, and love.

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Review:

"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

From the Publisher:

The book is self-published by the Author. His company's name is Dogs Bark Publishing.

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Schreibman, Phillip
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