Monday 31 December 2018

Book ~ "Call of the Cats: What I Learned about Life and Love from a Feral Colony" (2016) Andrew Bloomfield

From Goodreads ~ 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 volunteer with a couple cat organizations here in Toronto and did a TNR (trap-neuter-return) workshop earlier this year.  Though I have no experience taking care of a cat colony, my friend, Trish, has for years and I tagged along with her last year as she replenished the food in a couple colonies here in Toronto.  So that's why this book caught my eye.

The author was sharing a house with a couple friends in an area where there was an abundance of raccoons, coyotes and other wildlife.  They also discovered that there was a large colony of feral cats living in their and the neighbours' yards.  Eventually after hearing and seeing many kittens and cats being killed, the author decided to help them.  He would sit in his back yard and scare away predators, feed the feral cats and took in a couple of the kittens as pets.  He also realized that by having the cats neutered, there would eventually be no more kittens and the colony would eventually decrease as nature saw fit.  Despite having not a lot of money or job prospects, he took it upon himself to have the cats neutered and continued to feed and take care of them.  He had gotten attached to them, both the inside and outside cats, and gave them names.

The author is spiritual and had spent time travelling around Nepal seeking enlightenment and life lessons.  While I liked the stories about his experiences taking care of the cats, I found it odd when he would go off on a tangent about his travels, give us history lessons about religion and what it all meant to him.  I have no issue with him being spiritual but it felt like I was reading two different books that had been meshed into one.

As a head's up, the author does get graphic in his descriptions of kittens being dragged off and killed.


Buried In Print said...

I completely agree about all of this. My favourite parts were about the cats themselves too. It also annoyed me when he complained about having to do more of the work than his roommates, given that they were footing the bills and working full-time. But the cats' stories were worth it.

Teena in Toronto said...

You can probably relate a bit to the feral cat part.