I’ve always loved the Chicken Soup for the Soul books and have always gotten excited when a new one hits the shelves (or in the modern era, Amazon). I’m EXTRA EXTRA excited about the newest book, The Magic of Cats, for three distinct reasons.
First Reason… 2020
2020 has been trying, to say the least. Every single day, we read about (and pray for) people who are sick or families who have had to say goodbye to loved ones they were in no way ready to say goodbye to. You simply can’t see these gut-wrenching real life events DAILY without them affecting you. The more empathetic you are (I’m a solid 10 out of 10 on the scale, myself), the more you feel each loss and sympathize with each tear.
This year, as much as any year I can remember, has caused me to focus on one of my favorite “focal” words: BALANCE. We have to make a point of balancing the negative with as much positive as we can and we have to respond to the ugliness with as much beauty as we can find or muster.
My favorite ways to bring balance into my world are prayer, family (which includes our cats, of course), inspirational reading, cooking, old movies, flower gardening, and classic television. Balancing acts such like these keep what’s out there from eating you alive from the inside out.
Chicken Soup for the Soul books are incredibly inspiring and uplifting. Each book is a collection of stories that remind you that, often… very, very often… good ultimately wins and love is the most powerful emotion of all. I honestly feel like these books could be prescribed as effectively for stress and anxiety as any medication on or off the market. They fill you with hope and happiness and, could we ever use a daily dose of those right now??!
“Eddie” Hard at Work on a Puzzle
Second Reason… Cats
Okay, I have a cat blog, so it’s no secret here that I am obsessed with and completely in love with cats – all cats… big, small, domesticated, feral, fat, slender, long hair, short hair, no hair, yours, mine…. All cats. I don’t only approve of the title of this book, The Magic of Cats… I applaud it with a hearty “AMEN!”
Earlier, I was having one of those busy human moments – wondering what I was going to make for supper, when I’d have a chance to finish this very post, how I could convince the dishes to do themselves… all while basically going around in circles as the neck tension began to gain momentum. I happened to glance at one of our cats, Guennie, looking especially beautiful and peaceful soaking up the afternoon sunshine. Instantly… literally instantly… the tension melted away.
Obviously that doesn’t happen in every instance and certainly not for everyone – but it happens regularly for me with my cats and I’m sure you can relate.
There is a certain magic to cats and you’ll never convince a cat lover there isn’t.
Eddie, Wondering if He’ll Be Required to Sign Autographs
Third Reason… and the Biggest Reason, if We’re Being Honest…. Emily!
Who’s Emily? She’s Emily Dill – my beautiful oldest daughter… and recently a first time mother of a human baby (she and her husband have had cat babies for years.. awesome great pre-game). She is a writer and her story about their cat, Edgar Allan Poe (Eddie, for short), is one of the stories in the book.
As her mother and Eddie’s MiMi, I am unspeakably proud of both of them!
Eddie’s story (he insists I call it that, since he is, after all, the star) is in the chapter about cats that “choose” their forever home and, more importantly, their forever family.
Emily and Dill (her husband) had recently moved into their home, with their “princess” Janie, a gorgeous shiny black cat who has been a real character since day one. She was adopted as a tiny kitten and had run of the house since day one.
Eddie showed up one day, on the brink of death (literally – I don’t exaggerate) to their home. He may or may not have realized it then, but he had just chosen his forever home and forever family and could not have done a better job. I’m still convinced that Princess Janie consenting to accept a brother was an answer to prayer. If you knew this little girl like I do, you’d know it couldn’t have been anything but Divine intervention.
I hope you will buy the book to read all of Eddie’s story – as well as the many, many other heart-warming and uplifting stories. So many (including Emily’s story… I’m sorry… including Eddie’s story) moved me to tears – fortunately, I know by now to always sit down to the beautiful Chicken Soup books with a box of tissues. These stories are so beautiful… so precious… so MAGICAL.
Cats bring a certain amount of magic to our homes and to our lives and this wonderful book is an extraordinary reminder.
The Magic of Cats is available on Amazon and would make the most amazing gift for cat lovers imaginable. Just be sure to package it with a box of tissues to catch all of the happy tears.
P.S. Chicken Soup is just as healing as it ever was.
Eddie… Living His Best Lives!