As an animal lover, I was intrigued by the premise of Kit Kat & Lucy: The Country Cats Who Changed a City Girl’s World:
“After years of vibrant city life in San Francisco, Lonnie Hull DuPont reluctantly trades her three-room apartment on Telegraph Hill for a farmhouse in Michigan. She immediately misses the rhythm and the pace of the city, and the isolation of the country living has her longing for something more. Enter Kit Kat, an obsessive-compulsive tortoiseshell, and Lucy, a playful Russian Blue who can nail a bat right out of the air.”
I liked this book, even more than I expected to. I liked the author, Lonnie, a lot. She’s a writer and a quiet person who I felt I could relate to in real life. She married her husband a bit later in life, in San Francisco, and he sounded like a wonderful guy as well. The book reads as a bit of a memoir as well as a cat tale. We learn that Lonnie was adopted, although she was always curious about her birth mom. She learns who the woman is, and wrote to her several times, but it was clear that birth mom was not interested in meeting Lonnie. Still, Lonnie learns what she can about her. In one poignant scene, Lonnie writes about watching from her car one evening as her birth mom sits reading on her porch: “A driveway and a glass wall separated me from the woman who gave me life. My adrenaline rushed as I stood there. The moment seemed to freeze in place. If she looked up, she would surely see me. But she never looked up.”
A stray cat shows up at the farmhouse Lonnie and husband Joe moved to, and after trying unsuccessfully to find someone to adopt her, they decide to keep her themselves. Coincidentally (??), the night this happens is the day that Lonnie’s birth mother dies.
Lonnie is very intuitive, and she mentions several meaningful dreams she has. When her adoptive mom dies, Lonnie has several encounters with a very vocal cardinal whose chirping comforts her, etc. I admired her ability to observe and to “see” things that would be easy for many to miss. It came as no surprise that she is a poet.
Pets are good for you!
Lonnie also suffers from depression and anxiety, off and on, and she shares how helpful her cats were in calming and centering her. She speaks about a talk she heard on the animal/human bond: “Before the Industrial Revolution, humans and animals were constantly in each other’s lives. We had symbiotic relationships in which humans and animals lived and worked together for transportation, livelihood, food. Because of this, we humans spent much of our time … ‘watching the animals.’ They mattered in our daily lives, literally impacting our survival. After the Revolution, only some of us in Western civilizations still ‘watch’ animals. There is no longer the practical need to have animals in our lives, and many people don’t interact with them at all anymore. But there are other benefits to being with animals … Is it any wonder that in the twentieth century, once we stopped watching the animals, we saw such a rise in psychotropic drug use?” Makes a lot of sense to me.
The book is written in a very simple, straight-forward style. It dragged a bit to me in certain spots (I’m just not that interested in reading a page or two describing how a cat plays), but overall I just loved it. It reinforced to me the benefits and joys of pet ownership. Read it! But beware — you may feel compelled to pay a visit to the shelter after finishing it. And that would most likely be a very good thing.
Thanks Revell for a copy of Kit Kat & Lucy for this review, which contains affiliate links at no cost to you.