Monday, August 25, 2014
Cat Book: "Houdini" by T.J. Banks
Imagine if you will,. that you are a mere wisp of a kitten. A Flamepoint Siamese to be exact, and you discover that you have been deserted. You're hungry, frightened, thirsty and ALONE.
The above scenario occurs on the first page of one of the most beautifully written cat books I have been afforded the pleasure of reading.
Sitting down on a Saturday night, from the moment I read the first page of Houdini by T.J. Banks, I did not move from the couch. I did not lift my head from the pages until I finished reading, nearly two hours later.
As cats are drawn to catnip, Houdini will lure you into his world as he extends his paw from the pages of this beautiful and touching story about the love and undying loyalty of a cat for "his girl". You will fall in love, as I did with the determination, devotion, faith, loyalty and love that is evident on each of the 190 pages of this book that is a MUST READ for all who love cats.
"A Siamese only gives his heart
to a human once....
" For Houdini, an abandoned down-on-his-luck Siamese kitten, that human is Jill Leonard, the girl who smuggles him home aboard an airplane. He lives a good life out of doors with Jill's other cats. That life has dangers of its own, however, as he discovers when he inadvertently strays from his home.
Lost and injured, Houdini finds a safe haven with a cat-loving artist, but his longing for the child who first gave him love and a home is as intense as ever, and he is determined to find his way back to her."
While the plot of Houdini is captivating, touching and sometimes humorous, that isn't all that I was impressed by. I was impressed by the obvious knowledge of cats that Author Banks possesses. There is a vast amount of thought and detailed description of the qualities that make cats, CATS. Banks enables us to be privy to what their thoughts might be, (if we only knew,) their motivation, what delights them, and what perturbs them.
As a cat effortlessly weaves through your legs when he or she wants to be fed, Banks expertly weaves into the story details about how cats move, the meaning behind their interaction with other cats and how they find their "place" in a pre-existing cat hierarchy.
"So Houdini crouched down and lowered his head to show that he understood whose territory this was. The tabby cuffed him lightly and stalked off. He sat down by the kitchen table and watched Houdini with wide friendly green eyes. Want to play? those eyes said. I might, the Siamese telegraphed back. He sat up and began lightly touching up his fur, feeling a bit more like his old self. Definitely more at ease."
There are important lessons to be learned in Houdini as well. Lessons about abandoning pets, the love they need, outdoor dangers, spay/neutering, lest I reveal more, I will stop here, when you read Houdini you will find out the rest. Banks doesn't preach, many of these messages are subliminal, but their impact is strong and clear.
If you love cats (and I know that you DO), if you want to be inspired, delighted, charmed, and wish to join Houdini as he experiences life and love, then this is one that MUST be a part of your cat book library. It is sheer purrfection in every sense of the word.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:T.J. Banks is the author of Sketch People:Stories Along the Way, A Time for Shadows, Catsong, Derv & Co.: A Life Among Felines, and Souleiado. Catsong, a collection of her best cat stories, was the winner of the 20007 Merial Human-Animal Bond Award. A Contributing Editor to laJoie, she is also a columnist for petsadviser.com and has received writing awards from the Cat Writers' Association (CWA), ByLine, and The Writing Self. Her work has appeared in numerous anthologies, including Guideposts' Soul Menders, Their Mysterious Ways, Miracles of Healing, and Comfort From Beyond. She has also worked as a stringer for the Associated Press and as an instructor for the Writer's Digest School.
She lives with her son Zeke, their power-mongering cats, a rabbit, and chinchilla, in a sometimes peaceable but always interesting kingdom.
I was not compensated for this review. I was sent a copy of Houdini in exchange for my honest review. It is my pleasure to share a book as marvelous as this one with my readers.