Call of the Cats
What I Learned about Life and Love from a Feral Colony
by Andrew Bloomfield
New World Library $ 10.70 paper version ISBN-10: 1608683982 kindle $15.43 ISBN-13: 978-1608683987
Reviewed by Drs. Susanne van Doorn and Maria Cernuto
Cat and the soul
Any cat owner knows a cat seeks out its owner. My Dropje, Dutch for Liquorice, came running towards me when I visited the nest of little kittens. I fell in love with her on the spot. She walked along with me as if she had determined with her feral intuition that we belonged together. I ended up writing my thesis for university with her purring in the palm of my hand. (Dropje was not as grumpy as she looks on the picture, I might add in her favour)
Something similar happens to the writer, Andrew Bloomfield. “a kitten in distress, crying for us, it seemed… This wasn’t so much a cry for the ears, it was a cry for the heart. I literally felt my heart vibrating with each shrieking call” (page 18).
Andrew Bloomfield’s book is not only about cats. It is about the human psyche. It is about cold hard nature. It is about commitment. It is about relationships between humans and relationships between animals. Love, loss, illness, all come into play in this book.
Maria Cernuto and a cat crie
Dream Specialist Maria Cernuto had the same cry of a kitten calling her. In her presentation for the online annual Psiber Dream Conference for the International Association for the Study of Dreams she writes:
“While inside my home, I hear a repetitious high-pitched sound coming from outside. My ears prick up with curiosity, I wonder, ―What’s that sound?‖ I decide to investigate and discover it is the cries of a distressed kitten. The kitty is popping its little head in and out from under the fence while mewing frantically, but then grows silent and remains hidden”. This cry went straight to Maria’s heart because of a dream she had that night. I will tell more about it in the paragraph about cats and dreams.
And just at the day her presentation was published, I got a request from New World Library to review this book. Cat and Heart, an intuitive match!
cat and humans
“There was a historical precedent to the connection we felt with the cats. Ten thousand years ago or so in the Fertile Crescent, cats went from being merely functional to being embraced as pets” (page 101). In Egypt they attained the status of a god. In Rome, “a bicultural heritage law decrees agar wherever five or more cats live in a natural urban habitat, they can’t be moved or chased away” (page 102).
In Egypt cats kept the grain safe from rodents. A function so important, they acquired a divine status. “The goddess Bastet was even represented by a domestic cat. he visiting Greek historian Herodotus noted that an enormous temple complex was built in Bastet’s honer in the centre of the city, and having participated in a festival honouring her, he reported it to be the largest and most enthusiastic celebration in all of Egypt” (page 121).
Cat and Dreams
There is something about a cat and a human that manifests itself in dreams. “Sophie began to have recurrent dreams about Bandy (one of the feral cats in the colony). Horrible dreams of her being attacked by predators or otherwise running into misfortune” (page 171). Bandy ended up being tangled to a tree while she was on a leash and could be saved at the last minute because of the dream.
Maria Cernuto shared this cat-rescue dream with us during the Psiber Dream Conference, I only give a part of this dream due to to length of the blog:
“I am at someone’s house. They have an open patio with a pool and a large manmade pond, almost the same size as the pool, parallel to it. It’s bright and sunny out as I walk around the patio. I notice a couple of fish on the ledge of the pond, gasping/dying—two angelfish (one black with white stripes and the other yellow with white markings), and two large seahorses (a bright yellow and a bright red overlapping one another), about a foot long. I see water has drained several feet down and I see a rocky interior. I run inside grabbing plastic cups to fill with water. I am frantic, running to save them. Then I am gently pouring water on them. I make intense eye contact with the yellow seahorse as it opens its mouth to drink. I feel a deep, soulful connection with it. Its eyes express gratitude”.
When she hears the kitten cry, Maria asks her neighbour if she can search his garden.
“I called my next-door neighbour to ask for permission to enter his backyard. He consented and offered to send his son outside to help me. All we could see was white fur sticking out of the wooden slats of the fence. He climbed onto an overturned pot in order to look down between our fences and said, ―It’s not breathing or moving. I can’t see which direction its head is in. Thinking about my dream, I exclaimed, ―We’ve got to get the kitten out!”
Thanks to he dream they rescue the kitten and it is named Blondie.
If you are a cat lover, this is the book for you.
Information about the history of cats is weaved into the story.
It reads like a psychological journey towards spiritual maturity.