Title: Cleo: How an Uppity Cat Helped Heal a Family
Authors: Brown, Helen
Genre: Non Fiction
Pages: 286
Year: 2009
Publisher: Allen & Unwin
Language: English
Description: Cleo, an Abyssinian kitten, becomes a member of the Brown household not long after nine year old Sam dies in a road accident. Over the next 23 years, Cleo is an integral part of the family's journey through grief and beyond. Whether you are a cat lover or not, this warm hearted story of love and loss is a delightful read.

Comments from Groups:

A memoir of one's healing - very compelling reading. Tauranga 032

We thought Helen shared the story with honesty and joy and humility. there is an ongoing all-pervasive spiritually in the book of the relationships, and depths of those relationships. Christchurch 243

We enjoyed the writing style and had several discussions about issues raised - the influence of animals on families, the ill and dying, dealing with tragedies etc. Ashburton 003

We loved the local (Wellington and Auckland) flavour, the raw self-deprecating voice, and it kicked off a lively sharing of our own pet and grief/recovery stories. Lower Hutt 006

All enjoyed the book and a good talk about our own animals followed. Invercargill 015

Everyone had a different opinion about cats vs dogs and grief vs moving on. Very stimulating conversation. Easy read. Cromwell 002

A well-liked book-amusing too. Tragic beginning. A big discussion - it made us pause (paws!) for thought. Cambridge 005

Thoroughly enjoyed this book. All agreed `death` was so openly shared and discussed. Animals do play a huge role in helping with grief. 10/10. Te Pirita 001

Categories: Non Fiction - New Zealand, Biography, Grief/loss, Relationships, What's Hot, Blind Foundation book


[Please log in to write a review]
By: FEILD 003 2018-11-19 14:29:52
Most thought the book was ok, but did think the book dragged on a bit. Most felt that a few of the events were slightly exaggerated. We did think that dogs and cats can be very important parts of families, and do play an important role, but this book wouldn't be one we'd hugely recommend to a person dealing with grief. An average book.

By: QUEEN 010 2018-11-19 14:14:38
Everyone enjoyed the book. It made us laugh, cry and think. It was a journey with the cat interwoven in the story. It inspired us to share our pet stories and our own losses, , and our own experiences of being a mother. The cat and Helen both matured and aged together.

By: PIOPIO 001 2018-11-19 14:07:53
We all absolutely LOVED this book. A delightful read about loss, love and a very special cat.

By: WANG 008 2018-11-19 14:06:58
Most members had been regular readers of Helen Brown's column, so were familiar with her writing. We enjoyed renewing our acquaintance with her, and sharing some of our own experiences with animals, and as a result our meeting lasted longer.

By: TAUR 018 2018-11-19 14:01:42
Most of the group enjoyed the book, thought it was well-written and very descriptive. It dealt with a sensitive subject well, without becoming too morose. We felt it would assist someone who had lost a family member, and we discussed how an animal could heal and spread love.

By: MAST 013 2018-11-19 13:56:54
A very thought provoking book. It created much discussion about grief and cats. We all enjoyed it.

By: WHANG 003 2018-11-19 13:53:42
All but one member really enjoyed this book. Very sad but so well-written, and with humour to 'lighten' the sadness. Lots of discussion about how we behave towards people experiencing grief. It is an individual thing and different for everyone. Overall we loved the style of writing and wonderful descriptions.

The Book Discussion 
Scheme is a member of the Federation of Workers Educational Associations in Aotearoa New Zealand
BDS is a member of the Federation of Workers Educational Associations