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The Memoir Centered Around A Black Cat

First came Marley & Me, the memoir featuring a dog that showed up at the best time and turned a families life upside down. Now here's Cleo, the memoir about a little black cat that entered a families life at the worst time and turned their life right-side up. 

This book jump started my love of reading and introduced me to a new type of book other than the fiction I'm used to. It broke my heart and made me cry, it also made me laugh and more importantly; it dragged me head first into the life of a journalist and the unexpected painful yet strengthening journey her family endured. It's a personal story of how life can shift at any given time and even a story of survival.
This book is centered around Cleo, a little black cat that made herself known around the time of a personal tragedy. Now I know how that may sound, a cat, really? The entire book isn't just about the cat though but her presence is the most important part of the book and was the most important part of the families life. 
As a cat parent myself I couldn't help but love Cleo and find myself giggling in agreement or annoyance at some parts. The whole "Oh, I know that too well" and "Cats, can't live with em, can't life without em."

But you don't have to be a cat lover to enjoy this book, in fact this book may even turn you into a cat lover. Helen herself said she wasn't a cat person until the feline became such an important part of her journey. Cleo was chosen by her children and showed up on their front door step in the middle of a tragedy that made it difficult to fathom even keeping her. This one little cat started off being a nuisance to an irritable family and became the one thing that kept them sane and eventually became part of the family and key to their happiness. It brings up the question of fate in some readers how a cat showed up at just the right time. 

It's deeply personal and takes you right into the heart of this family starting with the beginnings of Helen's story and walking you right through to the moment in which her life changed forever. She paints the picture of her life in great detail that is also written in a way that sounds like she's just speaking right to you. 

Even though this is a memoir at many points you find yourself thinking "this is too crazy to be true," the fact that Helen dove right into her past to re-live moments to explain in such careful detail makes your heart ache. Moment's in the book are so real and so raw, during the first few chapters it's hard to press on reading and you have to put it down and breathe for a good day to two before you continue. But it's the moments of joy that really make you smile and you can't help but feel like it's happening to you, or that it's you're family going through this. 
It's a heavy story but yet also quite light hearted as it shifts and becomes a story some can even relate to. It may not be deep with plot and a oh-my-god-how-did-that-even-happen-that's-unreal story line (say, Orange Is The New Black or 127 Hours) but it doesn't need to be and it's a story for the average reader, pet owner or even for a mother. 

You laugh, you cry, you get annoyed over nosy characters that give "crazy cat ladies" a worse name and a family learns strength and courage thanks to a little kitten that came into their lives at the worst time that it was actually the perfect time. 

Photo's by Sheree Grace

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All photos are taken by ©Sheree Grace for Kindly, Sheree unless stated otherwise. Posts will always have an indication at the bottom verifying photo credits if sourced elsewhere. Photos by Sheree Grace are not to be taken or used without permission and must be credited with a link if given.