Thursday, October 9, 2014

Two Uncommon Cats and Therapy

My human, who’s huge on manners, suggests that I begin this purfect review by introducing myself. I’m dismayed that you don’t already have an appreciation of my ability to discern unspeakable nuggets from delectable tidbits.                                                                                                      
But such is the perfidy of a human who chooses to write about her past life. What’s interesting in that!?!?! It’s the present that matters. Yet, I’ve had to accept such cavalier treatment. Why? Quite simple—I enjoy the cushiness of her lap.                                                                                          
That’s settled then. Let us begin.                                                               
My name is Ellie. I wear brindle fur and, like my human, a little extra poundage. I remain up close and personal when she reads. I delight in sprawling—gracefully of course—on open books. Thus, when the time came to write this book review, I was the perfect fur person to do so.                                                                             
The book I’m encouraging you to read—with my most melodic yowls—is Purr Therapy by Dr. Kathy McCoy. A psychotherapist, she is the author of the popular and helpful blog “Dr. Kathy McCoy: Living Fully in Midlife.”                                   
As an objective reviewer, I may assure you that she is a true lover of felines and their foibles. She appreciates us, unlike some I could mention.                                                                                  
Observing us closely, she found, entirely by chance, two of us who were—trust me on this—quite exceptional: Timmy and Marina. Their names are in the subtitle to the book: What Timmy and Marina Taught Me About Life, Love, and Loss.                                                        
Why are these two so unusual? Because they refuse to exhibit those supposed traits that have sullied the reputation of felines. That is, being: Aloof. Destructive. Disdainful. Naughty. Picky. Sneaky. Stingy with our canned tuna.                                                       
Ever so delicately, Timmy and Marina shred those malicious rumors into mincemeat. That’s what makes McCoy’s book about them so appetizing.                                                                        
The following excerpt begins Purr Therapy. It provides an overview of just how uncommon those two cats were as they helped their human in her work of counseling others. Believe me it takes a peerless cat to know one and I tell you that they make me proud to be a feline.

Timmy and Marina never knew each other. But they were both rescue animals, both coming into my life when I wasn’t looking for a cat. And they both unexpectedly demonstrated traits that cats don’t often have—most notable an affinity for family, friends, and strangers. . . .
Cats aren’t frequently used in animal-assisted psychotherapy. This type of therapy cat, after all, needs to be friendly with strangers, willing to be touched, petted, and held by a variety of people unfamiliar to it. Therapy cats have to be tolerant of loud voices and angry shouting, emotional distress, and sudden movements. It’s a tall order for any creature, but it is a particular challenge for a cat. . . .
Knowing, loving, and working with both of these therapy cats was an incredible pleasure. Timmy and Marina brought comfort to my patients and joy to my home,
They had something else in common: they both died tragically, quite early in life, like angels lent for just a limited time. And yet, in their sweet, short lives, they made such a difference.
This is their story—and mine as I worked with, lived with, and loved these two very special cats, learning lessons in life, loss, and love along the way.

 In Purr Therapy you will learn how Timmy and Marina helped Dr. McCoy’s patients. I know my purrs comfort my human. I’m her “purr therapy.” But never could I cheer or console strangers—especially if they raised their voices.                                            
With the wisdom with which my race has endowed me, I encourage you to read about these two extraordinary felines and the human who recognized their gifts. That trio—Timmy, Marina, and Dr. McCoy—have been a gift from the Universe to all their patients and now to me and my human and . . . to you.                 
As that human of mine would say, “Peace.” 


  1. I'm going to check it out right now!!

  2. Sure sounds like our kind of therapy

  3. Ellie! Darling! It's so nice to meet you. Franklin is brindled, too, but he doesn't try to sit on my lap. We promise to order the book.


  4. Oh, thank you for this! It is interesting that this is the second time in two days I have read about cats being used for therapy. There are no coincidences. :-)

  5. A purrfect review, Ellie; filled with insight, passion,understanding, and words that will have me seeking out Dr. McCoy's book.

  6. Ellie, you are quite eloquent! Or is that Ellie-quent? ;-)
    It sounds like a book I would love to read, but I see that my library doesn't have it. Boo hoo.

  7. Love it ---Love it---love it... Dr. Kathy McCoy is one of my very favorite bloggers. She always says something which hits home to me... I grew up with a cat (Snowball)--so I have a fondness for felines for sure... She is an awesome writer --and I highly recommend her books!!! PURRFECT REVIEW.

    Sorry about your computer problem (Documents)...YIPES...


  8. Love cats, but can't be around them due to allergic reactions. There is something special about a contented purr :)

  9. I'm a firm believer in purr therapy...I love it just before I go to sleep.


  10. Ellie, I think you have found a side vocation as a reviewer. Well done and your have intrigued me. I asked my library to order it as they don't have it yet.
    Thanks for the great review.

  11. Therapy cats do have to be special felines. Looks like an engrossing book. :)

  12. Oh how sweet I think cats can be so special and loving

  13. Well done, I think that is the best book review I've ever read. I'm always looking for the next good book to read, so thanks. I'll add that one to my list... :)

  14. I almost forgot. Thank you for following me.

  15. What a lovely review…and it sounds like a very special book…I think all animals make such great teachers as well as companions. It would interest me to hear how Dr.McCoy's clients welcomed the relationship with Timmy and Marina. I'm glad to learn more about it. :-)

  16. Loved your is enticing and makes me want to read the book.

  17. good review, made me want to read the book for certain! I am sure Enza would approve as well.

  18. A purr-fect review! A-ppaws-e!

  19. Oh, my goodness, Dee! Ellie's review is absolutely wonderful! Please give her a hug for me and accept my deepest gratitude for your kindness (and creativity) in letting our blogging friends know about Purr Therapy.

    And thanks to all of you commenting on this delightful blog post and expressing interest in the book! You've absolutely made my week! My heartfelt thanks and hugs to all of you!!

  20. Ellie, this was an excellent review. Samson couldn't have done it better, but then he's a dog. I have added this book to my list of books to get. And I know someone who would love it for Christmas. Thank you, Ellie.