Today’s Backlisted Book Review is The Cat Who Came In From The Cold.
As an animal lover and veterinary technician for over 20 years (credentialed, and specialized, thank you very much!), Jeffrey Moussaieff Masson has written books that I can really appreciate. He understands animal behavior and the human animal bond in ways many veterinarians don’t understand. Finding this small volume at a used book sale, it was not even a question that I would pick it up.
The Cat Who Came In From The Cold is a fable; a fairy tale about Billi, an Asian Leopard cat who is the first wild cat to chose to be domesticated. Unlike dogs, who love being around humans and other animals, cats are solitary and fear many other animals. It takes place in India, and touches on the hypocrisy of how animals are portrayed in different religions. The word billi means cat in Hindi.
Billi frequently sees young children and a dog pass under his favorite branch in his favorite mango grove. One day, he strikes up a conversation with the dog about living with humans. Billi remembers stories his mother told him as a kitten of being around humans, and he has never been able to let go of his curiosity. He goes on a discovery journey to find out how other animals feel about humans. His knowledge and curiosity finally get the best of him, and when the time is perfect, Billi inserts himself into the human world in a very brave and beautiful way.
This is a beautiful story, very quick read, great for kids as well. It warms my heart to have this in my head now as to how my own cats have come to honor me with their presence. The end of this story touched me personally as well, given the experience I have had with my own cats caring for me when I was battling cancer and chemotherapy. ❤