Review: _Sleeping with Cats:_ For anyone who has a cat sharing their life
February 29, 2016 7:06pm CST
One of the loveliest things in my life are my cats. To me, a home feels incomplete unless I have a cat or two lolling about the place; they have been my confidants and companions, and when I am feeling depressed, the sounds of their purrs never fails to cheer me up. Many writers have not been able to resist the allure of a feline, and many have written down their love affairs with cats. Marge Piercy has written of her love for cats in her book, Sleeping with Cats: A Memoir. Gradually, she explores her past, with relationships with her parents, her marriages, her cats, her career in writing and politics, and the inner world that we all inhabit. In between the prose chapters are poetry, each one capturing a moment -- whether it be a person or a cat. It was the poetry that caught me by surprise. I'm not that much of a poetry person, most of it bores me silly, and me and my compulsion to keep things organized -- well, let's just say that most of it is lost on me. But there are a few gems in here, including one that nearly moved me to tears -- Sleeping with Cats. That one caught so clearly the simple joys of being with a cat, knowing that you trust each other enough that you can sleep together, and no words are necessary. The stories of her cats are interesting as well, from massive tomcats that terrorised the neighbourhood, dainty Siamese that ruled a house through force of will -- and got away with it, and those who proved to be loving companions. Then there are the Korats, a variety of cat from southeast Asia that are particularly close to their humans and other cats that they accept. While I thoroughly enjoyed the sections where cats were the stars of the narrative, the part that I disliked the most were the times when politics entered the scene. I can thoroughly understand Piercy's views, after all, she comes from a generation that is older than mine, and the struggle for equality for everyone still isn't over, it did get to me after a while. Most importantly, it made Piercy who she is. Some of the sections are rather distressing to read -- Piercy grew up in deep poverty, and had what could be best described as a bad childhood, with little safety or security. Situations such as those make it hard for anyone to be creative, but Piercy found an escape in books, and especially writing. Too, her second husband, Robert, is in my opinion, one of those truly vile men that treat women as ever so much objects to serve them, sexually and financially. So, to sum up, this was not an easy or comfortable read, but it certainly was a good one. Piercy has the ability not to just touch the reader's emotions, but also create images with words and make them believable. While this was the first book by Piercy that I have read, it is certainly not going to be the last. Four stars overall, and a recommendation. Sleeping with Cats: A Memoir Marge Piercy 2002; HarperCollins Publishers ISBN 978-0-0618-6555-8
• United States
1 Mar 16
As one who has shared my home with a feline or two, I can understand this. Each little personality is unique and they have their funny little quirks. If treated with care and affection, they pay it back many times over—too many times to count. Their natural curiosity is fun to watch. This sounds like a book I could read. Thanks again for another great review.