Cat Lady by Dawn O’Porter is the story of Mia; a successful career woman, doting wife to her husband Tristan and a loving stepmother to his son. But Mia’s one true love is her cat, Pigeon.
I was drawn to this book because of the title, I too am a Cat Lady. I live with a cat and I work with cats, so I knew immediately I would like Mia as a character.
As the story unfolds, we learn that Mia feels as though she doesn’t really fit in. From dealing with Tristan’s awful friends who criticise her vegan diet to his clingy ex-wife who complains about Pigeon. And as for work friends, Mia likes to keep things professional. However, there is one group of people who are her “tribe” – the handful of people who attend a pet bereavement group on a Tuesday. The only trouble is, Mia isn’t actually grieving her pet, so she feels like a fake.
Without spoilers, there are a several events that occur that shatter Mia’s comfortable life. From this we learn about our heroine’s past and what led her to where she is today.
I honestly laughed, cried and cringed at this book but ultimately I wanted to be friends with Mia. It also made me realise how much stigma there is around the term ‘Cat Lady’. Why does it often imply crazy?
“People who hate cats are like atheists, they cannot get through a conversation without telling you their views… You tell someone you have a cat, and they tell you, to your face, that they hate the thing you love. There are so few instances in life where this is acceptable. But cat haters can’t wait to unleash their claws. They like to make you sound strange for loving an animal they don’t understand”.
You could tell from the way this book was written that the author is a true animal lover and that she understands the love and loss of a pet. I also enjoyed how unconventional Mia was and her clothing choices towards the end of the book. A reminder to live your life on your own terms.
“…we are all led to believe that the traditional family is the route to all happiness, and that any other version of it is problematic or an act of rebellion”.