My Cat Saved My Life

"This is a small story in the stories of the world." It does, however, impart a big message. Phillip Schreibman finds Alice, the heroine of the story, in an alley behind his home, and she is starving, sick, alone and frightened. From that moment on, however, she becomes his teacher in the art of living and being. Phillip is mentally and emotionally- frozen, having lost both parents and another pet cat, Charley, in the last ten years. He has been unable to shake off the effects of those losses -- and constantly thinks about death as an unknowable, black abyss from which none can escape. Death invites fear, even terror in him. When fear paralyzes us, we often distract ourselves with what Phillip terms Culture; that is, the activities, ideas, and peculiarities of the human species that seem to give our lives "purpose." Culture keeps us from realizing that we are alive and keeps us out of creation. Not so with Alice: She has a different perspective on life, and on how to live and be. She embraces death as a part of life and creation. She nudges Phillip along, until he, too, is able to experience the simplicity, sheer beauty and peace of just being. As reader and reviewer, I melted alongside Phillip on his journey with Alice, the cat. - CP

"All I know is that I had a cat and she woke me up and she made me open the door. I went out into the place I had always lived in but hadn't noticed. I probably would have died without noticing that I was Iiving if I had not met her. I'm not in that place very often but I try to get there when I can." - Phillip Schreibman

--Bodhi Tree Book Review, Issue Number 20, Winter 1998 /Spring 1999

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