BEREFT OF A CAT

Dear Suse and Ella,
I find myself grieving over the loss of my cat, Wizard, who was put to sleep a few days ago. He was a beautiful tabby boy with an amazing spirit and life. He lived for 16 and a half years and we had a wonderful connection. Why do I feel as if I will never get over this sadness and feeling of loss? He was just a cat, right?
Dear bereft of your cat,
We have total sympathy with your sadness, and entirely agree that Wizard was not just a cat - he was so clearly more than that to you, and there is a wealth of wonder about cats in literature to remind you just how special our feline friends are. From Tobermory in Saki's brilliant collection of short stories, who is the cat who learns to speak -much to the horror of his master's acquaintances, whose secrets the cat now reveals -to the spirited cat in Sheila Burnford's The Incredible Journey who manages to traverse hundreds of miles to find his master, cats pad through the pages of novels with enigmatic glory. Behemoth, the enormous cat in Bulgakov's Master and Margarita, the fast-talking devil's advocate, is a chillingly charistmatic and terrifying side-kick to Beelzebub. Old Possum's book of Practical Cats by TS Elliot provides hours of fun for all lovers of our furry friends, from the young to the old. You could revel in cat-lauding novels for months, but we suggest that instead you pick up Evelyn Waugh's The Loved One, a brilliantly satirical novel set in Hollywood, that lampoons the American way of death at the time of writing. His wicked sense of humour attacks not just the humans and their vanities, their beliefs that they may be better off dead because they will certainly look better once they have been coiffeured by the masters of embalming, but he spares no mercy for the attitude the glamorous inhabitants of his novel have for the posthumous looks of their pets. This is gallows humour at its most extreme, and we hope that you will take this in good heart - for Waugh is tackling the foolish sentimentality of the Hollywood stars, not such true and deep affection that you clearly feel for your pet. We are suggesting this as a way of making you laugh, and of seeing the death of your tabby as something very far from the passings of the people and animals in this novel. If this cure feels too harsh, we direct you towards the sublime My Family and Other Animals,a memoir by Gerald Durrell. This is so very much an animal lover's book, it revels in the spirit of all our fellow creatures, and gives each one the respect and love that they deserve, as well as providing huge joy and mirth at the hilarity provided by living with animals from arachnids to turtles. 
Finally, you must acquire Judith Kerr's beautiful "Goodbye Mog". If you are familiar with her stories about the not very clever cat Mog, you may have encountered this beautiful but sad farewell. Even if you do not have the pleasure of having spent time with Mog, you will love the message of this tale, as Mog departs to another realm. We sincerely help that these books will help you in your mourning of Wizard.
Yours,
Ella and Suse
We prescribe - Tobermory by H H Munro (Saki)
The Loved One by Evelyn Waugh
Our Family and Other Animals by Gerald Durrell
Goodbye Mog by Judith Kerr

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A SLUG WITH VISIONS OF HUMANITYABUSIVE RELATIONSHIP ENDED, LEAVING SCARSADULT ACNEAFRAID OF FAILUREALCOHOLIC DAUGHTERALONE ON A WIDE, WIDE SEAAlways wanted to be a writerANOREXICANXIOUS ABOUT SINGLE FRIENDAT A FORK IN THE ROADAVID READER, LACKING BOOKBEREFT OF A CATBORED IN ALABAMABOTHERED AND BEWILDEREDBRAIN SHRINKING MOMMABROKENBROKEN HEARTBROKEN HEARTED - TORN BETWEEN MALE AND FEMALE BEST FRIENDSBROKEN UP WITH GIRLFRIEND; FEELING BURNT OUTCAN’T MOVE ONCANDIDA REVOLTAIRECan’t afford to go on holidayCAST ASIDECHEATEDCHRONIC PAINCOLD HANDS AND FEETCONCERNED ABOUT DAUGHTERCONFLICTED PARTNERSCRAVING FOOD CULTURECYNICAL STEPSONDAILY ABUSEDARK NIGHT OF THE SOULDEPRESSED AND UNABLE TO READDEPRESSED DURING CHRISTMAS, AND LONELY NOWDESPERATELY WANTON GIRLDIRECTIONLESSEASILY BORED WITH NOVELSEMOTIONALLY SABOTAGED BY MY MOTHEREMOTIONS IN EXTREMEEVER THE FRIEND AND NOT THE PARTNEREXTREME ANGER AND FRUSTRATIONFADING AWAYFALLEN OUT WITH MY FRIENDSFALLING IN LOVE WAY TOO FASTFAZED AND CONFLICTEDFEAR OF CONFRONTATIONFEAR OF GETTING OLDFERTILITY PROBLEMSFOMO (FEAR OF MISSING OUT)FORGING A BRIGHT NEW FUTUREFRIEND WHO HAS LOST A CHILD LATE IN PREGNANCYFRIENDS DAUGHTER LOST TO SUICIDEFrightened of lifeGAPING HOLEGetting over a break-upGIRL OF UNCERTAINTY, BOUND BY RULESGIRL WHO DOESN’T FIT INGRIPPED BY LOSSGUILTY FRIENDHOPELESSNESSHOUSE AND LIBRARY DESTROYED BY FIREI love music more than booksI no longer commute – and therefore I no longer readI PEEK AT THE END OF NOVELS BECAUSE I WORRY THE CHARACTER MIGHT NOT MAKE ITI wish I were famousIN MOURNING OVER LITERARY DEATHSINABILITY TO SIT STILL AND ANXIETYINCONSISTENT AND NON-STUDIOUS- BUT AMBITIOUS NONETHELESSINDECISIVEINSECUREINTERESTED IN EVERYTHING BUT ACHIEVING NOTHINGINVISIBLE WOMANITALIAN NOVEL CURESJILTED AND UNSUREJOB IN LIBRARY UNDER THREATKICKED IN THE HEADLEADENLIVING ON THE MARGINSLONE RANGERLONELY AND DEJECTEDLONELY IN LOVELONELY IN MONOTONOUS JOB, LOSING SANITYLOOKING FOR A SENSE OF PURPOSELOOKING FORWARDSLOSS OF A SISTERLOSTLOW WATTAGELOW-ENERGY PESSIMISMMAD SCIENTISTMARRIED TO A MAN, ATTRACTED TO WOMENMISSED THE BOATMISSING MY MOTHER-IN-LAWMUM GOING BACK TO WORKNEED TO LET GONEW CITY, NEW LIFE -BOOKS FOR 12 YEAR OLD BOY?NEW FRIENDSHIP WITH HOLOCAUST SURVIVORNIGHTMARISH COLLEAGUENOMADIC FLANEURPOST NATAL DEPRESSIONPREGNANT AND ALONE