They Had Me at Meow by Rosie Sorenson

This is a really beautiful book – both in appearance and content. It’s the nicest looking self-published book I’ve seen: with glossy pages, professional layout for the pictures of stray cats throughout, and a great use of color, fonts, and titles in the graphics. In short, it would make a great and unique gift for anyone who loves cats.

They Had Me at Meow is the tale of Rosie Sorenson – a writer for the L.A. Times and the San Francisco Chronicle – who cared for a veritable herd of stray cats in Northern California. Her deep love for these cats permeates this book.

Sometimes when people talk about their love of pets into can veer into the territory of describing your dreams to another person. Most everyone knows what it is to love a pet, as everyone knows what it is to dream, but it is difficult to convey this appreciation fully to someone else. Rosie Sorenson manages to transcend this problem as her love for these cats makes for compelling and uplifting reading.

What’s missing maybe is more about the practical concerns about raising so many cats at once. She goes into deep detail about certain cat’s habits and personalities, but not a lot about the practical regimen about caring for these animals. Similarly, the subtitle to this book is “Tails of Love from the Homeless Cats of Buster Hollow,” and you don’t get a lot of detail about the layout of Buster Hollow. So while you learn a lot about the cats themselves, there’s less pragmatic information about caring for all these animals.

But perhaps this doesn’t matter. This is not a how-to book for raising homeless animals – though there is a very helpful Q & A at the end of the book – it’s really about love and devotion for animals that can be understood by anyone who’s had a pet, whether you’re a cat person or a dog person. People think of pets as their children and this feeling is conveyed throughout the book. Cats are often a mystery and that’s in here too.

This book hit me at a very good time. I’ve been thinking of adopting a cat myself, a rescued cat – probably through a service like Petfinder, which is really the only way you should find a new pet. The last pet I had was a stray dog, the best dog that ever was – read my story about rescuing this dog here. So I know the very deep bond one feels with a rescued animal and this book is a vivid and moving story of opening your heart and home to stray animals.

Visit the author’s site at TheyHadMeAtMeow.com.

I haven’t done this before, but here’s a musical interlude to go with this review: “The Ballad of Daykitty” by Lou Barlow:

Ballad of Daykitty – Barlow, Lou