August 2021 Book of the Month
Review by Anita Finley, Gerontologist
At first glance, this book looks like it is only for children, but not so fast! So many of the words and the story is an adult experience that will ring true for those who have lost their parents, their homes and don’t know where to turn. For cat lovers, it will be both heartwarming and tear-jerking.
The main character is Kiya, a 4-year-old white, hazel-eyed cat who is very sad because her owners moved away without taking her and she is scared and crying. The happy part is that right after her owners moved, a nice young lady named Mickey moved in and it was love at first sight for Kiya. But Mickey was not sure how she felt since she only had dogs before and didn’t know about cats. She gave Kiya a warm bed and said out loud, “You’re a cat, and I don’t know what to do with you!” Kiya wished she was a dog so Mickey would love and keep her.
Kiya thought, “I know about dogs and how useful they are, helping people and doing so many good activities. Cats seemed to be ignored. Mickey took me to the post office and to the beach, but I wasn’t allowed at any of those places. All I wanted was to be loved and kept and didn’t want any other animal there to share Mickey’s affection.” So does this scenario sound familiar? Siblings all vie for their parent’s attention and love.
Although Kiya seems happy, she never forgets that she could be deserted again and worries each day until Mickey comes home. She even thinks that maybe Mickey would rather have a dog! That makes her fearful that since she doesn’t do anything useful why would Mickey want to keep her?
As I was reading this book, I thought of all the foster children, the seniors who are moved out of their homes, the homeless who live in such stressful environments, all worrying like Kiya. That is why so many seniors are afraid and don’t want to leave their homes when their families try to encourage them to live in a senior community to be safer and have friends.
Then one day, it happened, just what Kiya was afraid of. A strange woman who was the landlord came while Mickey was at work and picked Kiya up and put her into a cat carrier in the back of her car to take her to another place. She wondered, “Did Mickey tell her to come and take me away?”
So you will have to buy the book to see what happens. As “Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood” TV show helped people and children to think kindly about what things are all about, this book shares the same mission. Even if you don’t have any cats, you will get the message. The last page of the book says, “Mickey loves me for who I am, not because of what I can do, and that’s how love is meant to be!”
Throughout the pages were adorable and meaningful illustrations, all done by the talented author, Paulee Bowin. The book was inspired by Brian Cash Clause
About the author:
Paulee Bowin’s latest book that we recently featured as our “Book of the Month” in Boomer Times, The Girl Who Sings The Alphabet Backwards. Paulee was a ballerina and is a talented illustrator and lives in Florida
(To purchase Love Me for Who I Am, go to Amazon.com.)