Saturday, May 4, 2013

Review: Soul Comfort for Cat Lovers by Liz Eastwood

The cover of Liz's book!

Anyone who has ever owned a cat can understand the devastating feeling of loss. As someone who has lived with cats my whole life, I have sadly lost my fair share of furry friends. Learning how to cope with death is a natural part of life.

Everyone deals with death differently. When my friend Liz Eastwood, from Natural Cat Care Blog, asked if I would like to review her new book about coping with loss, I was extremely interested in taking a look. Her book was titled Soul Comfort for Cat Lovers: Coping wisdom for heart and soul after the loss of a beloved feline.

Liz knew she wanted to write a book called “Never Say ‘Just a Cat’” but every time she sat down to write about cats and their bond with humans, she gravitated towards writing about recovering from grief. It’s not a surprise, considering what she went through with the loss her cat, Bastet.
Bastet. Photo courtesy of Liz Eastwood.
As readers learn in Liz’s book, her cat Bastet “was diagnosed with high-grade intestinal lymphoma – the kind of cancer for which all vets give a short-term death prognosis.”  Liz experienced great guilt because she couldn’t save Bastet from cancer.

In the third chapter, Liz offers a chart of what feelings people experience after a death, including guilt; a feeling that is very common when dealing with death.  
The list from chapter 3 with all the emotions felt after loss.
When I asked Liz about how she got the inspiration for writing on this topic – she told me that she was surprised she had so much enthusiasm for [writing about] a rather depressing experience.

“I pondered and researched the big questions about life and death more than I ever had before. I wanted to write the book I wished I’d had when I needed it. I wanted it to feel like a friend, to honor how strong a feline-human bond can be, and to really help people who were deeply suffering,” said Liz.

There is a particular passage I wanted to share from Liz’s book, because it really resonated with me.

“One day, not long after Bastet died, I was driving home from work, and was struck by several powerful waves of grief in my chest. Through my tears, I thought: How am I going to drive safely on this freeway now?”

Beautiful Bastet - photo courtesy of Liz Eastwood.
--  I went through something similar after finding out we had to put our four kitten fosters to sleep because they had been exposed to VS-Calici (Virulent Strain Feline Calici Virus) a deadly virus that put all of our present house cats at risk (read about my experience with that, here). I remember my dad leaving a message explaining that he was going to take the kittens to the vet to be put down and I completely lost it. I was out at PetSmart and Target getting some kitten supplies and I frantically drove home the longer way because the parkway was closed; ignoring the speed limits and bawling so loud it hurt. I knew I was putting my life at danger driving like that, but I had to get home and see the kittens one last time. The grief I experienced after losing the four foster kittens would have been soothed for sure, by Liz’s book.

I highly recommend Soul Comfortfor Cat Lovers to the cat community – for those who are grieving recent losses, all the way to people who are grieving losses from years ago. This book stirs up wonderful memories that are joyous to relive; even the sad memories are a gentle reminder of a wonderful life. The experience of reading such a comforting book is a wonderful way to learn how to cope with grief.

Liz self published her book, and it is available for purchase ($12.95) on Amazon here.

Liz currently lives with her two fabulous cats Phil and Joel.
Before I end a review, I always like to ask if the author has a new book in the works. Here is what Liz said:

“All I know is [that] I love the process of writing books, so I definitely want to do more.”


  1. Sounds like a great book! Definitely adding it to my to-read list.