THE CAT YEARS by MARIE SYMEOU is a courageously honest book, deeply moving. I couldn't put it down. First I was captivated by the exquisite descriptions of the cats, not just visual, but on a deep soul level that anyone who has ever felt love and wisdom from a pet will understand. What a joy to read something which highlights that elusive and mysterious telepathy we have with our pets. I fell in love with Athena, and with Suzy.
But this book is not just for cat lovers. It is a compelling testimony of one woman's struggle to cope with being a sensitive soul growing up in a city environment, being bullied at school, suffering bouts of extreme depression and finding no help or understanding. Like many, Marie turned to alcohol and cigarettes to blur her sense of failure. A gifted singer, a gifted writer, she never had that lucky break, never had a kindly mentor or an enlightened agent to help her talents blossom. She could easily have given in to bitterness and suicidal feelings. But, as I said, this is a story of courage. It's not fiction. It's the author's own account of her life long quest for love, fulfilment and peace, and she shares it so frankly. I felt honoured to be reading it. I shared her journey through the years of searching and suffering, and the cats made the story lighter, adding reasons to smile, to celebrate the unconditional love they gave, and the way they guided Marie with silent stares of wisdom. A deep stare from a loved cat can communicate many things, reproach, disapproval, humour and pure soul love. So the sub-title, HOW MY SOUL MATES SAVED ME, is very apt.
I didn't expect a happy ending. Instead there was an awesome new beginning, an inspirational story of true courage, of picking yourself up from rock bottom, starting over, and discovering a new and beautiful soul path, a whole new reason for being.
Everyone would benefit from reading this book. It makes a difference. I can only say to the author, Marie Symeou, and her two amazing cats, THANKYOU for sharing this with the world, and I hope with all my heart that your true talents will blossom now.