622 of 636 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars
A surprising glimpse into the hidden world of life on London's streets, 20 Mar 2012
In its own way this is Orwell for the 21st century. Yes, the cat is cute, yes the story is a simple one. But it's genuinely revealing about the kind of life led by people who live at the bottom of society's net - if not underneath it. It's plainly but surprisingly well written, and very readable; and if you live in London some of the details of how such things as busking and Big Issue selling work are riveting. Most of all though, it's a window on motivation - on how and why people who've apparently given up on themselves might finally be spurred to get their life together. Everyone who works in the benefits and charity industry ought to read this book because the answer probably isn't the one they get given in their seminars. Oddly enough it's an answer human beings have been giving each other since time began - it's love, giving as much as getting, that can make the difference, even if the love object in question has fur. Being responsible for another creature's health and happiness can give even the most hopeless drug addict a reason to change. And services which help those who are down and out need to recognise that truth and make their facilities pet friendly wherever possible. Too often homeless people can't access housing, medical care, and the rest simply because their dog or cat is banned - treated as an optional extra rather than a member of their family and a possible motivation to a better life.