A Great Book for Coping with the Death of a Cat

A Great Book for Coping with the Death of a Cat

Cat Heaven by Cynthia Rylant offers Hope and Optimism to the Grieving Pet Owner

If your family has recently suffered the loss of a family cat, Cat Heaven is a book that just might help soothe the pain and bring a brighter outlook to children and adults alike. Written and illustrated by Newberry Medalist Cynthia Rylant, Cat Heaven offers a happy view of what might happen to a cat after all its nine lives have been spent.

Rhyming verses describe Rylant's comforting and optimistic views on the afterlife of the cat. For instance, no cat has to worry about getting stuck in a tree in heaven, because they can simply fly down to the bottom whenever they like. Another verse describes how countless cat toys zoom past every minute, while another scene shows a cat curled up on God's lap.

Rylant's illustrations, executed in paint, are playful, colorful, and appealing. A variety of cats are depicted, making for a good chance of seeing a cat in the pages of this book who looks similar to your family's deceased pet.

Due to the nature of the book's subject matter, I wouldn't recommend this title unless you're ready to open up a conversation about death and the afterlife with your child. The religious tone of the book might also be off-putting to some readers, depicting a basically traditional heaven-as-paradise viewpoint and a single, male god complete with white hair and beard. Even so, Cat Heaven presents lots of pleasant and comforting ideas that might be helpful and healing to the child who has recently lost a pet.

Cat Heaven is available from Blue Sky Press, an imprint of Scholastic.