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The Dalai Lama's Cat by David Michie

The Dalai Lama's Cat (2012)

by David Michie

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: The Dalai Lama's Cat (1)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
1771594,751 (3.97)25
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    krazy4katz: If you want a human-centered search for a balanced life, you might like this humorous novel.
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    I Am a Cat by Natsume Sōseki (Vivl)
    Vivl: This Japanese classic from 1904-1907 chronicles the adventures of a cat, written from the cat's point of view. The similarities are striking.

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» See also 25 mentions

English (13)  Dutch (1)  German (1)  All languages (15)
Showing 1-5 of 13 (next | show all)
Thought this would be an interesting contrast to "A Dog's Purpose" which I just read for a book club. This slim volume had far loftier goals as the cat's musings and the Dalai Lama's overheard conversations provide a remarkably gentle introduction to Buddhism. This is done in the context of a plot that moves forward, albeit not in a swift or particularly complex way. I very much enjoyed this book. Am not sure that someone who didn't like cats would "get" it in the same way I did but it is a pleasurable short read -- and you get some philosophy to boot. ( )
  abycats | May 11, 2018 |
If you're looking for heavy spiritual content, don't look here. What Michie has given us is a light-hearted look at some essentials of Buddhist philosophy through the eyes of a cat who is adopted by the Dalai Lama. As is true of all cats HHC (His Holiness' Cat) has many names, Snow Lion, Mousie-Tung, Rinpoche, among others. Much of the story is about how HHC absorbs the lessons of Buddhism, and attempts to understand how they apply to her life.

She's also a tireless observer of humans and human lives, and her accounts of how they assimilate Buddhist teachings is really at the core of the book, and is I think, the reason why it does work well. It's not Buddhism for Dummies, it's Buddhism for people who are just ordinary people. There's no drama, just a pleasant, good-natured narrative about a cat who does all the things a cat does -- hunts, mates, begs people for food, enjoys being adored -- but who attempts to understand those things in terms of how her human sees the world, and who attempts to be mindful of who she wishes to be.

I got curious about whether the Dalai Lama really has a cat (HHC is a fiction.) and found that he does. Not a Himalayan like Snow Lion, but a sweet-faced, fluffy little tabby. It pleased me to think that His Holiness has the company of a cat.

I'm guessing his cat is unimpressed by the fuss people make over HH, which is as it should be. ( )
  Tracy_Rowan | May 11, 2018 |
The Dalai Lama's Cat is a sweet, gentle and humorous book that I truly enjoyed during a very difficult time, it was exactly what I needed. I adore the cover! I've had a passing interest in the Dalai Lama, mostly just seeing snippets of wisdom here and there attributed to him, but would really never have thought about him having a pet, so even the title grabbed my attention.

HHC - His Holiness' Cat actually acquires many names in her tenure at Jokhang, not all of which she is amused by. Saved from certain death as a tiny kitten, this is her story, told from her point of view of her time there, and how she grows and tries to apply the Dalai Lama's teachings to her life. She is first and foremost a cat, however, and is subject to a cat's whims, follies and attitudes. The result is a delightful and amusing story that weaves the occasional Buddhist precept into it, leaving me more interested in the Dalai Lama and Buddhism than I was before. It seems like such a gentle philosophy of life, and many of the ideas could be used as guiding principles, regardless of your beliefs.

I highly recommend The Dalai Lama's Cat to cat and all animal lovers of course. I always enjoy stories told from the animal's point of view. I would also encourage anyone who is curious about the religion to give this a try. It is a very beginning introduction by way of the setting and is very non-judgemental in the presentation of ideas. ( )
  shaunesay | Jun 21, 2017 |
If you like cat stories, this is an excellent book. Even though it is a novel, it does provide some interesting insights to life in the Dalai Lama's home, or at least what it would be like. ( )
  bness2 | May 23, 2017 |
This book came to me recommended by at least two members of my U3A reading group, whose job in life is to get me to read something other than crime fiction. Being possessed by a cat, how could I resist?

Told as snippets in the life of HHC (His Holiness' Cat), each tale has embedded within some Buddhist teaching. It is delightfully written and is a good reminder that there is something other can crime fiction.

I imagined that perhaps the stories come from real interviews with the Dalia Lama especially as I recognised one or two of His Holiness's visitors, whom of course the cat can't name.

Good reading. ( )
  smik | Jan 23, 2017 |
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» Add other authors (2 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
David Michieprimary authorall editionscalculated
Pijl, Karin E.Translatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Information from the Dutch Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to your language.
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In loving memory of our own little Rinpoche, Princess Wussik of the Sapphire Throne.

She brought us joy; we loved her well.
May this book be a direct cause for her, and all living beings, to quickly and easily attain complete enlightenment.
May all beings have happiness and the true causes of happiness;
May all beings be free from suffering and the true causes of suffering;
May all beings never be parted from the happiness that is without suffering, the great joy of nirvana, liberation;
May all beings abide in peace and equanimity, their minds free from attachment and aversion, and free from indifference.
First words
The idea came about one sunny Himalayan morning.
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Information from the Dutch Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to your language.
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Book description
“‘Oh! How adorable! I didn’t know you had a cat!’ she exclaimed.

I am always surprised how many people make this observation. Why should His Holiness not have a cat?

‘If only she could speak,’ continued the actress. ‘I’m sure she’d have such wisdom to share.’
And so the seed was planted . . .

I began to think that perhaps the time had come for me to write a book of my own—a book that would convey some of the wisdom I’ve learned sitting not at the feet of the Dalai Lama but even closer, on his lap. A book that would tell my own tale . . . how I was rescued from a fate too grisly to contemplate to become the constant companion of a man who is not only one of the world’s greatest spiritual leaders and a Nobel Peace Prize Laureate but also a dab hand with a can opener.”

Starving and pitiful, a mud-smeared kitten is rescued from the slums of New Delhi and transported to a life she could have never imagined. In a beautiful sanctuary overlooking the snow-capped Himalayas, she begins her new life as the Dalai Lama’s cat.

Warmhearted, irreverent, and wise, this cat of many names opens a window to the inner sanctum of life in Dharamsala. A tiny spy observing the constant flow of private meetings between His Holiness and everyone from Hollywood celebrities to philanthropists to self-help authors, the Dalai Lama’s cat provides us with insights on how to find happiness and meaning in a busy, materialistic world. Her story will put a smile on the face of anyone who has been blessed by the kneading paws and bountiful purring of a cat. [retrieved 5/30/2015 from Amazon.com]
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A stray cat is rescued and brought to live with the Dalai Lama and upon observing the many visitors that pay their respects to the holy man learns what it means to achieve peace and happiness in a materialistic world.

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David Michie is a LibraryThing Author, an author who lists their personal library on LibraryThing.

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Penguin Australia

An edition of this book was published by Penguin Australia.

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