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A Cat's Eye View of Life and Love by Sterling with Gentle Self-Help…

by Marta Felber

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Have you ever just looked at your cat and swore “that cat knows something it’s not telling me.” The eyes, expressions and even reactions prove cats have more going on than they get credit for. Most people think that cats just eat, sleep, use the litter box and repeat. Cat owners and lovers know differently. Some cats meow, others chitter, and some make weird peeps but all of them try their darnest to speak to us. It’s not our fault they are just speaking another language we humans cannot understand. Sterling and Marta call it Catonese not be confused with Cantonese. One of the best examples this communication barrier can be found on page 65 entitled Showing Love. “What is a kiss? Sometimes, when my face is close to M’s, she will touch her nose to mine and say, “Kiss?” Now, when she gets really close, I reach and touch her nose with mine. It feels good, but in the past when I have tried to say “kiss” in the past, M hasn’t understood my word for kiss.” My cat companion Oliver, tries so hard to talk to my husband and I. Ollie just ends up frustrated and so goes to nap somewhere quieter. Although he does get quite animated on his chittering when he doesn’t get his way maybe its best we have a communication barrier. My husband and I swear he’s cussing us out sometimes.
In this book Sterling explains that everyone including paw-folk and humans alike suffer from things that turn our world upside down. Such things as new people (animals), changes in routines and new problems can alter our feelings of love, comfort and safety. We all search out people, places and situations that make us feel loved and happy. When the storms of live come upon us we all need someone to keep us close and tell us “Everything is will be okay… it will pass.”
Sterling and Marta did an excellent job of getting their messages across in a funny and heart touching way. Some of the most important people and paw-folk in our lives get wrapped up in their lives and forget to take time out for us. Sometimes they get mad when we “rub up against them and knock over the object of their attention. Instead of getting mad and doing a no no on the floor or storming off mad (maybe saying something we don’t really mean. We need to find a way to get our loved ones attention so we can get the love and comforting we require. Oliver my kitty companion when feeling ignored does one or two things to get my or my husbands attention. Either he starts chittering up a storm or he simply jumps in our laps regardless of what we are doing. These actions tell us… “Hey I’m here and I need you now!”
This book is intended for all ages. The messages are so easy to understand that anyone from five to ninety-five would understand and enjoy them. There are some big words and concepts anyone under ten might not get. This can be overcome by reading to or with the younger people in our lives. It was nice to read a book that was uplifting and without the negative language and situations than plague life today!

Sterling made this book an absolute joy to read. As a cat companion I found myself laughing and agreeing at most of the situations. I kept thinking as I was reading it “Hey my cat does that too!”I learned that it is okay to have my bad days sometimes as long as I find someone to comfort me eventually. It also taught me that I need to be careful about getting wrapped up in my life and focus more on the people and paw-folk around me and their daily struggles! Just as much as I need a shoulder to cry on they do too. ( )
  teaching2learn | Dec 28, 2009 |
The saying ( I don't recall where I have heard it) goes, "Everything I have learned, I learned from my cat." is a difficult concept for most non-cat owners. Knowing the temperament and habits of a pet can help to understand the differences in their moods and even allow a pet owner to almost see what the animal is thinking. That is how well Marta Felber knows her cat Sterling. This is a series of short stories told from Sterling's point of view. Adventures that start by M (that is how Marta is referred to by Sterling in the book) adopting Sterling from a local shelter. While Sterling covers the basic cat's life stories about his toys, his favorite hiding places and where he likes to sit to watch the birds outside, Sterling also shows us an alternate view point to loneliness, fear, change and loss. After Sterling's short stories on life, Marta has added a moral or life lesson they have called `Mewsings' that help to relate Sterling's intuition to more human situations and moments.

What caught my attention for this book was the cover. The picture of Sterling, he is a beautiful cat and being a cat lover and owner, I was drawn to his expressive face. Unknowingly, I had understood the concept of the book before ever getting a copy in my hands. I have found so many of Sterling actions to be feline characteristics, the story `Learning about Reading' got me to actually reach down, and sure enough I was able to pet my own sweet cat, she was lying next to me just as Sterling was with M. There were many of the `Mewsings' that had me agreeing with and simply enjoying the insight. Some of the stories were fun or funny, some were of a mundane life, while other stories made for good life lessons, but there were a few sad stories that really pulled on the heart strings of this pet owner. This is a very unique format for a self-help book, but Sterling and Marta have found a way to quickly get out a little bit of encouragement or support for many different circumstances. ( )
  onyx95 | Dec 4, 2009 |
Sterling is a wise cat and in his book, A Cat’s Eye View of Life and Love, Sterling is sharing his wisdom with the world. He does this by relating 60 short stories to his human Marta Felber, who was kind enough to write them down, and he sums up each story with a lesson we can apply to our everyday lives which he calls a “Mewsing”.

Of course Sterling didn’t really dictate these stories but they are written from his point of view and, as a cat owner, I can confidently say that Marta’s observations are right on target. I’ve always known that we can learn a lot from our pets and this book is a compilation of some of the most important lessons we can learn.

The stories start at the beginning of the relationship between Sterling and Marta, when they first meet at the animal shelter, and continue on through the ups and downs of their life together. Like all humans, Sterling deals with loneliness, independence, jealousy, fear and a bunch of other issues and emotions. While seeing our everyday challenges through the eyes of a cat may sound strange, I found it very relatable and liked how the Mewsings tied the important elements of the stories together.

I think my favorite story had to do with trying to give Sterling his medicine. Like most cats, he makes it nearly impossible and Marta has to come up with a unique way to give it to him. We all have to do things we don’t want to do but maybe we can find a way to make them a little easier, like Marta did with the medicine.

This book is marketed as “gentle self help for all ages” and I tend to agree. These stories can be shared with anyone of any age and the lessons can be applied to many situations. I read the book from beginning to end but I could easily see someone picking a story from the table of contents and meditating on that particular lesson, especially if it applies to a current challenge, or reading a favorite story again and again when some cheering up is in order. I am certain that anyone who reads this book will not only enjoy it but find something to relate to and apply to their own life. ( )
  CaApril | Aug 10, 2009 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0979921414, Paperback)

This book's subtitle--"With Gentle Self-Help for All Ages"--accurately defines both its focus and its audience. Sterling the Cat, in the words of one reviewer, is a furry philosopher of the human heart. In brief "Mewsings" at the end of each of sixty illustrated episodes Sterling offers insights for readers (and listeners) of any age. "Come away from your big, out-of-control world to my little, manageable world," Sterling suggests as he shares what happens to him after he meets M, the human companion to whom he dictates his stories. Curled up on the top shelf of an animal shelter waiting in vain for someone to want him, Sterling had given up hope. Then M says, "I choose you." Thus begins their life together, which Sterling recounts in sixty stories--each episode accompanied by photographs. During his stay with M, Sterling faces fear and anger, M going away, a ghost cat in the house, having to lose weight, a catastrophe he causes, moving to a new home, the birthday party that wasn't, and an intruder cat--he calls her Miss Fit--who joins them. What meaning does a cat find in life's ups and downs? With M's help, Sterling shares his wisdom and advice in sixty stories, every one based on a real experience.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:12:11 -0400)

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