BOOKS: The Cat Guru

From ANIMAL PEOPLE, December 2004:

The Cat Guru
by Naina Lepes
Ibis Press (c/o Nicolas-Hays, Inc., P.O. Box 1126, Berwick, ME
03901), 2004. 149 pages,
paperback. $16.95.

This charming little book tells the story of a gentle and
spiritual woman who attends an ashram in India, and allows a family
of feral cats into her life.
This spontaneous course of compassionate conduct leads her
into the hectic routine of foster-parenting, which in turn takes her
closer to spiritual enlightenment.
Analyzing her reactions to the accidents and adventures which
befall the cats, author Naina Lepes moves into the dimensions of
psychology and self-realization.

Some of Lepes’ statements may jar the sensitivities of a
reader who is interested more in animals than in Indian spiritualism.
For instance, Lepes relates how the mother cat breeds litter
after litter of kittens, most of whom are killed by dogs. She finds
the endless cycle of birth and death a matter of spiritual wonder,
and describes how all the animals born in the ashram are specially
blessed to be born “within the orb of Sai Baba’s presence, where
they can live out their cat karma.”
Most animal welfarists would ask why she did nothing to
introduce spay/neuter to the ashram, to prevent the endless cycle of
birth and cruel, untimely death.
There is a glossary at the end for those who may be
interested in Indian philosophy/religion.
–Chris Mercer & Bev Pervan

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