Cleo: How an Uppity Cat Helped Heal a Family

Front Cover
Allen & Unwin, May 14, 2014 - FAMILY & RELATIONSHIPS - 295 pages
A warm, incredibly moving, often funny book about love, loss and redemption and the small black cat who helped mend a family's broken hearts by sheer force of her feline personality. Helen Brown wasn't a cat person, but her nine-year-old son Sam was. So when Sam heard a woman telling his mum that her cat had just had kittens, Sam pleaded to go and see them. Helen's heart melted as Sam held one of the kittens in his hands with a look of total adoration. In a trice the deal was done - the kitten would be delivered when she was big enough to leave her mother. A week later, Sam was dead. Not long after, a little black kitten was delivered to the grieving family. Totally traumatised by Sam's death, Helen had forgotten all about the new arrival. After all, that was back in another universe when Sam was alive. Helen was ready to send the kitten back, but Sam's younger brother wanted to keep her, identifying with the tiny black kitten who'd also lost her brothers. When Rob stroked her fur, it was the first time Helen had seen him smile since Sam's death. There was no choice: the kitten - dubbed Cleo - had to stay. Kitten or not, there seemed no hope of becoming a normal family. But Cleo's zest for life slowly taught the traumatised family to laugh. She went on to become the uppity high priestess of Helen's household, vetoing her new men, terrifying visiting dogs and building a special bond with Rob, his sister Lydia, Helen - and later a baby daughter.

What people are saying - Write a review


User Review  - Thorpe-Bowker and Contributors - Books+Publishing

With the abundance of animal biographies being published at the moment, it was very easy to look at this book cynically. However, Cleo is a stand out in this genre. This book will appeal to a wider ... Read full review

Other editions - View all

About the author (2014)

Helen Brown, born in 1954, is one of New Zealand's widest read, longest running columnists and a best-selling author. In 1991 she was awarded a Nuffield Press Fellowship to Cambridge University, UK. Helen has written nine books including: Florascope, In Deep, Clouds of Happiness, Tomorrow When It's Summer, and A Slice of Banana Cake. Her most recent book, Cleo, was released to wide acclaim landing on the New York Times Best Seller List its first week in bookstores. Before moving with her husband Philip and three children to Melbourne nine years ago Helen was a full time feature writer for the Sunday Star Times in Auckland.

Bibliographic information