April 23rd, 2013 by Karen
Look. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: I’m not a cat person. I know you may hate me for it, but it’s a fact I cannot change. As a kid, I was bitten by a cat and I just haven’t been too fond of any cat since then.
BUT I have to admit, I did come to care about the star of The Five Lives of Our Cat Zook by Joanne Rocklin.
Named after the fried zucchini he loves to eat (and called Zook for short), this particular feline managed to find his way into my anti-cat heart — mainly because of how much he matters to the family in the book. And I REALLY loved this book. Therefore, I loved this cat.
You see, Zook is sick, and it’s really worrying Oona, her little brother Fred, and their mom. So Oona starts to tell stories about how every cat has nine lives and how Zook is only on his fifth life now. Oona dreams up adventures that Zook had in his past lives (from haunting a bad guy as a ghost cat to being worshipped as a magical cat), but all the while, Zook’s current-life story seems to be getting more complicated than Oona would like.
For example: Could Zook’s previous owner be an animal abuser — and also Oona’s mom’s new boyfriend? And will Oona ever tell the truth about the time they smuggled Zook into the hospital before her dad died? And what about the truth of the day they found Zook?
Oona doesn’t know the answers to these questions herself — and she’s got plenty more throughout the book. But don’t worry; as the reader, all your questions will be answered by the end of the story.
And what a lovely story it is! If you’re like me, you’ll find it funny and sweet and sad and realistic and just plain great. Recommended if you’re a fan of Because of Winn-Dixie, When Life Gives You O.J., Three Times Lucky, and Pie.