Tuesday, May 21, 2013

‘The Cat That God Sent’ by Jim Kraus – Book Review

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Anyone who knows me knows that I am a dog person rather than a cat person; one is usually one or the other! So although I was (honestly) less 
than enthusiastic about reviewing ‘The Cat That God Sent’ by Jim Kraus, nonetheless I did. And I truly enjoyed it a lot!

Here is the synopsis of this novel:

Meet Petey, your not-so-average cat – on a mission from God.
Disillusioned young pastor, Jake Wilkerson, has just arrived at his new assignment in the small rural church of Coudersport, Pennsylvania. Also new on the scene is Petey, a cat of unknown origins and breed – but of great perception.
As Jake sets about doing the business of ministry, Petey’s continued interference brings chaos to the community of curiously off and eccentric people – residents like the faith-avoiding veterinarian Emma Grainger and Tassy, a young runaway with a secret. An expert at hiding his fear, Jake wonders if all this – and the cat to boot – is more than he can handle. What is Petey’s real “mission”? Perhaps something larger than Jake – or even Petey – can possibly know.

I was intrigued by the prospect of reading about a disillusioned pastor, and how that subject would be handled.

Here is the biography of the author:

Jim Kraus grew up in Western Pennsylvania and has spent the last twenty years as a vice president of a major Christian publishing house. He has written more than twenty books and novels, including the best-selling The Dog That Talked to God. He and his family live outside of Chicago with a sweet miniature Schnauzer and an ill-tempered cat named (of course) Petey.

I love how Petey described dogs:

Who would want to be a dog? Disgusting creatures. All slobbery and loose fur and burrs and snorting. Clumsy. They just don’t have enough bones, I guess, and they can’t even curl up into a ball. Stiff, they are, like boards. And they stink. Have you ever been near a wet dog? Even dry dogs stink. (p. 25)

Petey shares his view on the idea that dogs talk to God:

I know that if I talked to him – that would make my job easier. But I don’t do that. I know that some animals might. I recently heard a story about a dog that talked to its owner and told her all about God and what he wanted for her life. (p. 42)

That particular section is an allusion to another of Jim’s books, ‘The Dog That Talked to God’ (you can check it out here).  

Emma, the veterinarian who treated Petey’s paw was interested in learning about Pastor Jake’s profession. He had an interesting response:

“You know, the funny part of church and pastors is that a lot of people think all you have to do is really know the Bible. That’s important, but what’s more important is making what’s in there understandable to people in the pews. And that’s not easy. Some of it is confusing. Some of it will remain a mystery. So…making the Bible understandable – and keeping the church supplied with coffee. Those are the two most important things a pastor does.” (p. 218)

I liked the book – in fact, I enjoyed a story with a cat more than I had expected! I was a little disappointed in the ending; I did not get a good sense of completion. Nonetheless, I did enjoy the book, and would recommend it for cat and dog lovers alike!

You can order a copy of this book here.

This book was published by Abingdon Press and was provided by LitFuse Publicity Group for review purposes.

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