Subtitle:   Stress Relief in Tough Times by Owning A Cat

This is not a book just to be read once and put away. It is one that contains little treasures of wisdom that bear another look. Not just those from the author, but from the many sources she quotes before each chapter. “Use your life to wake you up,” comes from Pema Chodron and is illustrated with a picture of a cat sitting on a counter playing with a fern frond. The beautiful pictures and meaningful quotations are good subjects for mini meditations when one needs a relief from stress.

Choosing to Be is the fictionalized story of how, with the help of her Buddha Master cat, Kat Tansey learns the simple basics of sitting and walking meditation, and uncovers the mystery of living life stress-free. The Buddha Master cat is a Maine Coon cat, Poohbear, who is anthropomorphic, at times speaking like a wise old guru on a mountaintop and other times like a sarcastic roommate.  It is he who suggests that Kat get a kitten. “One who is in touch with its true Buddhist nature.” So she contacts the breeder she knows and finds out there is a new litter of kittens. The second chapter in the book, “Building the Team” is a delightful telling of how the kitten, Catzenbear,  is chosen and Pooh’s reaction when the kitten is brought home.

People who have been owned by cats will probably appreciate this book more than those who don’t care for them. The charm of the felines make up for some of the weaknesses in the writing, which aren’t profound, just little things that catch the discerning reader up. For instance, in some dialogue there is too much exposition that is clearly there just for the edification of the reader. One rule of dialogue is to avoid having characters tell each other things they already know because it is information the author thinks the reader should know.

Despite those minor flaws, this is one of the better books of its kind to come from iUniverse, and the author did take great care with having the book edited and produced with a professional look. The message of the story is also of considerable value. There are significant health benefits from owning pets, cats in particular. Studies have shown a decrease in blood pressure and risk of heart attacks in people who own a cat. That, coupled with the benefits of meditation as a stress reliever, is one of the important truths the book has to offer.

In addition to the physical benefits of living with a cat, the author captures that special relationship between cats and the humans they own, and that element, too, is well worth the read. Cat lovers will find it a delight.
About the Author:

After spending twenty years implementing change in organizations, Kat Tansey developed her own Change Model and wrote Winning the Change Game to help companies become more successful in getting people to embrace new systems and methods. Kat is a life coach and  the co-host of her Internet radio show, “Finding Magic in Midlife.” She continues to write dialogues with her Buddha Master cat for her next book, Walking with Wisdom. Visit her Web site

Choosing to Be: Lessons in Living from a Feline Zen Master
by Kat Tansey
ISBN: 978-1935278146
Publisher: iUniverse
Date of publish: Sept. 2008
Pages: 164
S.R.P.: $14.95

Maryann Miller —- Maryann’s Web site

Be Sociable, Share!