BOOK REVIEW Buckley’s Story: Lessons from a Feline Master Teacher PLUS BONUS GIVEAWAY!

Tue, Nov 17, 2009


Buckley's Story by Ingrid King

Guest book review by Peter J. Wolf

There’s little doubt that we Americans love our pets. According to the American Pet Products Association, we’ll spend an estimated $45.4 billion on our non-human dependents this year alone. And what do we get in return? Well, that’s not so easily put into dollars-and-cents terms. The value our pets bring to our lives is, of course—both literally and figuratively—immeasurable. Thankfully, we have authors like Ingrid King to remind us of this fact.

In Buckley’s Story: Lessons from a Feline Master Teacher, King introduces us to Buckley, a tortoiseshell cat rescued from a farm in southwest Virginia who’d become the office cat in the veterinary hospital King managed. Despite her rough and tumble past–or perhaps because of it–Buckley took to her new life with great enthusiasm (though not without some of the expected “tortitude“). “Buckley loved everyone,” writes King. “She checked out anyone who came into the office and, with rare exceptions, she would end up in a visitor’s lap.”

When King left to start her own business (using Reiki on pets), she was astonished by how much she missed her office buddy. “While there had been animals I had come across in my years of working at veterinary hospitals who had tugged at my heart strings,” King writes, “there had not been one that I fell for as hard and as fast as I fell for Buckley.” And so, despite her misgivings about integrating a new cat into the quiet home she shared with her cat Amber, King adopted Buckley.

Amber and Buckley, it seems, knew all along that it was the right move. “I was the only obstacle,” recalls King, a self-proclaimed worrier, “in making the process go smoothly.” While King was getting settled into her new career, the cats were getting settled into their new lives together. But their easy existence was interrupted when, during a routine visit, Buckley’s vet discovered a heart murmur.

Such diagnoses–however unsettling for us humans–seldom mean much to our cats. Indeed, Buckley was thriving with her new family. “The word that probably defined Buckley more than any other,” writes King, “was ‘joy.’”

“She was a joyful being and she brought joy to everyone who came into contact with her…Her entire being was an expression of joy, and her every activity was infused with the essence of joy. She played, ate and loved with abundance…Buckley demonstrated to me how to find joy in every day. By living in the present without worrying about the future or letting thoughts of the past drag her down, this little cat showed me how to find the small joys in each moment.”

Finding those small joys proved increasingly difficult as Buckley’s health took a turn for the worse, and King began devoting more and more time to caring for her. The last few chapters of the book, in which King chronicles Buckley’s decline, are to be savored—though not without a fresh box of tissues at the ready.

.   .   .

There’s something rather magical about certain pets, the ones with which we form an immediate, intense connection. Regardless of how much time we spend with them, they leave an indelible impression. Buckley had been with King for only three years, but, writes King, “I was not prepared for the depth of my grief…it was as deep as if she had been with me my whole life. When these special animals come into our lives and then leave us much too soon, they leave us forever changed.”

Buckley’s Story is sure to resonate with animal lovers, whether they’ve suffered the loss of a beloved pet or not. King’s memoir illustrates the powerful nature of the human-animal bond, and–in sharing Buckley with the rest of us–reminds us of what we love in each of our own cats.

For more from Ingrid King, check out her website and her blog, The Conscious Cat.

Buckley's Story

BONUS GIVEAWAY: Enter to win a copy of Buckley’s Story!

Ingrid is offering a copy of Buckley’s Story to one lucky Moderncat reader! To enter, please leave a comment on this post. The winner will be chosen in a random drawing on November 24. One entry per person. This giveaway is open to US addresses only.

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208 Responses to “BOOK REVIEW Buckley’s Story: Lessons from a Feline Master Teacher PLUS BONUS GIVEAWAY!”

  1. 1

    Would love to read this book!

  2. 2

    I feel lucky today. Thanx

  3. 3

    LOVE books about animals! thanks for this chance!

  4. 4

    Thanks so much for this opportunity to win this awesome book!

  5. 5

    I sooo want to win this.

  6. 6

    aww sounds fascinating!

  7. 7

    This story seems so sweet, I’d love to read it.

  8. 8
    israel y

    I would love to own this book! thanks for the chance to win it!

  9. 9
    Laura Oliva

    what a heart tugging story. thank you for the opportunity!

  10. 10

    I would love to read this. I keep hoping I will win one of the moderncat giveaways!

  11. 11

    Pick me, please.

  12. 12

    Looks like a wonderful book. I’d love to have a copy for my collection of books on cats.

  13. 13
    Marg Elmendorf

    Oh My that looks like a wonderful book even though we need tissues. I would really like to have it. Thanks for the opportunity.

  14. 14

    Sounds like a great book!

  15. 15

    sounds like a special book to read

  16. 16
    Sally Messing

    Can’t wait to read Buckley’s story! She looks beautiful in the cover photo and I’m sure she was a magical presence.

  17. 17

    Go Buckley!

  18. 18

    I would love to read Buckley’s Story. Tissues would definitely be required.

  19. 19

    I’d love to win this!

  20. 20

    I am sniffling just reading your review of the book. I can’t wait to read this.

  21. 21
    Delores Pierce

    I cannot wait to read this book. What I have read so far reminds me of my relationship with “Tabby” who is at the time of this writing, in final stages of crf.

  22. 22
  23. 23
    Nancy S.

    I’d like to read this book but I know it’s going to make me cry.

  24. 24

    I want to read this to all the cats!

  25. 25
    Vanessa Sherwood

    I’m crying already!

  26. 26

    That face is is so loveable, can’t wait to read his story.

  27. 27

    Sounds like a great story I’d love to read it

  28. 28

    Love to read! Would be a special treat to read this book over the holidays.

  29. 29
    Liz & Cassie

    Wisdom is what we learn from our pets…how to be a better person, how to live a better life, what matters and what doesn’t.

  30. 30
    sandy c

    wonderful story! would love to win

  31. 31
    Anita H.

    Belongs on my shelf with all my cat books !!!

  32. 32
    Tracey Jones

    The little bit of this book that I read reminded me so much of what I went through with my sweet Ray. He was first diagnosed with a heart murmur, not long afterwards I was supposed to be at my workout but cut it short and went home within 10 mins of being home Ray had a heart attack and died in my arms. I will have other cats but I find it hard to believe I will ever find one who expressed as much love as Ray did. We actually dubbed him my little boyfriend because he loved to flirt.

  33. 33

    This sounds like a lovely story. Buckley looks like my Bridge Angel Patches one of our earliest and deeply loved kitties.

  34. 34

    My wife would love this. I know exactly how this feels, we’ve had our cat 18 months and wonder what we did without him.

  35. 35

    I would love to read this book!

  36. 36

    What a wonderful book! I would love to add this to my library of animal books.

  37. 37

    Buckley sounds wonderful…

    My good friends just lost one of their cats. I wonder if this is a book I should recommend to them…

  38. 38
    Mary Kay

    I think we’ve all experienced the deepest feelings of loss when one of our guys has to leave us.

  39. 39

    “When these special animals come into our lives and then leave us much too soon, they leave us forever changed” sums up our experience with our beloved cat Steve. This sounds like a beautiful and emotional read!

  40. 40

    What a heartwarming story! I just adopted a tortie and am still learning about her little personality. She’s turning into quite the loving spitfire!

  41. 41
    Amber C.

    So many wonderful and inspiring stories involving our furry friends out there. I would love to read this one.

  42. 42
    Teri and the cats of Furrydance

    Our mewmie would love this book! We lost our daddie and miss him lots, but tell our mewmie, just like Buckley…one paw in front of the other and look for the good in each day.

  43. 43

    I went to College in Southwest Virginia so I know the area. I always love a good cat story.

  44. 44
    Irina Wolff

    Aww, this sounds so good! I love reading about other people’s and pet’s lives.

  45. 45

    What a beautiful cat, a beautiful book and a beautiful legacy she left behind!

    Buckley looks so much like my Tortie – Cee Cee, who came out from under a bush and walked up to me on a cold rainy November. Cee Cee and 17 other cats living out there (by looking at the scenery you would have NEVER known that ANY cats were living out there!!) were rescued, TNR’d and Cee Cee came home to live with me.

    Cee Cee is a wiggle-lishuss fuzzy lady who is nothing but Love Love Love. (Yes, she does have Tortie-tude too!!!)

    Cee Cee also has a heart murmur.

  46. 46

    How lovely! Not every rescue story has a good ending, but this one sounds like it definitely did — Buckley had a loving home right to the end.

  47. 47
    Jacki Wunderlin

    So glad that Buckley was one of the lucky ones! My Devon Rex, Shadow, is also a Tortie and is still going strong at almost 16!

  48. 48
    The Creek Cats

    We’d really like to win this book!

  49. 49
    Stephanie LaPlante

    this will melt my heart

  50. 50
    Linda B

    I love a great cat story and especially one that has a happy ending. As a cat lover thumbs up for the rescue and cudos for writing the book.


  1. [...] today, Peter Wolf reviewed Buckley’s Story on Moderncat - the review is one of the most thoughtful and comprehensive ones the book has received.  [...]

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