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. 51
    Amy Bennett

    Looks like lovely writing and a very moving, inspirational story.

  2. 52
    Kimberly Felipe

    Yay for Buckley!! What a sweet and sad story… but ultimately a story of JOY. :) Thanks for sharing. ==Kimberly & Hazel

  3. 53

    I’d love to read about Buckley!

  4. 54

    “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.”

    What a great quote, and summation of a special bond. I am looking forward to reading Buckley’s Story.

  5. 55
    Gail Cinninger

    Looks like a wonderful read! Isn’t it amazing how cats touch our lives?

  6. 56

    I loved the book Dewey and I’m getting ready to read Homer’s Odyssey. I’ll put this one on my list. Thanks

  7. 57
    ellen miller

    I would love to win this!

  8. 58
    Linda Kish

    I love books about animals and have a house full of cats. I would love to add this to my library.

    lkish77123 at gmail dot com

  9. 59

    I would love to win a copy of Buckley’s Story, and plan on reading it whether I win or not. Thank you Ingrid King for sharing Buckley’s Story with us.

  10. 60

    King is so lucky to have had the opportunity to love and know Buckley – it is indeed a joy to have a pet you can love that much. I still miss my cat Herman who I was lucky enough to share a life with for 19+ years. I would enjoy reading about Buckley.

  11. 61

    I would love to read Buckley’s story!

  12. 62

    sounds like a sweet book..would love to read it!

  13. 63
    Christina P.

    I just MELTED reading this book review, I don’t know why it caught my eye in the first place, but I’m glad it did! I’m sure I’d have to read this with a box of tissues and my cat next to me, but I would absolutely love to read Buckley’s Story!

  14. 64
    Leslie Kaufman

    Would love to read Buckley’s Story!

  15. 65
    lisa l.

    I also had a cat who had a heart murmur and I was told would not live long. He lived to be 10 years old and never showed a problem til his death. He was the joy of my life and is truly missed. Would love to read ur story!!!

  16. 66

    I wanna read about Buckley, too!

  17. 67

    I just lost my feline companion so this story really resonates with me.

  18. 68

    I would love to read Buckley’s Story–crossing my fingers I win!!!

  19. 69
    Gaby Alicandu

    We have so much to learn from our pets…!!!! I think it’s great that Buckley’s wisdom has been inmortalized as a lesson for us, the “worrying” humans…

  20. 70
    Tammy Botzon

    What a special book :)

  21. 71

    This would be a wonderful book for our whole family!

  22. 72

    Sounds like a great book. I hope to read it someday!

  23. 73

    I have a Tortie and she has buckets of tortitude – love her to bits though!!

  24. 74

    I’m not sure I could handle winning the book…I started to cry as I read the review!

  25. 75

    that sounds like a wonderful and touching book. i would love to enjoy the story of buckley!

  26. 76
    Cosmo & Les

    Looks like a great book!

  27. 77

    I would write (if I were a writer) the same tale about my Beaker. Buckley – you are a must read for me.

  28. 78
    Kim Warehime

    I love Cats and I love books. Peurrfect a Cat book! I would love to read about Buckley.

  29. 79

    Truly an inspirational story that every pet owner should have.

  30. 80

    I had tears in my eyes just reading the couple of paragraphs you had on the web page. I would very much enjoy reading the book.

  31. 81
    Edwin Wityshyn

    Wow. Buckley sounds like our Caesar – our Diabetic cat. Since his diagnosis, our lives have literally revolved around around his health. No vacations, no trips, modified treatments, home testing, and more. It is amazing how much “certain cats” can totally control your lives. Of course, Caesar also controls the other 3 cats in our household, but then again, being 17, he has the right to rule. All Hail Caesar!

  32. 82

    Our cat passed away about a month ago. I would love to read this book.

  33. 83

    Sounds like a great read.

  34. 84
    Jackie V.

    I want to read more about Buckley.

  35. 85

    sounds like a lovely book!

  36. 86

    I’m already tearful… love a good kitty story.

  37. 87
    Mary Ann

    There is a whole world of learning from cats! ALL of Creation is a textbook, but the FAMILY is the SCHOOL of LOVE. . . .annndddd a cat is a :member: of our family!

  38. 88

    Sounds like a tear jerker but one that I would completely relate to.

  39. 89

    I would love to have and read this book.
    Thanks for the contest.

  40. 90

    *crosses fingers* I love a good kitty tale!

  41. 91

    Well if just the review brought tears to my eyes, I can only imagine what the book would do!

  42. 92

    I’d love to read Buckley’s story!

  43. 93

    I would love to share Buckley’s story with a dear friend who fosters cats and loves all animals. Thanks for the giveaway!

  44. 94

    I would love to read this book on Buckley ….. Teresa

  45. 95

    sounds like a book I”D ENJOY>

  46. 96

    The stories written about love for an animal always get me! I’d love to learn all about Buckley too.

  47. 97
    Missive Maven

    This book sounds inspiring and delightful – thanks for sharing it with us!

  48. 98

    Aw…I loved Dewey and Homer’s Odyssey, and this book looks just as great. I can’t wait to read it!

  49. 99

    Definitely looks like a two-boxes-of-tissue book. Wonderful that Ingrid King learned so much from Buckley. If more people could learn lessons like that from their cats, we’d be a lot better off!

  50. 100

    I spent several years volunteering when I had time with the local animal groups and found once they move into your heart there’s no moving them out. I still miss my Chairman Maow, but still have room for all of my other baies. Thank you for the great review, this book is on my Christmas list for sure!


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