Saturday, December 22, 2012

Paw Prints in the Moonlight by Denis O'Connor

I just read a book about one of the most beautiful love affairs. Denis O'Connor's Paw Prints in the Moonlight tells the story of his rescue and lifelong love of the kitten that became Toby Jug. It's a heartwarming story with a touching ending. Yes, it will make you cry, but it will also make you smile through the tears at the unexpected ending.

In 1966, O'Connor was a lecturer at Almwich College in Northumberland, England. He always loved cats, but lived alone until the winter night when he heard a cat in agony. The vet was unable to save the mother cat and one kitten, but Denis, against the vet's wishes, took the other two-week-old kitten home, and fought to keep it alive. The story of that winter fight, and the determination of man and kitten is powerful. And, the love that Denis O'Connor and Toby Jug shared is remarkable.

O'Connor's writing is lyrical and descriptive. His writing is filled with his love of nature, and the enjoyment he and Toby Jug shared when they were together and outdoors. There are funny scenes, such as the story of the bee invasion. But, most of all, it's the captivating story of the first year the man and cat spent together as Toby Jug grew from a kitten with little life to an exuberant cat, thanks to the compassion of the man who loved him.

Paw Prints in the Moonlight is a tribute to Toby Jug, a story the author once promised he'd write. But, it's also a message of love for all of us who love cats. Denis O'Connor's story can be summed up by what I see as the most important sentence in the book. "To Toby Jug I was family and to me he was more than a cat."

Paw Prints in the Moonlight by Denis O'Connor. St. Martin's Press. 2012. ISBN 9780312668297 (hardcover), 214p.

*****
FTC Full Disclosure - Library Book

7 comments:

Carol N Wong said...

I thought the cover was gorgeous and you said that the story inside is beautiful. Sounds like a must read to me.

Wish us luck! We are trying for the second time to sell our house and move. Will start showing in January. I am so looking forward to getting settled in somewhere.

CarolNWong(at)aol(dot)com

Ingrid King said...

I loved this book! I think the time and the setting make this beautifully written story almost magical.

Karen C said...

Love the cover for this book and the story sounds wonderful - another gift for my daughter!

Lesa said...

Definitely wish you luck, Carol, but I don't wish moving on anyone. However, I hope you sell the house, and have the opportunity to move where you want to live.

Lesa said...

Wasn't it wonderful, Ingrid? I saw your comment on Facebook that you had reviewed it, but didn't want to read your review until I had reviewed it.

Lesa said...

Glad to help with your gift-giving, Karen!

Sue Farrell said...

I like animals so much---that I hate to read books about them because it seems that they always have sad endings. This one just sounds so good that I may have to read it anyway.