Cat Heaven snuck up on me and made me cry.

If you’re a cat lover or a book lover or a person who suffers from an ongoing existential crisis or simply a human being, Cat Heaven by Cynthia Rylant is a book that you will love as you possibly weep.

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My daughter, Clara, is named after a character in The Van Gogh Café – also by Rylant – and while I love that book for obvious reasons, I love this one so much more.

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I picked it up and read it to Clara before bed, not knowing what was hiding between the pages. It snuck up on me, finding a way into my heart by the third page and sending me for an emotional loop.

Rylant also wrote Dog Heaven, but I’m almost afraid to read it. As much as I love my cat, I’ve owned dogs for much of my life, and I’ve buried more than I care to remember, oftentimes as a child as the result of my parents’ atrocious disregard for their safety.

I fear that Dog Heaven may be too much for me.

Cat Heaven is a beautiful book with beautiful images by Rylant herself. Buy it. Make it the gift that you give ever cat lover you know this year.

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