Title: Lost Cat: A Memoir
Author: Mary Gaitskill
Publisher: Daunt Books
Genre: Non-fiction, Memoir, Essay
Pets change you. They enter your life and take full control of it, and you give them all control, quite gladly and willingly. They are family. Because of their nature, and who they are, they are your children – throughout the course of their lives. You derive joy by their existence, the virtue of them just being around.
“Lost Cat: A Memoir” by Mary Gaitskill wrecked me in so many places. I think it just wrecked me, overall. To know that Gaitskill lost her dear, beloved one-eyed cat Gattino, just like that – one fine day, and what she went through (or still is) broke my heart over and over again. I would never be able to bear that kind of separation from any of my babies (I have two of them). But to take loss, to take grief, and to turn it into something so beautiful is one of the reasons I know I turn to art for comfort.
Gaitskill also speaks of two children (siblings) she and her husband were fostering, and how being with them – experiencing joy, loss, and their love, in a way was reflective of what she felt toward Gattino. The children’s lives, and in contrast the life of Gattino alternates, and aptly so. This book leaves you with so much hope and breaks your heart, and somehow still is pretty much hopeful. I found myself just praying for Gattino with every turn of the page.
Gaitskill’s honesty is what will overwhelm you, will make you see your relationships in a different light, of how one doesn’t give up the search of a loved one, of how we cry and cry till we cannot cry anymore, and of how we feel – the same actually at the end of a day, when all you can hang on to is the safety of optimism and hope.