I read ‘Call of the Cats: What I Learned about Life and Love from a Feral Colony’ by Andrew Bloomfield on the recommendation of my friend, Jim Willis. I’m so glad I did because I’ve not had personal dealings with feral cats – strays, yes, but not ferals. They are a completely unknown area for me and Andrew’s book highlighted their existence. The plight these cats found themselves in nightly when coyotes and other predators honed in and carried off new kittens brought them to Andrew’s attention. He began sitting outside in his yard, among the jungle-type landscape where the cats lived unseen by most people, building up a rapport with them.
Gradually, they came to grudgingly trust him, and a few kittens were brought inside to save their lives and they remained inside the house. Andrew, and his housemates, Sophie and Heather, cared for these precious little kittens with around the clock vigilance. He maxed out his credit cards ensuring the feral colony in the yard had decent food, veterinary care when needed, and over time, he was able to trap, neuter and return them to the yard. The numbers naturally fell from over 50 cats to just six as the older ones died.
Andrew has lived an interesting life and spent time at the Himalayan power spots ofNepal by following an archaic 17th century pilgrim’s guidebook. Wanting to be a film writer, he made his way to Hollywood, where he ended up living in his car by the ocean. His book is peppered with interesting anecdotes about spiritual teachings and one can see and understand why he, Sophie and Heather, found their true calling in naming each cat, and taking responsibility for their health and welfare.
Andrew writes very well and with a passion for the cats that he came to know and love over the twenty or so years since this journey began. His writing will have you hooked from the first page to the last and you’ll want to continue reading, to know what happens next. I really hope that Andrew will write a follow-up book because I want to know how the house cats fared when they moved to their new house, (with Andrew, Sophie and Heather), and what happened to the ferals in the yard that were cared for by neighbours after Andrew et al moved home. He still visits them several times a week, and takes care of food and veterinary bills for the neighbours.
This book is one I will keep on my bookshelf and read again because I’m sure I will find more snippets or nuggets of goodness tucked within its pages.
The ISBN number is: 978-1-60868-398-7