A Cat’s Life: Celebrate the Life of Your Pet

Written by: Ailsa Greenhalgh

Illustrations by: Rowan Barnes-Murphy

Published By: Barnes & Noble Books

Reviewed by Melissa Minners

            As you may or may not know, up until a couple of years ago, I was the proud mother of two exceptional (at least in my eyes) cats.  When my eldest cat became very ill, I was devastated.  After years of terrific times with my buddy, Rascal was showing me signs that he was on his way to the Pearly Gates.  I was not the only devastated soul – Rascal had made many friends over the years, not to mention his younger sister who would spend weeks looking for him everywhere when he finally did pass away.  One day, while perusing Barnes & Noble wondering just what I would do once the ultimate decision had to be made, I discovered a book that inspired me in a very creative way.  The name of the book was A Cat’s Life: Celebrate the Life of Your Pet, by Ailsa Greenhalgh with illustrations by Rowan Barnes-Murphy .

            A Cat’s Life is a scrapbook celebrating the life of your beloved pet.  The design is very much on par with your average baby book.  Throughout the book you are asked to provide information about your pet such as addresses where they have lived, their birthday, breed, distinguishing features, unique personality traits, favorite hiding places, purring moments, close shaves, pampering techniques, family members, family tree, ancestors, friends, ways in which they get their message across, places they like to sleep, types of food liked and disliked, entertainment fancies, sleeping hours, and more.  The book is divided into kittenhood, adulthood and senior sections so the book can grow as your favorite feline does.  There are tons of places to put your favorite pictures of your cat as well as an envelope where you can place clippings of hair and nails, tags, etc, just like in any human baby book out there.

            I purchased two of these books – one for each of my special children and got to work immediately.  The books are actually fun to work on.  I, for one, could not stop smiling every time I remembered something adorable from my kittens’ past or laughing out loud at some remembered antics.  The book inspires you to use your imagination, searching for photographs that will compliment the topics as well as working out family trees for your furry loved ones.  The book further inspired me to create a Shadow Box Memorial for Rascal once he passed away containing a picture, favorite brush and favorite toy.  I also created a CD of all of the pictures I have of Rascal.  Amazing how inspiring one book can be. 

            I pull these scrapbooks out every so often so I can relive the memories and add more memories as Natasia grows older.  When I talk about my babies, I only have to pull out one of these scrapbooks to punctuate my tales.  Leafing through the books page-by-page can’t help but elicit a smile from friends and family that have known Rascal and Natasia for years.

            So you say that your furry child is not a cat but a dog?  No problem!  Ailsa Greenhalgh has also created a scrapbook for dog owners called A Dog’s Life: Celebrate the Life of Your Pet, specially tailored for you to chronicle the life of your favorite pampered pooch.

            Published by Barnes & Noble Books, these books are not exactly easy to find, but if you look hard enough and are lucky enough to get your hands on one, this will be the best baby…er…well, yeah, baby book a pet lover could ever ask for.


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