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Wednesday, March 17, 2010

The Tao of Mia and Leo by Jeffra A. Nicholson

Hello, everyone!  Welcome back to another day, another post here at Satisfaction for Insatiable Readers! 

Wow, so the other night when at a local store, there was an occurrence, a situation if you will.  A particular person was buying a rather large order (read that as a few thousand dollars) and proceeded to ask for assistance in bringing their purchase to the vehicle.  The young lady politely passed said duties to her male coworker seeing as the bags were large in size and quantity.  A short while later, the gentleman consumer sans car proceeded to ask the employee to bring the bags to the car....which remained parked halfway out in the parking lot.  Did I mention it was night?  Dum....dum...dum...

Now I'm not one to think badly of a person....and this individual although well learned and highly talkative, was certainly no cause for alarm within the store boundaries....but outside?  Bringing bags to their car?  Alone?  At night?  Let's just say that the male coworker was uncomfortable doing so (but provided a viable story as to why he could not), so could you imagine the young female worker?  Hmm....a movie comes to mind when thinking of the potential for this situation to go wrong.  Can we say, Silence of the Lambs?  (For those of you that haven't seen it, it's good...scary, creepy, but good.)  Yeah....let's give a great big thank you to horror movies for the precautionary warning bells that sound in our minds.

On the other hand, this also made me wonder....when did our trust in society, in persons blatant goodness, or at the very least potential goodness, turn into a warning sign?  I mean, the old adage of things that appear to good to be true....there was a time (grant it not in my lifetime, but I've read about history books at the very least) that someone could be or was more often than not trusted at and by their word alone.  What happened?  Had the two characters from the book we feature today been there to witness said events, they might have had a differing interpretation or some words of wisdom that could alleviate the negative vibes being felt.  Allow me to introduce the pair that can carry such goodwill or clarity of thought to stressful situations.  Today's book of choice is....

The Tao of Mia and Leo

We start out with a life in the midst of constant change.  Change in location, change in vocation, change in every form imaginable.  Now, enter guru kitty number 1....Samantha.  From fluffy kitten to glorious adult feline-ess, Samantha teaches Ms. Nicholson how to roll with the punches, and accept things as they are for releasing the struggle is the only way to allow oneself to find inner peace.  (Pretty thoughtful coming from a cat, huh?)  Time moves forward as does our human friend, but at one point, the paths of these two kindred souls is split, with Ms. Nicholson unable to follow her companion on her next journey.  Such is life (and I won't dwell on that too long, because I'll start to tear up at my own fuzzy friends...) and as it continued its relentless march forward hand in hand with time, her heart closed to the possibility of finding a love and friendship so pure.

Years later, after several attempts at rediscovering her own path to happiness, our author and narrator happened upon another chance to indulge in her love of a kitty companion while helping out a friend that had a lonely kitten left from her cat's litter.  But what's this?  When the time comes to accept the fuzzy baby, there is not one, but TWO beautiful kittens!  It seems that there was another left behind and so the new guru pair is born.  Mia and Leo are quite the team.  While the one loves to explore and investigate (Mia), the other prefers time alone in the quiet solitude of the night.....but don't worry, they lead each other into many an adventure and in doing so, teach Ms. Nicholson more about love, friendship, and the art of living than any person may glean on their own.

Pets have always had a way of affecting of emotionally.  We are drawn to them for many reasons, not the least of which is the love and connection we feel for them.  Is it any wonder that they can teach us things as well?  I mean, take a look at your fuzzy best buddy and tell me what you see.  Do you merely see a <insert your pet's type here>....or do you see a friend, companion, secret keeper, play mate, dinner buddy, exercise partner, lap warmer extraordinaire?

Personally, I do not have a cat...but I do have dogs.  Cats to me have often been more self-reliant than dogs and so I have always gravitated to the slightly needier Fido friends (which I love and adore and spoil to the hilt)....but that's not to say I don't like cats or that I feel they have nothing to say, for they do and often times more than we know (as illustrated in this book).  Watch the way a cat looks at the world, and you'll see a mind filled with limitless curiosity.  Witness the stealth with which they stalk the next victim of a pounce, and you'll see a shadow of their distant relatives from the tundra.  Hear the purr that is elicited as they sleep or are being stroked, and you'll see an image of pure contentment.  There is no feeling that they can not convey, nor emotion that they can not provoke from their human owners; all without words.  There is a lesson there if I ever saw one…

So, if you can’t tell from by overall wordiness, I enjoyed this book overall.  The lessons were well taught, the positive motivational statements were there but not over-baring, and if you don’t already have a fuzzy buddy, this book gives you all the more reason to get one of your own.  I say overall I liked it, because it does start out a little slow, delving deep into how the author arrived at the emotional state she was in when receiving her first kitten, Samantha…but then again, it is needed to set the right mood.  Perhaps a little shorter in this department would have suited my taste a little better.  The only other less than stellar point for me…the book size.  It’s actually square in design, allowing the type to be spread across the page more, which in theory sounds good, but it takes away from the one-handed-ness ease of a read…not to mention toting it in a bag….rectangular just works a little better (in my opinion). 

In the end, it was an enjoyable read that I am certainly glad I took a chance on.  Perhaps it will make it into your reading rotation, or at the very least you have entertained the thought of a kitty guru helping you reach a state of less-stress-enlightenment.

Review copy received courtesy of Paula at Author Marketing Experts, Inc.  For more information on them as well as their current titles, stop by their BookBlogs.NING page, or follow along on Twitter!

Until next time….happy reading!


Tales of Whimsy said...

Excellent review. I love the entire paragraph when you describe cats. Brilliant really :)

The1stdaughter said...

Oh I'm definitely an animal person in I wish we lived somewhere that we could have more than just fish!

And I agree, the things our pets could teach us are amazing. So much unconditional love and concern. Not to mention trust. Just amazing.

I too don't know how we've arrived to the place where we don't trust people as much as they may have long ago, but maybe it just has more to do with media and our access to all the negative out there. Who knows???

Wonderful review, definitely got me thinking!

Gina said...

Juju: Thanks! You are too kind...glad you enjoyed the cats segment...a dog focused one is waiting in the wings.

The1stdaughter: Exactly. They are the cream of the crop in all three of those departments...and many more. A great example of how to lead a happier life I suspect. Glad to have made you stop and think....happy reading~ =0)

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