Book Details

The Dalai Lama's Cat

David Michie

Inspirational, Fiction

978-1-4019-4058-4

‘Oh! How adorable! I didn’t know you had a cat!’ she exclaimed. I am always surprised how many people make this observation. Why should His Holiness not have a cat? ‘If only she could speak,’ continued the actress. ‘I’m sure she’d have such wisdom to share.’ And so the seed was planted . . .

I began to think that perhaps the time had come for me to write a book of my own—a book that would convey some of the wisdom I’ve learned sitting not at the feet of the Dalai Lama but even closer, on his lap. A book that would tell my own tale . . . how I was rescued from a fate too grisly to contemplate to become the constant companion of a man who is not only one of the world’s greatest spiritual leaders and a Nobel Peace Prize Laureate but also a dab hand with a can opener.”

Starving and pitiful, a mud-smeared kitten is rescued from the slums of New Delhi and transported to a life she could have never imagined. In a beautiful sanctuary overlooking the snow-capped Himalayas, she begins her new life as the Dalai Lama’s cat. Warmhearted, irreverent, and wise, this cat of many names opens a window to the inner sanctum of life in Dharamsala. A tiny spy observing the constant flow of private meetings between His Holiness and everyone from Hollywood celebrities to philanthropists to self-help authors, the Dalai Lama’s cat provides us with insights on how to find happiness and meaning in a busy, materialistic world. Her story will put a smile on the face of anyone who has been blessed by the kneading paws and bountiful purring of a cat.
Book Reviews
Oct 29, 2012 aimeeroo
This book can best be described as charming, fun to read, and even a bit enlightening! Told through the perceptive of one very lucky cat, we get a glimpse on what it might be like to live inside the home of the Dali Lama.

‘Oh! How adorable! I didn’t know you had a cat!’ she exclaimed. I am always surprised how many people make this observation. Why should His Holiness not have a cat? ‘If only she could speak,’ continued the actress. ‘I’m sure she’d have such wisdom to share.’ And so the seed was planted . . .

I began to think that perhaps the time had come for me to write a book of my own—a book that would convey some of the wisdom I’ve learned sitting not at the feet of the Dalai Lama but even closer, on his lap. A book that would tell my own tale … how I was rescued from a fate too grisly to contemplate to become the constant companion of a man who is not only one of the world’s greatest spiritual leaders and a Nobel Peace Prize Laureate but also a dab hand with a can opener.”

A fun and easy read, it will draw you in with it’s warmth and humor. I loved the lessons that each chapter taught, subtly yes, but there none the less.

From her rescue story to her meetings with dignitaries, this little kitty know how to tell a tale! I found myself wishing it were all true, as I was falling more in love with this sweet cat. Within her story are many founding principles of Buddhism, told in such a way that anyone could easily relate to them. It’s the type of story where you can glean wisdom and be entertained at the same time. It is also a story I am sure to enjoy reading again.

Thank you to Hay House for providing me with a copy free in exchange for my reviewing it.
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Oct 30, 2012 ginadrellack
This is such a feel-good story! If you are not a cat person, you will get a kick out of the subtle fun poked at the cat's perspective. If you are a cat person, you will still enjoy that, as well as the respect and honor given the species through this story. Either way, you will appreciate the insight gained as a reader through the eyes of the kitty that lives with the Dalai Lama.

Okay, I knew I was in for a story in which HHC (His Holiness' Cat) would actually attempt to teach me about myself through her own cat experiences. It's pretty obvious that this is a book about self-help and personal awareness in the shape of lessons learned by a character so removed from myself that it's safe to actually look. The amazing thing is how well it is written--I knew this was the premise, and yet I continually forgot. The story is so engaging, so entertaining, and so enveloping that as a reader I willingly became involved and loved it.

Yes, it is an allegory for me. (And as in the song from The Sound of Music: "And you. And you. And you and you and you....") Yes, you know it's coming. Yes, you forget it's a lesson in your delight of the story. And yes, you appreciate the lesson anyway--quite possibly because of the beautiful way it is offered.

Keep this book on hand, and read it when you are ready for something less heady and cumbersome. Although it could be heavy, it actually is the opposite. A quick read with a good flow, it is uplifting, encouraging, humorous, and Truth.

The FTC would be super happy to see that I let people know I received a copy of this book from Hay House simply in exchange for my honest opinion of it. I highly recommend this book!
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Oct 31, 2012 roni
The Dalai Lama’s Cat is an outstanding read! I must say, initially I was not compelled to read this book. In fact, it travelled with me to Arizona and to Missouri with only a few pages read. What happened on the long plane ride home was simply not a coincidence. I fidgeted in my seat, Wi-Fi wasn’t offered, my neighbor was drinking heavily, and I couldn’t get situated--until I picked up the book and buried my head in the pages. After a few more pages, I was hooked!

You might NOT be a cat person, it’s okay--don’t let the name of this book deter you, and if you are a cat person--rejoice and turn the pages.

Wow, advise on happiness and living life in a novel that is filled with stories (within the story). Engaging daily situations that teach from the author’s perception of the Dalai Lama’s beliefs, or more specifically Buddhism. The book is also a pure example of learning through stories--so pleasant to have those ‘aha’ moments shown in tale versus telling in a non-fiction instructional guide.

The tale (tail) begins with a kitten that is saved from the slums of New Delhi. A visual any reader can gain from the trailer of the movie Slumdog Millionaire. Am I shallow to say the hints throughout the book about famous people visiting the Dalai Lama kept me guessing and more than interested? Maybe a little, but I found it fascinating. Sharing the Dalai Lama’s teachings within life’s moments as seen through the eyes of the cat (who also learns from each happening!) and always on topics the reader can relate to. Although the work is fiction, I believe, the author, David Michie has an understanding of Buddhism, and does a fabulous job of spinning his tale with relevance toward today’s times. Bravo! Well done.

In the early stages of the book a nun discusses her visit to a prison (this is when I became hooked) and how an inmate had a conversation with her and compared her own living situation with his. Ultimately, the inmate informed the nun, ‘if it all gets too hard’ she could live with them. The nun was astonished that the inmate viewed the conditions in the nunnery harsher than his conditions in jail. And the Dalai Lama made a simple statement, “It’s not the circumstances of our lives that make us happy or unhappy but the way we see them.” Personally, something I’ve relearned throughout my life, and a topic that hits home with me when I remember my time in the ‘chemo’ circle and the other folks with me.

My own immediate learning experience happened when the plane landed and I wasn’t finished with the book! Had I not messed around for the entire first hour of that flight, and just picked up the book and read it--I would have been done, and satisfied. I can relate to HHC when she was taken to another location during the painting and refurbishing of the Dalai Lama’s house, she behaved poorly. She hid under the blanket and did not step out of the room for a few days. On the day she finally stepped out--she met her ‘cat’ friend, but was whisked away the following day, having no time to spend with her new friend. HHC identified that she robbed herself of the opportunity to spend time with her new friend--all over her ridiculous self-pity. Three days of sulking could have been spent with her new friend instead of wasted time hiding under the duvet.

Do you believe that every living being strives for happiness and wants to avoid all forms of suffering? And the True Cause of happiness is not from any physical external thing? Deep, isn’t it? Well I like the way the Dalai Lama’s cat handles these topics, and you will too.

I’m compelled to share with you what I learned about True Cause, but instead I will leave that as the title of this document and let you read the book, and discover for yourself the true cause of happiness (literally).

Lastly, I’m so enamored with this book because of my own personal experience. The content of these pages ring within my soul. And it’s so simple!

When I was diagnosed with stage IV cancer and watched the pieces of my life fall away I gave in to the process. I had no choice. I had to deal with the cancer (and everything else in my life that fell apart), but I did have a choice about my attitude toward the battle--and ultimately isn’t that the only thing you have control of--your own reaction? So I experienced some loss: my career, relationship, homes, finances, career, and for a while--my health. I made up my mind I would beat the cancer, but if for some reason I didn’t make it--the time I had left would be wonderful. And that is how I won my battle.

Now, two years and seven months later--I have no sign of disease. I’m back in the thick of my life (a different life) and I thank you, David Michie, for reminding me of the importance of love and compassion and sharing with the world the simplicity of Buddhism and the fact that happiness is right here… as my Grandma would say, “Under your nose.”




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