Neil’s book reviews: The Dalai Lama’s Cat…and The Art of Purring

The Dalai Lama’s Cat

A novel by David Michie

Published by Hay House, Inc., 2012, 216 pp


In this novel, we follow the adventures of a kitten saved from near-death by the passing car of the Dalai Lama. As she heals in body and spirit, this charming story (told from the cat’s perspective), both entertains and gently teaches us the basic tenets of Tibetan Buddhism with humor and insight. The light tone of this book allows the messages of kindness and generosity to be easily taken in but in some ways by doing so makes those same messages even more profound. I was delighted and enchanted by this book and am looking forward to its sequel: The Dalai Lama’s Cat & the Art of Purring.


The Art of Purring

by David Michie

In my first book review, I shared with you my delight in David Michie’s  The Dalai Lama’s Cat. If anything, this second book in the series is even more delightful, fully titled The Dalai Lama’s Cat and The Art of Purring. The book begins with the Dalai Lama announcing a seven-week long journey abroad, but before he leaves, he gives his beloved cat an assignment: find out what makes you purr.

Essentially, this is a journey into finding out what makes any of us happy (happy enough to purr) and is, in essence a spiritual adventure. Michie seamlessly weaves essential concepts of Buddhism into an engrossing series of events with include all of the charming characters we met in the first book. We are drawn into the unique world of the Dalai Lama’s extended family in northern India, from the cat’s point of view, and it is one of those stories that you hope will never end.

Somehow, by delivering these insights from the observations of a cat, they can be taken in at a surprisingly deep level and I was impressed by how much I have learned from this enchanting tale. I am looking forward to starting the next book in this series, The Power of Meow (which I anticipate is a nod to Ekhart Tolle).

Please let me know if you do read these books, whether your response is similar to mine.