Reviewed by Teodora Totorean for Readers' Favorite
A Lifetime of Cats – The True Stories Behind a Cat-lover’s Art by Angela Cater is an account of all the cats she had since she was two years old to the present day. All the cats have a little story – how they ended up in Cater’s care, how they lived, their personalities, how they influenced the artist’s work, how they died, and most importantly, how they were immortalised in Angela Cater’s artworks. The purpose of this book and Cater’s art is to show people that cats have their own personalities; once they see this, people can’t be cruel to these adorable creatures. The book also shows the readers how Cater’s art benefited from her love of cats, a constant subject in her paintings, illustrations, greetings cards and children’s books. The Adventures of Sailor Sam and Samson and Snowflake were both inspired by the cat called Samson and were very popular with children and adults alike.
I enjoyed reading A Lifetime of Cats because it shows the inspiration behind an artist's work. The book is packed with images of artworks featuring all the cats she had in her care throughout the years. Although some stories are quite tragic because of the way some cats died, this is well balanced with humorous stories capturing the cats’ personalities and their relationship with their owner. The stories of how Cater struggled to catch some of the cats for visits to the vet are particularly funny. The book also captures how her cats helped the artist to go through some of the most difficult moments in her life like illnesses, or splitting up with her partner, proving once more that cats are great companions.
I recommend this book to cat lovers for a shared experience, to people who are about to acquire a cat for the useful information about potential illnesses, vaccinations and other care issues, and to artists for the inspiration behind the artwork of a pet artist.