Title: The Dalai Lama’s Cat
Author: David Michie
Date Read: 27/05/2017 – 01/06/2017
This book came highly recommended from my mother. When I first got it, I thought reading a novel from the perspective of a cat would be weird, as would the inclusion of the Dalai Lama as a character in the fictional account. I needn’t have worried, though, as it was completely adorable.
The Dalai Lama’s Cat sneakily teaches the reader about the main tenents of Buddhism via the perspective of HHC (His Holiness’ Cat), a Himalayan kitten adopted by the Dalai Lama and his household. HHC struggles with the same insecurities we all do: pride, insecurities, jealousy, over-eating and challenges to being a good meditator. Michie cleverly uses some basic stories to incorporate the Buddhist attitudes and solutions to all these foibles in a way that doesn’t even feel like teaching. I found myself trying to incorporate some of the lessons from the book into my daily life.
The writing is quite adorable, and I found myself getting quite invested in HHC’s personal journey. A lot of the characters are archetypes that serve a particular purpose within the story, but that didn’t really bother me for this type of book. I definitely recommend this as a primer for those interested in learning a bit more about Buddhism. I myself will be looking into David Michie’s other books on Buddhism, meditation and mindfulness.