In Autobiography of a Georgia Cat, we meet Black Jack, who possesses both street-savvy cleverness and a droll wit. At first, Black Jack describes his interesting kittenhood. But after he experiences a series of misadventures, the reader is privileged to meet Black Jack’s permanent family. Through his eyes, the reader shares the family’s challenges and foibles, but ultimately, their triumphs too. Sandwiched securely in-between is a side trip of sorts, where Black Jack and his feline compatriots meet and share stories of their feline ancestors. Through Black Jack’s present-day life, and the lives of those past, the reader can see Black Jack’s spiritual maturity develop. A thought-provoking read.
Dr. Michael Gordon has a new twist on storytelling. His first book, “Autobiography of a Georgia Cat,” is narrated not by the author, but by his cat Black Jack.
From a cat’s eye view, the author talks about life at large in Marietta. Black Jack adds levity to the book’s deeper themes of spirituality, loss, grief, and addiction.
The cat’s tale of life with an African-American family has a subplot that mirrors Gordon’s own life. The story relates a family’s struggles with the illness and death of a granddaughter who is married to a Jewish man.
Gordon, a specialist in addiction medicine at Ridgeview Institute in Smyrna, decided to write his book after his wife, Gena Browder Gordon, died of cancer. He started the book as a journal to deal with his grief and healing.
Told from a feline’s curious perspective, this is a delightful tale within a tale. When listened to with the inner ear, one finds a story of humanity, compassion, tolerance, and divine wisdom.
This is a warm, wonderful book, reminiscent of To Kill a Mockingbird and The Secret Life of Bees, yet still unlike anything you’ve ever read. I HIGHLY recommend it!
Autobiography of a Georgia Cat is like an adult version of The Little Prince, but from the perspective of a cat. Black Jack is a wise elder of a cat who brings authenticity, compassion, and a gentle knowing to each situation he encounters. Throughout the storyline, universal spiritual truths are uncovered as well as the power of mythology, the song of the universe. Wonderful, poignant, and humorous, this classic gives you a sense of joy, truthfulness, and the oneness of all God’s creations.
Autobiography of a Georgia Cat reflects the experiential wisdom of at least nine lives. In gently reminding less enlightened two-legged consorts, Black Jack (as channeled by Michael Cowl Gordon) deals fortunate readers a winning hand. We view timeless truths through the vibrant if dysfunctional tapestry of Black Jack’s adoptive human family and feline friends, replete with universally familiar foibles and lore. Life’s delicious, painful duality, the insidiousness and toxicity of addiction, the arbitrary elegance of the unfolding cosmos; each thicket of briars is skillfully traversed by our sleek black savant.
The overarching importance of remembering that we are all spiritual beings of equal value participating in transitory living and learning experiences is poignantly illustrated through teachings from Judaism, Christianity, Buddhism, and Native American Indian Mythology. Each tenet unfolds through the insights of Black Jack and similarly enlightened felines, who as any cat lover knows (and is reminded daily in the most strident tones) must be regarded as the most intuitive and highly evolved of all creatures.
That this appreciation of the agonizing wondrousness of life’s falling apart and falling together is told by a cat is by turns disarming and profound. Consider Black Jack’s seminal parting meow. “We only pass through this world, have our brief moment to live and love, and then travel on down that mysterious path, sweetly shrouded in hope, leading to new worlds of life and love.”
Michael Cowl Gordon has written a book that I will be recommending to almost anyone who is dealing with issues of grief and loss, addiction and recovery, or searching for spiritual clarity. I can also recommend it to anyone who enjoys a good story, and for cat lovers it is a must read!
“I read this book in 4 hours and immediately ordered copies for my friends and family. It is quite entertaining on its own, but if you are FOB or spiritual in any way you will realize that these stories mean so much more. After my mom reads it (literally grabbing it from me) I plan to read it again slowly with highlighter and pen in hand! There is so much to be learned from this!”