Cover image for Cats and daughters : they don't always come when called
Cats and daughters : they don't always come when called
Brown, Helen, 1954-
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
New York : Citadel Press, [2012]

Physical Description:
324 pages, 1 unnumbered page of leaves : color illustrations ; 21 cm
Having sworn she'd never get another cat, the author opens her heart to a Siamese who, with her son getting married and her daughter setting off on a personal quest, is just what the household needs during a time of change.
General Note:
"This is the American edition of the hardcover published in Great Britain by Two Roads, an imprint of Hodder & Stoughton" -- T.p. verso.
Personal Subject:
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
SF445.5 .B744 2012 Adult Non-Fiction Open Shelf

On Order



Some say your previous cat chooses your new feline. If so, what in cat heaven's name was our beloved Cleo thinking when she sent us a crazy cat like Jonah?

Helen Brown swore she'd never get another cat after her precious Cleo died. But that was before a cute Siamese with an intense blue gaze wrapped her around his paw. Demonstrating the grace of a trapeze artist--and a talent for smashing anything breakable--Jonah seduced the household with his daredevil antics and heart-melting purr.

With her son getting married, her daughter setting off on a potentially dangerous personal quest, and a recent brush with her own mortality, Helen faced a whirlwind of joys and challenges. Yet Jonah proved just the thing to ease the busy household's growing pains.

Uplifting, witty, and wise, here is a story of love and family--four-legged members included.

Don't Miss Helen Brown's Beloved Bestseller, Cleo

"A buoyant tale, heartfelt and open." -- Booklist

"An absolute must." -- Cat World

"Even non-cat-lovers will be moved." -- Good Housekeeping

Author Notes

Helen Brown was born and brought up in New Zealand, where she first worked as a journalist, TV presenter, and scriptwriter. A multi‑award‑winning columnist, Helen now lives in Melbourne, Australia, with her family and feline, the internationally beloved Jonah. Her memoir Cleo rose to the top of the bestseller lists in its first weeks in the United States, United Kingdom, New Zealand, France, and Australia, and has been translated into more than sixteen languages. Cats & Daughters further increased her audience with publications in six countries. Tumbledown Manor, her first novel, again shows her storytelling talents. You can visit Helen Brown at and follow her on Facebook.

Reviews 2

Booklist Review

While working on the manuscript detailing the tragic events surrounding her son's death and the healing her family found through the love of a special cat (Cleo, 2010), Brown is dealt a devastating one-two punch that sends her fragile world reeling. She is diagnosed with breast cancer, and her eldest daughter announces her desire to move to war-torn Sri Lanka and become a Buddhist nun. Feeling uncertain and needy, Brown struggles with the knowledge that she must let Lydia pursue her own dreams, even though, selfishly, she wants to keep her by her side. Although Lydia returns in time to see Brown through her crisis, her compulsion to follow the Buddhist way will test Brown's maternal mettle. Once again, it will take a remarkable feline to help her family put things in perspective and impart the kinds of life lessons one can't always learn from a two-footed guru. Candid, genuine, and unaffected, Brown's touching memoir celebrates the affirmational power of animal companions to help humans navigate life's most challenging moments.--Haggas, Carol Copyright 2010 Booklist

Publisher's Weekly Review

"The only thing more worrying than holding cats and daughters close is setting them free," observes Australian journalist and humorist Brown as she shares her experiences with breast cancer, a rebellious daughter, and a rambunctious cat. In this sequel to Cleo, told with unflinching candor and Aussie-tinged wit, Brown's breast cancer diagnosis and surgery coincide with her older daughter, Lydia, leaving for war-torn Sri Lanka to become a Buddhist nun. Meanwhile, a new cat enters Brown's life: a stunning, sapphire blue-eyed neurotic Siamese she names Jonah, whose behavioral baggage includes spraying, running away, and shredding carpet. Her life "ruled by a cat," Brown reprises her first book's theme: cats have the power to help heal human suffering. Brown's voice is alternately, and appropriately, lighthearted and solemn, her vulnerability evident as she struggles with breast cancer and Lydia's lifestyle; Jonah provides love, friendship and is the "[l]istener, healer, the companion who never judged." In a beautiful moment of introspection during a visit to Sri Lanka, Brown understands the futility of holding onto daughters, recognizing that Lydia needs to live her life. Having courageously faced down fear, loss, mortality, and Sri Lanka, Brown realizes she has learned much along the way. (Apr.) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.