When my partner Sarah and I moved across Canada, we brought our four cats along with us to live on Vancouver Island. All of them have passed on since the move fifteen years ago and yet we remember each of them with love. Each was unique, whether chatty or innovative with a particular pose. When Izzy, one of the two cats we now have, sits in a particular way on a chair, two paws over the arm, we’re reminded of Simon. There are always reminders of the cats we’ve lost who live on, in some form, through our memories of them.
Sarah Chauncey’s beloved cat companion Hedda died at the end of a long life, and the book Chauncey has written is a love letter from a cat to its human parent. The illustrations by Francis Tremblay are charming and whimsical in their simplicity. It’s the simplicity of the images that help keep the book light as well as profound. The beautiful cover design is by Jenny Miles and the book design is by Linsey Dodaro. The blue from the cover is featured on the interior pages, as well as some red dots as that’s what the black cat in the book likes to leap for. The book is a generous size, with a hard cover. The entire design really honors the loss of a companion animal and is a fitting tribute.
P.S. I Love You More than Tuna would be a welcome gift for anyone who has lost a beloved cat or is grieving the death of any companion animal. People of all ages will appreciate this amazing book. It begins with an inscription that includes: “I made you this book to help you remember the good times. And to show you that I’m with you always.”
Parents often have difficulty explaining to their children where animals go when they die. Sarah Chauncey’s words help explain that you will still feel their presence even if it’s a glimpse out of the corner of your eye. One of the illustrations is of a cat as if a constellation in the night sky, where the book’s black cat says: “Now that I am free from my body, I can leap, bounce, and roll across the entire universe.”
The whole book is poignant, sweet and funny. For example, “I helped you work” shows the black cat napping on a computer keyboard. For those of us with cats, that’s a pretty familiar scene. “I made sure your water was safe to drink” are the words accompanying the black cat’s tongue in a glass of water. A grieving cat lover can be assured with this book that they cared for their furry, four-legged companion and that companion is grateful. The cat in the book is so caring of their human, they love them more than tuna!
The message from the cat to its human, in the book, is that it’s not “really goodbye. Because you and me, my human–we’re connected at the heart.” There’s a reminder that “Just because you can’t see me doesn’t mean I’m not here.” It’s true that you can sometimes feel the brush of fur at your ankles as if the cat who is no longer here, hasn’t gone very far.