Reviews for Cat Who'll Live Forever : The Final Adventures of Norton, the Perfect Cat, and His Imperfect Human


Booklist Monthly Selections - #1 July 2001
When fans last met Norton, the Scottish Fold cat, he was having the wonderful adventures described in A Cat Abroad (1993). This memoir of Norton and his "person," writer Gethers, is just as sweet but less happy. Norton experiences kidney problems and then contracts cancer; descriptions of the illnesses and their treatments are provided in sometimes painful detail. The long good-bye for both Gethers and his readers is a tearjerker. Even those who feel no affinity for cats can't help but be touched both by Gether's love and devotion for his pet and Norton's often humanlike reactions to his illness (although Norton seems to have been a better patient than most humans). Double up on the hankies for the scene in which Norton dies. Still, before the worst happens, there are many happy moments to report, and readers will be awed and amazed at this kitty all over again. 'Bye, Norton. ((Reviewed July 2001))Copyright 2001 Booklist Reviews

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Kirkus Reviews 2001 July #1
Famed feline Norton, the Scottish Fold, who enchanted readers in The Cat Who Went to Paris (1991) and A Cat Abroad (1993), makes his final appearance here, in a highly engaging collection of anecdotes, which Gethers weaves into a heart-wrenching tale of love and loss.In a witty style reminiscent of William Styron, Gethers amuses with memories about traveling throughout the US and Europe with his famous, inseparable companion. During these journeys, Norton indulged in superb cuisine, charmed haughty concierges, and was accosted by throngs of fawning fans. Back in their weekend retreat in Sag Harbor, Long Island, Norton and Gethers mingled with the Hamptons elite, which included actor Anthony Hopkins, who invited the author to a private party on the condition that Norton would also attend. Gethers also escorted Norton to the home of an intimidating investor, known as the "Nightmare on Wall Street," who ignored Gethers as she rolled around on the floor with Norton. These humorous accounts of the author being upstaged by his cat stand on their own, but Gethers goes on to add a mournful drama. Soon after man and cat moved into their dream apartment in Greenwich Village, tragedy struck: Norton was diagnosed with cancer. Suddenly, Gethers becomes a sobbing hysteric, as the fury creature with whom he shares a bond of unconditional love succumbs to illness. Although Gethers confesses to living selfishly-he has always refused to clutter his life with a wife and children-Norton's illness transformed Gethers into a self-sacrificial caretaker who sought renowned veterinarians, gave Norton daily injections of saline solutions, and cooked natural home-remedy dinners.A good balance of laugh-out-loud and tear-jerking recollections: Gethers makes Norton immortal, delivering an affecting narrative that belongs on the bookshelf of all cat-fanciers. Copyright Kirkus 2001 Kirkus/BPI Communications.All rights reserved

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Library Journal Reviews 2001 August #1
Norton, the Scottish Fold cat of The Cat Who Went to Paris (LJ 9/1/91) and A Cat Abroad (LJ 10/1/93), is back. In this last installment of his feline's life story, Gethers again shares humorous stories of the celebrities that Norton has charmed Anthony Hopkins, Marcello Mastrionni, and Wilt Chamberlain delighting readers with his cat's adventures. The tone, however, turns somber when a veterinarian discovers that Norton has kidney problems, and Gethers shamelessly admits his own cowardice during this period. After Norton's health stabilizes, life continues at a less rapid pace until it is discovered that Norton has cancer. The author then realizes how much love he owes his furry companion and cares for him 24 hours a day. This bittersweet story of a cat who teaches his human friend lessons in loving and coping with illness is essential for all public libraries. Eva Lautemann, Georgia Perimeter Coll., Clarkston, GA Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.

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Publishers Weekly Reviews 2001 July #3
Fans of Gethers's two previous chronicles of life with his cat, Norton (The Cat Who Went to Paris and A Cat Abroad), will be delighted by this third installment. Here, Gethers (who was feline-unfriendly until he received Norton as a present) recounts Norton's physical deterioration (kidney failure, cancer) and eventual death in 1999 at age 16. Having avoided filling the book with homilies about the nature of life and death, Gethers wryly notes that he's produced something "closer to Tuesdays with Norton than... to Meowing and Nothingness." Devoting more attention to Norton's astonishing international fame than to the cat's "final adventures," he relates Norton's (and, not incidentally, Gethers's) many brushes with greatness: Anthony Hopkins, Roman Polanski and Wolfgang Puck are among his famous fans. Gethers is at his best describing his own mixed feelings about Norton's success; fans at book signings, for instance, regularly talk to the cat and not to him. Readers will also enjoy Gethers's candid assessment of their lives together, such as his admission that he was "too selfish to get a second cat for [Norton] to socialize with," and that he slaved daily over healthful home-cooked meals for Norton but often got take-out for himself. (On-sale Sept. 9) Forecast: Norton was the first cat to get a New York Times obit, and People magazine included him in a "Notable Deaths" feature along with Stanley Kubrick, Joe DiMaggio and King Hussein. An author tour and inevitable media attention will give this book the proverbial nine lives. Copyright 1999 Cahners Business Information.

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School Library Journal Reviews 2001 December
Adult/High School-Norton, the urbane yet humble Scottish Fold, became famous as The Cat Who Went to Paris (1992) and continued his adventures in Provence in A Cat Abroad (1994, both Fawcett) but, to the disappointment of his many fans, took early retirement at the age of 10. Gethers now reveals the details of the feline's final years. Here Norton travels less-though he still makes an occasional appearance at Spago, takes the Concorde to Europe, and upstages film stars from Paris to the Hamptons. Though kidney failure and cancer slow him down and ultimately defeat him, he never loses his charm, composure, or talent for making the most of his life. In his old age, Norton makes a farewell tour of all his favorite spots, undergoes medical procedures with dignity, and enjoys the sun on his preferred park bench-inside a most amusing dog run in New York City. Though it's clear that Gethers has a high-powered career, he somehow succeeds in portraying himself simply as a callow fellow blessed with an awesome cat. As Norton's health problems gradually take over both their lives, the author learns how to care for an invalid and, ultimately, to mourn the death of a loved one. Those who knew Norton when he was young will be grateful that Gethers shared this story. Others can find a different perspective here on medicine, aging, friendship, and grief; the value of humor; or just the meaning of life.-Christine C. Menefee, Fairfax County Public Library, VA Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.

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