The Dalai Lama’s Cat
By David Michie
Hay House, 2012
Here is a novel where the Dalai Lama’s cat tells her life story. As a kitten, she is kidnapped by children in Delhi who tried to sell her and her siblings. The Dalai Lama sees her from his car and sends his attendant to rescue this tired and starving creature who is covered with mud and takes her to Dhardmsala. She is nursed back to health in the beautiful sanctuary overlooking the Himalayas. The cat becomes known as HHC-His Holiness’s Cat—also called Snow Lion or Rinpoche (meaning Precious). HCC is a Himalayan cat with sapphire eyes.
There are many hilarious moments such as when she brings a dead mouse home or poops at a special ceremony in front of cameras. HHC struggles to diet and experiences a romance with a street cat. She sits beside the Dalai Lama as he meditates and keeps him company and also meets many celebrities like movie stars, authors and philanthropists.
There are a variety of colorful characters. Mrs. Trinci is the Dalai Lama’s lively chef who offers HHC delicious food like a mixture of cod, sole and shrimp. Franc owns the Himalayan Book Café and provides HHC with a lotus cushion on the top shelf of a magazine rack and treats like roast chicken; from there she watches hikers, seekers and retirees. HHC’s descriptions invite many smiles and chuckles. Ludo runs the Downward Dog Yoga School and welcomes HHC to his classes.
I particularly liked how HHC offers highlights about Buddhism. Examples are; the importance of giving happiness to others, placing others at the centre of our thoughts, practising compassion and kindness, living in the moment and positive thinking.
The book provides entertainment for fans of felines and information for those who want to learn about Buddhist philosophy.
David Michie is an author, a keynote speaker, corporate trainer and coach for mindfulness and meditation. This novel was inspired by the author’s cat who died before the book was published. The novel is the first book in a series. See also: The Dalai Lama’s Cat and The Art of Purring (2013), The Dalai Lama’s Cat and The Power of Meow (2015), ) and The Dalai Lama’s Cat and Four Paws of Spiritual Success (2019) and The Dalai Lama’s Cat Awaken the Kitten Within (2021).