Friday, April 12, 2013

That Cat That God Sent by Jim Kraus

The Cat that God Sent by Jim Kraus is a second novel in the new series of books of talking animals. Fantasy is normally reserved for Children's novels, but Kraus delivers an imaginative tale, thoughtfully and intelligently written for adult readers.  Starting with his first book The Dog that talked to God, Kraus has started a new genre in Christian literature breaking free from the Amish and Western romance novels that saturate the Christian fiction market. In his books, domestic pets enter into the life of a spirtually confused character in the midst of a crossroads in life.  in the first book it was a dog named Rufus.  In this novel, the common sense talking animal is in the form of a cat.  The animal acts as a personal  conscious -giving advice based on common sense and spiritual principles. I imagine the pet featured in subsequent novels may include a reptile of some sort or a small animal such as a bunny or guinea pig.  A pattern in his books is that the dilemma faced by the character involves relationships and courtship and faith. Much like most other Christian fiction novels- yet Kraus delivers an interesting twist.

The hero is an overly confident, spiritually immature,  luke warm, young pastor- regretably, an accurate reflection of the times.  The cat's personality is well developed.  The author gets inside the mind of a cat giving the reader a unique glimpse into what a sentient cat's thought processes would be.  Not only is it a miraculous thinking cat, this cat takes on the role of a prophet In that he is sent from God. The cat also takes on the role of a psychiatrist as he analyzes his owner, Jake's behaviors.  In contrast to the first novel in which there is a question of the dog being simply a figment of the imagination of the heroine- the reader is treated to insight of the cat's thoughts independently from the hero. Ironically Jake, a pastor, supposedly an expert on spiritual truth, is the one who needs ministering; and of all things- truth comes from a cat. Unlike Rufus the dog, Petey the cat communicates through mental telepathy to Jake. Some of the other characters I found to be irritating and annoying such as the attention seeking pregnant 19 year old Tassy.  She passes through town putting up a charade of innocence like a stray kitten. The desperate Emma's attempts at getting the pastor's attention are also too sterotypical.  At one point Emma's efforts to convince Tassy to abort are thwarted by the cat. At first it almost seems as if this book morphed into a soap opera drama.  Yet unexpectedly, Emma recieves the forgiveness and healing she had been seeking all her life as a result of lasting guilt from  an abortion she had years ago.

 I'd like to challenge a writer to write a fiction novel leaving out the romance and drama part entirely.   Personally I feel its an over used topic.    To the authors credit, this is an entertaining and wholesome book with a strong message of forgiveness. I hope yhe author turns this type of book into a series.  I'd like to see what talking prophetic animal he thinks of next.   As a blogger I received this book published by Abington press from Litfuse publicity.

The Cat That God Sent  Litfuse publicity tour information

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