Review of “A Forever Home for Athena”, by Marie Symeou

First of all, I would like to say that Marie’s last name goes very well with her genre of choice.  (SimmMEOW…)

That being said, on with the review:

Kicked out from their home by an uncaring family member, two kittens are left on their own to survive.  With very little experience in the outside world, they are reduced to eating grass and licking up rain puddles to keep alive from one frightening day to the next.

Until the day someone picks them up and takes them to a shelter.  Cowering and afraid, overwhelmed by smells foreign and dangerous (to them), the sisters huddle together in their captivity, not knowing what will come their way next.

Assurances from the other cats in the room, regular (but insubstantial) food, and interaction with humans help the kits adjust to life within walls again.  They start to take an interest in their surroundings, especially the various attitudes of the humans who come to see them.  It is highly fortunate, in a couple of cases, that the shelter insists on a background check on families and individuals who come in to adopt cats.  There are those whose outward attitudes and/or inner animosity make all of the shelter dwellers nervous; when they are turned away, all of the cats sigh with relief.

The two sisters begin to think that they will be spending the rest of their lives in their ample, but dreary, cage.  Then one day a woman and her mother come in and change their lives completely.

One sister, now called Athena–the narrator of this tale–finds herself in a new home, surrounded by food, toys, her own pillow, and all  the love she could ever want.

Then suddenly she is in the carrying cage again.  Athena worries that she has somehow angered her women.  Will she be thrown into the shelter again?  Or worse?  Will she ever see her warm, comfortable home again?


One of the things I loved most about this book was the pictures of Athena, whose fictional past and true present are told in these pages.  I could really feel the emotions this kitty was feeling, as she survives the fierce outdoors, protects her sister, gets used to the dreary but safe protection of the shelter, and experiences the ups and downs of beginning to trust again.

I am really hoping that Ms. Symeou writes a follow-up story, fictionalizing what happens with the other kit.  Like Athena, I do worry about her.

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