Book review: ‘P.S. I Love You More Than Tuna’

P.S. I Love You More Than Tuna, with text by Sarah Chauncey and illustrations by Francis Tremblay. Sounds True (2020), hardcover, 112 pages, $15.99.

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From the time we surrender to the irresistible charm of a shelter kitten waiting for adoption, or from the day the stray ginger tabby in your garden decides your home would suit him very nicely, thank you, the clock is ticking. As any animal lover knows, humans usually outlive their companion animals. It is easy to push that thought to the back of our minds until the inevitable occurs.

When a beloved feline dies, many cat lovers are not prepared for the profound sadness accompanying the loss. Even if we have suffered the loss of previous companion cats, the pain is just as devastating. Our grief is often trivialized or minimized by a society that has a long way to go until it can recognize the depth of grief we carry in our hearts for our departed pets. However, Sarah Chauncey and Francis Tremblay, the author and illustrator, respectively, do understand.

Both cat lovers, Sarah and Francis have created a gift book for adults coping with losing a feline soul mate. Sarah’s text explores the bond between feline and guardian, complete with all the oddball and sweet moments, and adventures shared. Her belief that the love between a cat and her person is eternal, is comforting ― a source of solace. Francis’ monochrome black-and-white sketches, with an occasional splash of soft blue, are the perfect elegant and understated accompaniment to Sarah’s wise words.

As a former grief counselor on a community pet bereavement hotline and as a book reviewer for almost 30 years, I have seen quite a number of books dealing with the subject of grief when a companion animal dies. P.S. I Love You More Than Tuna stands out for its simplicity and beauty.