Book review: ‘No Matter What: Caring for Critters through Hell and High Water’

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Cover of the book, 'No Matter What: Caring for Critters through Hell and High Water'
Critter lady Kelly Meister-Yetter has her hands full in the fourth installment of her popular animal-themed memoirs.
By Sally Rosenthal

No Matter What: Caring for Critters through Hell and High Water by Kelly Meister-Yetter. Independently published, 2020. Softcover, 273 pages, $16.99.

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Good news! The “critter lady” is back with more happenings and musings about her beloved ducks, cats, dogs, horses ― and this time around, a family of trapped raccoons, an ailing hawk and one very determined skunk. Yes, Kelly Meister-Yetter, who is proud of her critter lady status, continues to open her heart and share her animal family’s antics.

No Matter What is the fourth installment in the author’s series of memoirs of life with a household and beyond of rescued animals and one greatly outnumbered husband.

Readers familiar with the three previous volumes will find Meister-Yetter’s trademark compassion and humor, but No Matter What goes deeper into the human-animal bond. A little older and settled into marriage, the author throws her energy into a horse rescue charity and tries to live every remaining moment with her beloved aging cat, June Bug.

Faced with a very ill cat and a vacation to London looming, she makes the difficult choice to say goodbye to June Bug before the trip, knowing the little cat would die alone if she left her to pass naturally. As merciful as this final act of love was, it haunts Meister-Yetter for months. Excessive? No, merely the guilt of one woman who could not make her cat live forever. We have all been there at one time or another, but the author’s honesty about grief turns her personal loss into an experience in which readers will find recognition and comfort.

The book isn’t shrouded in sadness, however. The ins and outs of the unpredictability of daily life with a menagerie is often hilarious. Personally, I am eagerly awaiting book five from my favorite critter lady.

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