Old Mother, Little Cat is a highly readable memoir of Gerber’s mother’s decline in health and how their relationship grew during this time, blended in with Gerber’s finding a kitten and her developing relationship with Max (the name she gives the kitten).
“In this well-written and touching memoir, Gerber, a short-story writer and novelist (The Kingdom of Brooklyn) details her mother’s agonizing decline in a nursing home. Although her mind is clear, Gerber’s mother is fed through a tube, rarely gets out of bed and repeatedly tells her daughter how much she longs for death. After she adopts an abandoned kitten that she calls Maxie, Gerber’s depression over her mother’s illness lifts. She finds caring for her new pet therapeutic and takes delight in the kitten’s daily activities. Occasionally, Gerber’s gushy expressions of her love for Maxie cloy, but her description of the strong emotional bonds between her mother and herself, despite the suffering they both endure, is skillfully rendered. Gerber has done an excellent job of conveying her mother’s strength and humanity despite her weakened and often humiliating condition.” —Publishers Weekly
ABOUT MERRILL JOAN GERBER
Merrill Joan Gerber is a prize-winning novelist and short story writer. Among her novels are The Kingdom of Brooklyn, winner of the Ribalow Award from Hadassah Magazine for “the best English-language book of fiction on a Jewish theme,” Anna in the Afterlife, chosen by the Los Angeles Times as a “Best Novel of 2002” and King of the World, which won the Pushcart Editors’ Book Award.