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A Snowflake in My Hand

4.07  ·  Rating Details  ·  202 Ratings  ·  40 Reviews
A miracle of a book--a joyous celebration of the unspoken but deeply felt bond between animals and people and, in Roger Caras's words, "a celebration of life in the face of death".
Paperback, 160 pages
Published April 1st 1989 by Delta (first published 1983)
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Dewey by Vicki MyronKris by Patrick O'ScheenHomer's Odyssey by Gwen CooperInto the Wild by Erin HunterCleo by Helen Brown
Best Cat Books
106th out of 177 books — 70 voters
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Cat Lovers List
492nd out of 697 books — 335 voters

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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 483)
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Oct 25, 2011 Laura rated it it was amazing
Shelves: read-in-2006
OMG! I totally forgot I had this book! Somehow, it was lost in the shuffle and I just (joyously) came across it the other day. I sat down and read it almost at once, smiling, laughing, and weeping the whole time. I found it beautiful and touching, heartbreaking and heartwarming. How hard the jobs of these vets and techs must be, to work with such sick animals, but how gratifying. Mooney really hits on some deeply true sentiments concerning life, cats, love, loss, and (especially) the special bon ...more
Apr 17, 2008 Dawn rated it it was amazing
This is perhaps the most touching book I have ever read regarding pet care and pet loss. It brings me to tears every time I read it.
Jun 22, 2015 Cal rated it it was amazing
Ah. This really made me cry...I could have cried a lot more than I did but I was holding it back. I think for me, Clancy's death was the one that affected me the most. Clancy illustrated that trait of cats that make them proud, daring, sneaky, and independent yet affectionate... that thing that you love about them and hate about them at the same time. When he started to go downhill and wasn't able to exert that, it really hit me. For some reason, his loss of swagger and independence seemed so..s ...more
Jul 15, 2015 Kimi rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I have never cried so much at a book. This 152 page book had me sobbing at least 10 times. Even on my lunchbreak at work.
Ellen Pilch
Feb 26, 2015 Ellen Pilch rated it it was amazing
A great book for all cat lovers. This is about a young woman in the early 1980's working on the cancer floor of the Animal Medical Center In New York City. Many of the cats she wroks with are there long term for treatment or were surrendered and the staff continues to treat their cancer. Samantha has several cats of her own at home, but always takes cats from the clinic on vacation with her so they can enjoy being away from the clinic. After reading the book, I understand the title. Each cat is ...more
Mar 30, 2008 faeriemyst rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: cat lovers
A heartwarming (and breaking) book about many of the cats that went through Sam Mooney's life. Ms. Mooney certainly knows cats and she takes you into brief sections of their lives so you get to know and love them too, even though you've never met them. I loved this book (even if I wished it had been longer so I could have spent more time with it!) and it's helped me a bit since the sudden loss of two of my cats. The author's beautiful writing shows us, the reader, that life does go on and their ...more
Aug 10, 2012 Robin rated it it was amazing
One of my favorites, but also the most heartbreaking, touching, etc. You have to read it to understand. There are no words.
Apr 06, 2015 Catsalive rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2015, 2007
3.5 -

In a book that reflects her years of work at New York City's famous Animal Medical Centre, Samantha Mooney creates a miracle of her own - the unforgettable story of dedicated professionals who, faced with sometimes incurable illness among the animals they care for, nevertheless find companionship and laughter in that caring. But above all, this is a story of cats: Clancy, a tiger-suited Irish rogue who refuses to be caged; gentle Oliver Cromwe
Britt Petrosik
Jul 15, 2014 Britt Petrosik rated it it was amazing
I think I'll have to reread this in order to comprehend all of the emotions I worked through while reading it the first time. The writing doesn't always flow the way I'd like it to, but the emotions that the author evokes in the reader more than make up for that. What I found especially touching was the excerpt at the end that almost read like poetry even though it was not.

"She is with me, as real as the winter snow that blends the tears upon my face. And it is only when I try to touch her, to m
Samantha Mooney has a life that is basically run by cats. She lives and works with them everyday in hopes of saving a life.
In A Snowflake in my Hand Mooney tells of life in an oncology clinic for cats. The group that works in the ward become attached to their patients and fight for each cat in a different way.
As the cats come and go in the book I found myself tearing up as the goodbyes were said. There are several cats that Mooney takes to the beach as their last days begin to draw near. She wan
Kris Sellgren
Aug 13, 2013 Kris Sellgren rated it it was amazing
Shelves: reviewed
I couldn't read this a month after our cat Pippin died. But now it has been five months, and I found it helped me with my grief. (view spoiler) ...more
Oct 09, 2012 Kim rated it it was amazing
This book is so moving and anyone who has ever shared their lives with a most beloved cat (and lost them to an old age or illness) will not be able to read it without crying your eyes out. Ms. Mooney conveys the closeness and love that only a fellow cat lover would understand. If you are special enough to have had a cat share their self with you the way so many did with Ms. Mooney, you will love this book. I will be passing this book on to many friends and family.
May 13, 2013 C rated it it was amazing
Shelves: reread, favorites
I reread this book every few years, usually crying through the last fifty pages or so and feeling kind of flattened for at least a few days afterward. I don't know of any other book that affects me like that - or another that makes me want to reread it after it made me sad. It talks a lot about love and loss and grief and quality of life, in a way that nothing else has ever spoken to me.

Deborah Sigel
Aug 10, 2013 Deborah Sigel rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Do NOT read this if you had difficulty reading Marley & Me or The Art of Racing in the Rain. This is a wonderful book but there is a lot of sadness. It's about people in an animal hospital treating cancer in cats. There is some success, but just like in humans, there is a lot of failure.
It's a quick read but don't do it on a gray, dreary day.
Sep 05, 2015 DubaiReader rated it really liked it
Shelves: bookcrossing, 2015
A book for cat lovers.

I enjoyed this book, a memoir by a veterinary nurse who was working in the oncology section of New York City's Animal Medical Center. She obviously has a passion for cats; she seems to love those in the treatment centre as much as her growing population at home.
Sometimes I thought she seemed to relate to cats better than people and the sorrow at the loss of a couple of her most loved patients was possibly even greater than at the death of her father.

The book was published i
Oct 17, 2008 Marlena rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Animal lovers esp those who love cats
Recommended to Marlena by: A friend of the family gave it to me.
A beautiful book about the connections formed between humans and their cats. Filled with laughter and tears this book will forever be on my bookshelf
Mar 13, 2015 LA rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Different and poetic

I wasn't sure what to expect from an older book about cats and vets. This one was different than the other vet tech books I've read. The writing is almost lyrical, which is a nice surprise in a book in this genre. I recommend it.
Lisa Catchpole
Jul 30, 2015 Lisa Catchpole rated it it was amazing
This book broke my heart, after I finished it I gave my cat Tigger one of the longest hugs ever.
Jan 28, 2016 Judy rated it really liked it
This is a book for all cat lovers. I'm a dog lover but I still enjoyed this.
Dilly Dalley
Dec 25, 2015 Dilly Dalley rated it liked it
Recommends it for: Vets, people who are interested in caring for animals, people who love cats
I was a bit surprised by what I learnt about myself when I read this book. The author cares for terminally ill cats and weaves together a story of her own life, the cats' lives and veterinary medicine. I was touched by her patience and care and her ability to portray the personalities of the animals in her care. It was quite sad in parts and I surprised myself by thinking that continuously caring for and applying medical procedures and treatments to terminally ill cats is a worthwhile pursuit. I ...more
Jul 31, 2014 Sophie rated it it was amazing
Well, its for cat lovers!and a good one!And cries!
Feb 25, 2016 Candace rated it really liked it
Emotional read.
Feb 03, 2016 Shinyfox rated it it was amazing
A Beautiful story and a quick read. The only thing I had a problem with was the way the Author wrote her sentences. They felt short, stilted and I had to adjust my way of reading to follow her way of writing. Still, this book is a tear jerker and a heart melter. You find yourself seeing each cat she describes and learning to love them just as she fell in love with them.
Lozzi Counsell
Jan 11, 2015 Lozzi Counsell rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I found following Samantha's life a beautiful but painful experience, as a fellow cat lover. I cannot even begin to comprehend the feelings I felt whilst reading this. I would recommend keeping tissues handy, as I must have cried on at least five different occasions reading this!
Aug 13, 2009 Elhara rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Not really what I was expecting. A peek into a facility offering care to pets (almost all cats) who have forms of cancer. Special staff and special owners experience joy and sadness. A very nicely written glimpse into a world I hope to only read about.
Jun 19, 2009 Michelle rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Such a great book! I cried with happiness and sadness many times while reading this. The author makes you fall in love with each cat and share her feelings for them. I recommend this book to all animal lovers.
Jun 20, 2012 Moondance rated it really liked it
A quick easy read that made me cry. Lovely story and wonderful cats. It really touched me because I have been in that type of clinic with several different cats and it truly is heartwrenching. 4 stars
Sep 04, 2010 Merceda rated it liked it
It was a decent book. The writing wasn't smooth, and didn't flow readily from scene to scene. But the premise was good and talked a lot about numerous cats going through veterinary treatments.
Patty Conway
Aug 03, 2013 Patty Conway rated it it was amazing
As a guardian of multiple cats who has dealt with illness and death of beloved pets, this book made me laugh, and it let me cry. Great book.
Aug 05, 2007 Amy rated it liked it
Recommends it for: animal lovers or those who work in a vet clinic
Shelves: cat-books
Sad all the way through but pulls your heart strings...a good weep over our feline companions in this world and those who lovingly care for them.
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