Movie and television actress Gina Gershon (Showgirls, Curb Your Enthusiasm) considers herself a cat lady. In her new book, In Search of Cleo: How I Found My Pussy and Lost My Mind, Gershon recounts the story of the two-month search for her beloved cat Cleo, after her assistant lost the cat while taking her to a groomer in Los Angeles.
Cleo, a beautiful black panther, came into Gerhson’s life while she was living in New York City. One snowy night, she heard the tiny black kitten howling in her building’s courtyard. She opened her window, and quietly gave directions to the scared kitten on how to come inside through her bedroom window: “Go to the left, onto the table, jump to the slight ledge that leads to my window, and come inside!” Before she knew it, the kitten leaped inside, right into Gina’s arms. It was love at first sight. Gershon’s boyfriend was not a cat person, but the kitten won him over in no time, and Gershon decided to name the little master seductress Cleopatra. A subsequent visit to the vet revealed that Cleo was a he, but Gershon had gotten so used to calling “her” Cleo that she didn’t want to change the name.
Gina lived every cat parent’s nightmare when she came back from the Cannes film festival and was told that Cleo had gone missing. Gina’s assistant had wrapped Cleo in a towel, and he got spooked and ran away. By the time the actress returned home, Cleo had already been missing for three days. Gershon launched a two-month search for Cleo that involved help from unlikely sources, including a pet psychic, Ellen DeGeneres, and a santeria priest.
In addition to telling the story of her search for Cleo, Gershon also shares stories of the other cats that have been a part of her life, drawing parallels between her love for cats and her relationship with men. This little book is as much a book about the search for true love as it is a book about a girl and her cat.
I found the passages of Gina’s search difficult reading, even though you can’t help but smile, and occasionally roll your eyes, at the quirky characters and at times rather unorthodox methods she resorted to in her desperation to find the missing cat. I clung to the hope that, given the book’s title, Cleo would eventually be found. You’ll just have to read for yourself to find out!
This charming and often funny memoir was both touching and poignant, and is a delightful read for cat lovers. I suspect that many of us will recognize ourselves in Gina.
Coming soon: an interview with Gina Gershon!
Besides her many movie and television roles, Gina Gershon is a founding member of the New York City theater group Naked Angels and coauthor of the children’s book Camp Creepy Time. She lives in New York. For more information, plesase visit http://www.GinaGershon.com.
This book was sent to me by the publisher. Receiving the complimentary copy did not influence my review.