Published by: Ingrid King. Last Updated on: February 1, 2023 by Crystal Uys


Research has found that a cat’s purr can heal body tissues and bones, and that simply petting a cat can lower your blood pressure. Those of us who share our lives with cats don’t need convincing that cats have healing powers, and I would bet that for most of us, our feline family members have occasionally served as furry therapists. In Purr Therapy: What Timmy and Marina Taught Me About Life, Love and Loss, psychotherapist Dr. Kathleen McCoy shares her experience of how two very special cats helped her in her work with her patients.

This book provides a fascinating and close-up look at how these two cats worked with McCoy’s patients, bringing healing in often unexpected ways. McCoy never intended to use cats in her work. In the case of Timmy, a longtime patient had called for an emergency session over a weekend, so McCoy saw the patient at her home. “When Timmy heard the woman crying, he came running, jumped on her lap, dried her paws with his tears, and rubbed his face against hers before curling up on her lap,” said McCoy in an interview with her publicist. Years later, Marina ran into her office while a father and son were arguing during a session. Her presence calmed the duo, and opened the door for some calmer and more productive dialogue.

I loved this book on a lot of different levels. I enjoyed reading about the various ways in which the two cats helped McCoy’s clients. I also loved reading about the author’s personal relationship with her cats and how they’ve enriched her and her husband’s life. Her husband suffered from seizures, depression and night terrors, and the cats always managed to calm him down.

In addition to the narrative, the book also features life lessons from Timmy and Marina, as well as a section on enduring lessons for the grieving process, something the author, like so many of us, learned the hard way after losing her beloved cats.

This inspiring memoir will warm your heart, make you shed a few tears, and give you a whole new appreciation for the gifts the cats in your life have given you.

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8 Comments on Review: Purr Therapy by Kathy McCoy

  1. Cats are Amazing!! They sense and know things that most people just can’t “detect”.. medically speaking, they can sense illness and even injury and notify their owners of.. With my baby, since my disabling injury and then later neck surgery… She started massaging my shoulders and where my neck attaches to my body.. as I breath through and areas open up, then she works directly on my neck injury(ies). She’s pretty darn Amazing!!! Certainly Heaven sent!! We’ve always been close too, so think that’s how she knew!! In the 6/2 to 7 yrs. before this injury, she did not ever do anything like that ever.. granted I didn’t have to lay down and ice my neck everyday/night either (before it). She detected all the differences from the injury and neck fusion.
    There are a lot more stories of how cats (and dogs too!) have saved their owners than I had ever known about before any of this with my baby. God Bless her and all of their beautiful hearts and souls. Precious Angels!!

  2. I lead a solitary life working from home with my two cats and my house-keeper as companions. Honestly, without my two cats my life and living would have been different as they act as a buffer in my profession as a professional speculator and a hobby blogger writer.The soft purring of my cats as well as occasionally petting them soothes frayed stressed nerves or “Writers Bloc”.Other cat owners in different professions or vocations would agree with my experiences as a cat owner.

    • I’ve always felt that cats make the purrfect companions for writers, Rudolph. I love working from home, but I’m not sure I’d enjoy it as much if it wasn’t for my two girls keeping me company.

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