Picks and Pans Review: Scarlett Saves Her Family

updated 10/27/1997 AT 01:00 AM EST

originally published 10/27/1997 AT 01:00 AM EST

by Jane Martin & J.C. Suarès

There are cat people—people who think cats are cuddly-wuddly little cutesy-wootsies—and there are people who think cats are just cats. Exactly how you feel about felines will affect how much your heart is melted by this true story of a stray calico cat who, in March 1996, scurried into a burning Brooklyn garage five times to save her kittens. The remarkable Scarlett not only scorched her paws but also became a media darling who visited with Kathie Lee and made Oprah cry. Still, being a cat person helps one to fully appreciate the gushy earnestness of authors Martin (coauthor of last year's Cats in Love) and Suarès (who has dozens of cat books to his credit): Pregnant Scarlett, they tell us, "felt the little kicks in her belly, felt the gnawing hunger of never having enough...."

The story ends happily with Scarlett and her kittens finding nice homes and loving owners, not to mention a book deal. There isn't a cat lover alive who won't be moved by this book—nor a noncat person who won't be tempted to say, "Frankly, Scarlett, I don't give a damn." (Simon & Schuster, $20)

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