Anne Stockton


Anne Stockton has always had a cat in the house. During prohibition there was "Hooch", followed by Persian Princess, Cinderella, Ashy, Sooty, DandyLion and many more. The eighty-eight year old painter, who lives in a small cottage in the English countryside has always loved her cats, but none of them inspired her more than "Honey-Bun." "..For I never knew, and I have known many, such a Perfect Cat. He taught me love, compassion and also what I should have given to my children and was too scared, too immature at twenty to be able to fulfil or even conceive".

So writes Stockton in her new book "Honey-Bun", a beautifully illustrated memoir of the short life and heartrending death of her four year old ginger male cat. After a reckless driver ran Honey-Bun down, Stockton sought ways to work through her grief. What followed was a small book of tribute, filled with photographs and the story of the life and times that she and Honey-Bun had shared together. Stockton went down to the local copy shop, patched together about twenty copies of the story and gave them away to friends.

Enter a visiting cousin from America who happens to be a book publisher. Stockton showed her cousin the book just for fun, never guessing what would be the result. " I thought it was remarkable" says Megan Haas of Seattle's Educare Press. " I thought it would make a beautiful gift-book. Anne is such a marvelous artist and so the first thing I did was ask her if she would be interested in making paintings to replace the photographs, just as a project." Stockton was game and began immediately, deciding to work in pastels. The results were phenomenal. Says Haas, "Every few months after that I would receive these incredible drawings in the mail. They just bowled me over. They ran through an astonishing range of emotions, from intense grief to the most extraordinary joy. "

And indeed, this beautiful hardcover is highlighted by the most bewitching illustrations, illuminating the will and whimsy of this Perfect Cat. Not only is Stockton a dazzling artist, but she is also a wonderful writer and thinker. Honey-Bun is both a personal memoir and a spiritual journey. Through death, Stockton finds solace in her ability to explore the nature of life. In a wonderful weave of words, art and philosophy, we begin to understand how the pain of losing a beloved companion can bring us closer to an understanding of our entire lives and lead to a glorious rebirth.

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