Lara the Runaway Cat: One Cat’s Journey to Discover Home is Where the Heart is

Almost two years ago exactly, I endeavored to start this website—unawares of what shape it would take or where it would lead. At this time, I was desperately sad as my faithful cat had just passed away, and I was missing her terribly. I’ll never forget seeing the ad for a book called Finding Gobi by Dion Leonard. I was irresistibly drawn to it, and something told me I just had to read this book. I bought it the day it came out and I laughed and cried and read in wonder at the heartwarming story of such a unique bond between animal and human, and it helped me heal and be grateful for my own special connection with my beloved cat. I enjoyed the book so much that—on a whim—I wrote to the author to tell him so, as well as to ask him for an interview and… amazingly—he said yes! I was ever so excited, and Finding Gobi became the very first article posted on Since then, I have interviewed other incredible people and have made dear, dear friends; but that first article will always hold an extra special place in my heart. Dion recently came out with a new book and cheerfully corresponded with me again! His latest is about Gobi’s feline sister and is titled: Lara the Runaway Cat. If I could say one thing that I’ve learned from all of this, it is to listen to that small voice inside you that is pulling you towards a certain something. It could be something as simple as a book; or in Dion’s case—a little animal that suddenly starts following you! I’m forever grateful to Dion, Lucja, Gobi, and Lara. Allow me to introduce you to their first novel!

It’s great to see Gobi again! How is she doing?

Gobi’s doing great, she’s about to turn 5 (on 20th June) and is happy and healthy. We are currently living in Chamonix France which is a beautiful village in the Alps and Gobi has loved the winter and all the snow that came with it. Gobi is really living the dream and loving her new life, its so wonderful to see her adventures and the journey she’s been on since being a stray dog in the Chinese Gobi desert.

What made you decide to write a book about her sister, Lara the cat?

There was a lot of interest in how Gobi a stray dog settled in to her new family life in Edinburgh and how she bonded with her new sister Lara the cat. Lara is a rag doll cat who has lived inside her whole life so this was also a huge moment for her to deal with after being the boss of the house for the last 11 years so I thought wouldn’t it be great to have some fun with a story from Lara’s point of view of Gobi coming into her life.

It seems as if many people are either dog or cat people. I love that your little family includes both. What would you say are the best characteristics of each?

Its so funny to see the two of them chasing each other up and down the hallway one minute to sleeping on the bed together the next. I think Gobi has been good for Lara and given her a new lease of life and Lara has been good for Gobi as she’s had to adapt to understanding that its not just about her all the time.

Why should people should get your latest book?

Its a really fun read on how Lara (feeling unloved from all of the attention Gobi receives) decides to put her comfortable life at risk by taking on an adventure leaving home and is forced to decide between her family loyalties and need to experience her own adventure. I think all of us live this decision everyday trying to get the work/life balance right, and I think Lara’s journey will strike chords with readers of all ages.

How’s the ultra marathoning going?

Whilst Gobi is officially retired from the longer distance racing, I’m still running around the world. I recently won a 200 mile non stop race in Australia and am running 4×100 mile races in the USA known as the ‘Grand Slam’ over the summer, along with competing in the Leadman series in Leadville.

Wow. Excuse me for a moment while I pick my jaw up off the floor from that answer. Congratulations and good luck this summer! Ok, back again. Any news on the Finding Gobi film?

Yes, Things are happening behind the scenes. The screenplay had been written, directors and producers are signed up. But 20th Century Fox who has the movie rights was recently bought out by Disney so we don’t know whats happening for the moment on the next steps. Fingers crossed they love the story and want to continue to make the film.

And finally, any other updates that your fans can look forward to?

We’ve just released Finding Gobi in the French language and this year we will reach 20 languages globally with Vietnamese, Bulgarian, Croatian, Slovenian, and Russian coming throughout 2019. Pretty amazing to think how Gobi’s heartwarming and inspiring story has touched so many people around the world.

Lara the Runaway Cat makes a playful catlike leap from Finding Gobi’s non-fiction style to an adorable fictional tale. A perfect gift for the animal lovers in your life, and a great book companion to accompany you to the beach or pool this summer!

One’s a true story. One is a fictional story. Both are all heart!

Get your copy of Lara the Runaway Cat here.

If you haven’t read Finding Gobi yet, stop what you’re doing right now and buy it here.

And of course, don’t forget to keep up with Lara and Gobi on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter here: @findinggobi

You can follow the J. Behind the Desk of J. Dogood on Twitter and Instagram at @missjennifermcd 😉