WOW Book Review – But First, Rumi by Chitra Ramaswami


I am honoured to be part of the WOW! Women of Writing Blog Tour for Chitra Ramaswami’s memoir But First, Rumi which I read and am now reviewing.

(Please note: I received a free copy in exchange for my honest review.)


My Review

Having had cats as pets for most of my life and the last for twenty-one years (still miss her), I found myself drawn to read this memoir – for its diversity and for Rumi. It did not disappoint. I know the wonderful benefits of owning a cat and it was so interesting to see the relationship build between the bedraggled, starving stray and Ramaswami. 

The first couple of chapters were slow, but once the cat she rescued became a part of Ramaswami’s life, I was quickly drawn in.

We learn early about her mysterious illness that can’t seem to be identified, and though her fears about it stay with her, it is her finding, helping and adopting the stray cat which dominates the book. It was interesting to see glimpses of life in Oman and even the varying reactions to the cat of her family = from fear to even dislike.

Ramaswami had no idea how to care for a cat, yet she persevered in learning how to train it and care for it.

Each chapter begins with a quote from the poet Rumi.  Throughout her book, Ramaswami offers insights about cats, relationships, about life.

At the end of the book there is a very informative section on “Why should the stray cats in Oman Matter”, as well as ways to move forward to help this situation.

I found this memoir informative, enjoyable and full of insights. It was a short read, and one I would highly recommend.



but first Rumi Ebook cover

Book Summary

When Chitra discovered a stray cat in need of help, she never thought they’d wind up saving each other. Struggling to come to terms with an unexpected diagnosis, Chitra returned home to Oman seeking a sense of familiarity. What she discovered instead was a very special cat who changed her life. But First, Rumi is the story of how, day by day, Rumi and Chitra got to know one another, and as she learned to love the little stray, she began to see greater life lessons about herself, her family, her home country and her place in the world. 

What unfolds when girl and cat meet? What happens when you follow your heart? What if the world is not as it seems? Is it worth taking a chance? 

Print Length: 158 Pages

Genre: Memoir

But First, Rumi is available to purchase now on



About the Author, Chitra Ramaswami

chitra author

Chitra Ramaswami was born and raised in the Middle East by Indian parents, and her childhood was spent reading every book she could lay her hands on or writing stories and lines of poetry. As a result of traveling the world extensively and being a natural linguist, she is an amalgamation of many cultures and tastes and is constantly looking for the next experience she can immerse herself in. When she isn’t writing, Chitra rides horses, climbs mountains and is a passionate advocate for the Omani Mau/ street cat. She currently lives in New York with her husband and a very spoiled cat and hamster duo. 


Find her online at:      Author’s website 



Be sure to visit all the stops on the tour – for interviews, special blog posts, giveaways and more reviews.

– Blog Tour Dates


March 15th @ WOW! Women on Writing 

Join us at the WOW blog, The Muffin, to celebrate the launch of Chitra Ramaswami’s book But First, Rumi. You can read an interview with the author, find out more information about this touching memoir, and win a copy for yourself! 


March 16th @ Hook of a Book 

Join Erin as she shares a guest post by the author about Omani street cats. 


March 20th @ Boots Shoes and Fashion 

Visit Linda’s blog to read her interview with author, Chitra Ramaswami about her book But First, Rumi 


March 20th @ Pages and Paws

Visit Kristine’s blog today to read her review of But First, Rumi by Chitra Ramaswami.


March 21st @ Shoe’s Seeds & Stories 

Visit Linda’s blog today to read her review and spotlight for But First, Rumi by Chitra Ramaswami. 


March 25th @ Keeping it Real 

Join Lisa as she shares a guest post by the author about how to get past writer’s block. 


March 26th @ Author Anthony Avina 

Visit Anthony’s blog as he shares a guest post about cats and mental health and reviews But First, Rumi by Chita Ramaswami. 


March 28th @ The Faerie Review 

Visit Lily’s blog where she interviews author Chitra Ramaswami. 


March 29th @ Beverley A. Baird’s Blog 

Join Bev as she shares her thoughts about But First, Rumi by Chitra Ramaswami. 


March 30th @ Lisa’s Reading 

Visit Lisa’s blog where she reviews But First, Rumi by Chitra Ramaswami. 


April 1st @ Knotty Needle 

Visit Judy’s blog and read her review of this touching memoir for pet lovers, But First, Rumi. You can also win a copy of the book too! 


April 5th @ Reviews and Interviews

Join Lisa as she interviews author Chitra Ramaswami about her book But First, Rumi.


April 5th @ Note to the World

Come by Mahnoor’s blog today and read the review of But First, Rumi by Chitra Ramaswami.


April 7th @ It’s Alanna Jean 

Join Alanna as she shares a guest post by Chitra Ramaswami about the misconceptions about cats.


April 13th @ Deborah-Zenha Adams 

Join Deborah as she shares a guest post about writing process by the author of But First, Rumi 







4 thoughts on “WOW Book Review – But First, Rumi by Chitra Ramaswami

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