Serval Son Reviews
I was lucky enough to know Kris Smith and her beloved Deaken from her days at Shambala since we both were volunteering at the same time. We have kept in contact with each other over the years and I was delighted to be able to read her manuscript and relieve some of the moments in time : the ups and downs she went through with Deaken. Both Kris and Deaken helped out at Shambala when we had our safari tours and at off-site events to educate people about servals and why a wild animal does not make a good pet. I give this book two thumbs up and recommend it to everyone. - Christine M. Link
Deaken was a very lucky kitty.... to have Kris for his serval Mom all his life. And I'm sure Kris feels that she was the lucky one.... to have such a loving and devoted serval son. As others have said, this is a book everyone should read.... particularly those thinking about adopting a wild/exotic animal as a pet. "You are responsible" for the wild creatures that you tame, the book quotes.... just as we should be responsible for each and every domestic pet that we adopt. It is the sad truth, however, that thousands of pets are given up every year by people who did not think through the responsibility that they were taking on.
"Serval Son" is a heartwarming - and heartbreaking - book that should serve as fair warning to people who think they want a wild animal as a pet....and then give it up when they discover what it really takes to care for something wild.
Kristine Smith is a wildlife educator... so she already knew. Kris and Deaken's story is one of love overcoming all.... but even then it was at a cost, both to Kris and to Deaken that was very high. For all the trials, however, there were also lots of laughs and true happiness. DeForest Kelley fans [STAR TREK's Dr. McCoy], will love Deaken's reaction to our favorite "old country doctor" - the other De in Kris' life.... and bless the Kelley's for their loving commitment to helping Deaken and Kris stay together in Hollywood. I've bought copies of "Serval Son" for family members and for a dear friend who works at a local wildlife rescue/education center. And from where he waits for her on the Rainbow Bridge, Deaken continues to help Kris educate us.... – B.R Walker
As an animal lover myself, I was captivated by Kris Smith's unusual story of her connection and devotion to domestic and wild creatures. I loved this book for its honest and compassionate portrayal of a young woman's courage to rescue a serval cat, experience the trauma of providing for his needs, and her unending patience in training and bonding so thoroughly with Deaken. Not wanting to put this book down, I read on and on about the multiple problems that had to be solved daily in order to keep Deaken healthy and safe. The author truly demonstrated a deep love and respect for her serval "son." – Karen Dobbs
Serval Son, I believe, sets out to be a tribute to a beloved furry friend and a cautionary tale about exotic animal ownership. It does all of that and more, admirably - but it does so much more! This book should be required reading because it has such important lessons for everyone, especially children.
As the child of a father who wouldn't sit down to dinner unless/until all his animals were first fed and watered, I applaud the lessons of responsibility, devotion, grit under adversity and love that author Kris Smith imparts by example. Pet ownership of any sort shouldn't be undertaken on a whim but embraced with the expectation that it will be a lifetime commitment. Life happens, of course, but if that were the beginning premise, if the author's example was followed, the pet ownership landscape would be a much brighter picture than we see today. As for Deaken and Kris, they will worm their way squarely into your heart and most likely stay there forever! Great true story, great book! – Sue Morgan
I could not put it down, read it in one sitting. The Author has you right there with her. I laughed out loud and cried my eyes out. The bond she shared with her furry son comes right off the page. It's not something most of us will experience or even consider doing in our lives. What an amazing person she is for having the heart and courage to do it. To follow through with it, no matter how hard it got. But it is sure not something that a normal lay person should do. I think the author Kris is that rare exception who was blessed to have this unique experience. So that she could share her story and educate all of us. A must read for all animal lovers and all that share a planet with these beautiful wild animals. – Pamela McNiven
This is an extraordinary love story between a dedicated, patient, compassionate young woman & the newborn serval kitten she adopts. Readers will learn about the daunting task of raising a wild animal and all the joys & perils involved in Kris's journey of Deaken's care and well being. I was so drawn into their story I read it in one sitting. My deepest respect to Kris for showing Deaken, and the rest of the world, that when one seriously undertakes caring for an animal, it is a lifelong commitment. The photos of their story add to the enjoyment of this wonderful book. – Lynda Lien