Almost anyone who knows me at all knows that I’m a cat person. I am not, however, the sort of cat person who collects cat paraphernalia or reads cutesy-poo books about cats. But, cutesy-poo or not, this little book just charmed the heck out of me. In it, author Sam Stall offers a collection of stories, usually one or two pages long, about real-life cats who made some kind of mark on history or culture.
This book includes stories of cats who went to sea, cats who appeared in paintings, cats who kept company with famous authors and political figures, and cats who became famous in their own right. Of course, not all the cats mentioned here made positive contributions. The first story in the book is about, the cat who single-handedly (paw-ed-ly?) brought about the extinction of the Stephens Island wren. There are narrow escapes (Precious, who survived the 9-11 attack on the World Trade Center) and tragic ends (Mrs. Chippy, who was killed on Shackleton’s expedition to the Antarctic).
For me, this book was just the thing for reading at the breakfast table. It’s nice, but not taxing; a pleasant start to the day, but easy to walk away from. I certainly wouldn’t put this book in the category of great literature, and it isn’t meant to be that, but it would make a nice little gift for a cat-loving friend.