Books about cats and other pets

From ANIMAL PEOPLE, November 1993:

The Golden Song,
by Jan Brinckerhoff Chase. J.N. Townsend
(12 Greenleaf Drive, NH 03833), 1993.
32 pages. $16.95, hardback.
Pictures and story lilt across the
pages of a sunny picture book about a little
old lady, Mrs. Thackeray, who adores
above all else her canary named Caruso. His
happy music charms every moment of her
otherwise quiet life. She recognizes his
longing to join the wild canary flock that
brightens her garden one day, but she fears
that any avian companionship might end his
singing. She broods about the potential loss,
but finally gratitude and love impell her to
the pet shop to choose a big cage and their
prettiest female canary. When the others fly
that night, and he and the cage come in, is
she wrong to expect a cheerless silence
where there had been joyful song?

It is good to see a book about
feathered pets. I suspect this meets a real
need for the many children who can only
keep, or who prefer, birds as pets.
A Gathering Of Cats, by Era
Zistel. J.N. Townend (12 Greenleaf
Drive, NH 03833), 1993. 125 pages.
$11.95, paperback.
I sometimes share with the rulers
of old a certain frustrated rage with messen-
gers. Era Zistel does not exactly make me
want to attack her as the messenger, but
she does engages the reader’s interest in
each of her cat protagonists’ uniqueness,
for baby cuddliness, for aged gallantness,
for friendship from the cat beyond gratitude
for food and home, and then hits with the
manner of the cat’s demise. The cats in A
Gathering were all once hers. Five fell to
hunters, “for fun.” If I were a cat rescuer,
like Zistel, this end for my cats might soon
send me to join Jean Harris and other ladies
of refinement turned convict, as a huntress
of hunters. Another cat was accidentally
euthanized upon arrival at a shelter, yet
another by an unskilled and uncaring veteri-
narian. Such stories arouse disturbing emo-
tion; but Zistel also beguiles and tantalizes
with the mysteriousness of cats and their
ways. Some of the protagonists are still
alive, and of course give her great joy, and
her readers will enjoy the skillful and lov-
ing photographs she uses throughout.
A Cat Abroad, by Peter Gethers.
Crown, 1993. 256 pages. $16, hard-
Norton, not diamonds, not
blondes, not the ladylove, is Mr. Gethers’
best friend. Norton is a small, quiet, self-
assured, astute and worldly grey gentleman
with flat ears. He is that aristocrat, a
Scottish Fold, the hero of Mr. Gethers’ pre-
vious book, Norton: The Cat Who Went to
Paris. Norton is the cynosure of all as he
travels about the south of France in a shoul-
der bag enjoying Provencal cuisine, the
scenery and populace with perfect aplomb.
The French, often accused of hauteur, real-
ly warm up to a feline guest in their restau-
rants and hotels, as what greater challenge
could there be than to please a
Discriminating Taste? A cat won’t patron-
ize with civilities when things aren’t up to
four-star standards. Provence enthusiasts
and cat afficionados will find recreation in
these pages.
[Phyllis Clifton is a retired
schoolteacher, now living in Concrete,
Print Friendly

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.