BOOKS: Diary of a Cat

From ANIMAL PEOPLE, January/February 1996:

D i a ry of a Cat, by Leigh Rutledge.
Dutton (375 Hudson St., New York, NY
10014), 1995. $12.95, hardback.

After Dear Tabby, this book by the
same author may disappoint, because the
feline diarist focuses not on cats, but less
realistically, on human conversations and
activities. The details eventually merge into a
“fur-fetched” plot. For example, a mysterious
animal named Vlad, of unspecified
species, does in a villainous woman who gets
buried in the flower bed, and at the final
word of this book the deed has still presented
no problems. Some of the cats’ antics, while

funny, seem improbable; but then, I don’t
keep 24 cats, as does author Leigh Rutledge,
so I concede him to be the authority.
Humans are gently cariCATured,
bringing out a hidden message: “the trouble
with kittens is that they grow up to be cats” is
true of us, too. We all become the unlovely
needy old, and we may dote on our pets
absurdly, because they offer solace. And we
owe the aged pet the same solace.
Rutledge does provide a happy ending,
insofar as there can be one.
––Phyllis Clifton

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