We get lots of donated books at the library. Some kindly person gave us a copy of this, and my colleague put it in the drawer behind the desk in case I wanted to read it.
I took it home. It's a thin book, a true tale of a young Japanese couple who encourage a neighbour's cat to visit them in their rental home, where they are not allowed pets of their own.
I could not stop reading. It is beautifully written, full of thought and meaning. It's also a strange tale. The couple openly encourage the cat to sleep and eat in their house, but they know it is not a stray. They share it with their neighbour, but the neighbour is not aware of this until something happens.
The cat has a truly deep emotional effect on the author, who admits his wife is more of an animal lover than he is. I can relate to the strong emotions he has for the cat, but the odd thing about the story is the cat does not seem to have any little characteristics that set it apart from any other cat. It's not a Street Cat Bob character, but somehow that makes the story more poignant.
When I finished it, I gave it to another member of staff, who said she had heard of the book and wanted to read it. I admit, I had not heard of it, but it does say Best Seller on the cover.
The story leaves you wanting more, but there are no photos of the cat and very little about the author on google. I would recommend it to any animal lover, even though essentially it is quite sad.
I don't really know how to describe how it made me feel. All my cats are strays, but two of the boys were neutered when they turned up. I would not encourage a cat that belonged to someone else into my house, and my cats have all been abandoned that much was obvious from the state of them. I have always contacted cats homes in case someone is looking for them, but I live down a long and dark road that runs through the largest area of farmland on the IOW. In other words, the ideal place to dump a cat.
Kitty was very likely dumped, pregnant, at a very young age. She has always been friendly, but hates certain noises like water, cars and gun shot, even distant gun shot.
Rolly came from a family of farm cats, and wandered down probably looking for a bigger share of food.
Smudge was trying to survive (not very successfully) in a derelict camp site after the occupants of the bungalow left. He had been seen occasionally over there for at least a year before I caught him. He panics if he is shut in a room.
Whiskers if a true farm cat. He arrived as a young and aggressive tom, but his distinct markings are proof that he came from a farm several miles in the opposite direction from Rolly's farm, where the farmer indiscriminately breeds black and white cats. He is still the top cat, and the only one who prefers to stay out all night.
Here he is gently pushing Rolly out of the way, while pretending to be affectionate. This is a trick he practices at every feeding time as well.