Day 248. Cat Crazy?

Have I got a book for you! But first, how I came to find out about the book. I’ve mentioned several times, how much I enjoy the blog Word by Word. Well the other bookday, Tuesday I think, Claire wrote a review of a book called “Lost Cat: A True Story of Love, Desperation and GPS Technology”.

As I read her post I had the eerie feeling the author of said book, Caroline Paul, had channeled me. This wasn’t a book about her, and her cats, it was a book about me, and mine. True enough, I hadn’t gone through all the same experiences she had. One of her cats disappeared for five weeks. I had one who disappeared for only two hours.

But I was every bit as crazed. I had a search party of neighbours running up and down streets, alleys and parks screaming her name. Friends were called to look under parked cars and patrol all the back gardens on the street.

Sobbing, I called my mother, who came tearing over to my house in her nightgown, bathrobe and slippers. She drove, but still, if she’d been stopped for speeding, that would have been interesting, don’t you think? And, refusing to go to work, I sat on my stoop, wailing, hoping to lure her back with a dish of tuna fish.

Just one of my many cat-related adventures (and misadventures). I could write a book or two or three of my own.

So there were no ifs, ands or buts about it. I had to have “Lost Cat” immediately. I even commented on Claire’s blog about it. Said

I was about to download it, right that very minute. And, you should know, it was Claire who said I should blog about it here, once I was done reading. So here I am.

I couldn’t put it down. I didn’t put it down. I started reading it, and didn’t stop until it was finished. And then I was sorry to have reached the end.

First, I love the author’s writing style. She has an easy way with words. She’s funny. Frank. Nuts, in a good way. She’s the first to admit she’s over the top, at least when it comes to her cats. She’s bright. And witty. Just self-depricating enough. And a terrific storyteller. The book is illustrated by her partner; and I love the illustrations every bit as much as the story, itself.

The ‘tone’ of the visuals is bang on. Totally in harmony with the tone of voice. They’re charming and fun, but sophisticated, too. The words and pictures are just perfect foils for each other. Like George Burns and Gracie Allen were. Or Sonny and Cher. I just can’t describe it, any other way. They just worked together.

Page 1 begins with a plane crash. Caroline, the author, was piloting an ‘experimental plane’ (sailcloth, aluminum tubing and a lawnmower engine). It crashed. Surprise, Surprise. She was injured. Several broken bones, bloody wounds, bruises, but no internal bleeding or brain damage. Thankfully. Luckily. What she was doing flying this contraption, or why, was never revealed. I must admit, I’m dying to know. Of course curiosity killed the cat, so maybe I should just forget about it.

(pun intended). Insert drum roll here.

Begining to surface from the haze she’d been in since crashing, she heard the doctors say she had a bad break of the tibia and fibula. She began to laugh hysterically and explained her cats were called Tibby and Fibby. The medical team just shrugged. And smirked. They assumed the meds were doing their job. Very well. And she was a hallucinating.

And then the real story began. Her slow, painful recovery. And the day one of the cats, Tibby, disappeared. And stayed gone for five, long, miserable, angst-ridden, guilt-ridden, agonizing, frustrating weeks. Despite all her efforts to find him.

Until he showed up again. With the bad manners to look wonderful. Gleaming coat. Bright eyes. Well fed, by the looks of him. Not the scruffy, straggly, bedraggled, sad-looking, malnourished, pathetic waif of a cat one would have expected to see, after more than a month of roughing it. Braving the elements.

Which put Caroline right over the edge.

How could he possibly look so good? Who had taken such good care of him? Why had he cheated on her, with someone else? After all their years together? Good years, too? How could he have betrayed her like this? She drove herself, and Wendy (her partner) into a complete frenzy. While Fibby (Tibby’s sister) was bereft, herself, mourning the loss of her beloved brother. Eventually resigning herself to the fact she’d be the sole feline in the household, from then on.

You really must read the book. So I am not telling you what comes next, however tempted I am. Which I am. Very tempted.

Not that tempted, though.

Suffice to say, even though he’d come home, the two humans set out on a mission to find out why Tibby had left, where he went, who had captured his heart, and exactly what kind of food had lured him away. They led themselves on a merry, madcap chase.

Personally I think Caroline and Wendy should turn the book into a movie. An animated film. Not Walt Disney. An animated film for adults. God knows there are enough of us cat freaks in the world to make it a box office smash hit. And then some.

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