by Cleveland Amory
At home in my mother's house, there is a box of books that comes out only at Christmastime. It has lots of lovely picture books like The Polar Express, Tasha Tudor's Take Joy! and The Velveteen Rabbit. One of the few "grown-up" books is Amory's The Cat Who Came for Christmas. When I was a teenager I must have started reading this book every year at least once, and never got very far. The beginning was interesting- a man who runs an animal rescue organization gets a pet for the first time in his life when a stray cat winds up in his home on Christmas eve. The parts describing the bachelor and his new cat getting used to each other I liked, but then the story veers into chapters solely about interesting (but very small) facts about cats in history, or how to name a cat, or famous people's cats. Now and then it jumps back to Amory's own experiences with his cat, then goes into dealings with his rescue organization again.
I know I made myself read this book all the way through at least once some day in the past, but not this time. Even though I felt really nostalgic about it when I found a paperback copy and brought it home, the dry humor, awkward puns and endless digressions from the story really lost me. It would have been okay if the book was just about his rescue organization and his own cat, or just about his own cat and all the cats he's ever heard about (historically, famous and otherwise) but all three together makes for a dull jumble. I skimmed through the rest just to make sure I really had read it all once, and then left it alone about halfway through. The Cat Who Came for Christmas has at least three sequels. I'm a bit curious to read one, just to find out if it stays more focused, but that will wait for later. There's other books on the TBR clamoring to be read.
Abandoned .... 0/5 .. 240 pages, 1987
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