Aug 8, 2015

The Abandoned

by Paul Gallico

Delightful story about a lonely boy who loves cats and finds himself turned into one. He rushes into the street after a tabby kitten and is hit by a car when the transformation happens. Unceremoniously thrown out of the house, Peter-now-the-cat must find his way in a terrifying new world where everything once familiar is now strange. Luckily he meets a very kind and street-wise female named Jennie who is quite skeptical of his story until she realizes he does not at all behave like a cat, and moreover can read and understand human speech. Jennie takes it upon herself to teach Peter how to survive as a stray and moreover, how to act and think like a cat- all the little skills and rules of conduct for his new life. They have quite a number of adventures, including time spent as ship's cats, and become very fond of each other, even though Peter longs for the comforts of his past life while Jennie cannot bring herself to trust human beings. I won't say more, only that this is a wonderful book I wish I'd encountered as a child but am very glad it stands up to my first reading it as an adult. I don't know which I liked more, the deep story of friendship and trust, or the wonderful details of being feline. The ending feels like a bit of a cop-out, but I dismissed that easily enough. I'd read it again.

As you can see from the cover image, it has also been published with the title Jennie. I found out about this book here.

Rating: 4/5        307 pages, 1950

1 comment:

Jenny @ Reading the End said...

THIS BOOK. It's the only Paul Gallico book I can bear to read, as he's usually too depressing, but I looooove it. I read it when I was a kid and I used to look at my cat and wonder if she was thinking all the things Jennie and Peter were. :p