So....on a slightly gentler note..I adore Paul Gallico. I had Jennie sitting on my shelf for years when I was a teenager and never got round to it. I then, in my twenties, read Flowers for Mrs Harris, which is just the most wonderful tale of a simple char lady who saves up and travels to Paris to buy herself a Dior dress after she sees one hanging in her employer's wardrobe. Heart-warming really does seem to be the order of the day for Gallico. This is an inventive tale from someone who clearly has an intimate knowledge of these wonderful, magical creatures, whose fierce independence and love of kindly human beings has certainly made me some special friends throughout my life.
Peter, a privileged but essentially very lonely little boy living in a leafy suburb of London, adores cats but isn't allowed to have one of his very own. One day, rushing across the road to stroke a cute little kitten, he is struck by a car and suddenly finds himself lying on a hospital bed, looking down at his brand new fluffy white paws. Following a terrifying dash through London in his confusion he meets Jennie, an enigmatic little cat who, after hearing his story, proceeds to teach him how to survive in the cat world.
They really do have a royal little adventure together, sometimes comforting and familiar, sometimes uncertain and uncomfortable. This is a perfect read for anyone of any age and to be introduced to your youngsters immediately, especially if you are a family with an affinity with cats. He hits the nail right on the head and this book made me want to both laugh and cry in equal measure. I had strong feelings about the end, but won't share them with you today because this is a book not to be spoiled by some loose-tongued blogger.
Without further ado, a bit of advice for all you catlets out there, in the words of Jennie herself:
'When in doubt - wash!'