Although cats didn’t come to live with me until after I gained my independence at age 29, I always loved them. When I was very small we used to visit with a relative of my mother in the suburbs of London.
Aunty Betty had taken in a black cat that appeared to have lost its home in the Blitz. It was called Michelle, possibly Michel. It was much loved.
Where we lived in London, there were many stray cats that annoyed my father by walking boldly down the wall that bordered our bit of ground. He assigned names to all of them but the only one I remember was “Oliver” which was a name I used twice myself for cats I became responsible for.
This little guy got called “Casper”, one of Grant’s choices. I named his siblings “Alice” and “Alex”.
Battling through these last few weeks, I’ve found it hard to think of topics for the blog. Then I started remembering all the animal books I’ve read over the many years since I first took one in hand. Many of them I still have. I was wondering who else might remember them.
Probably the first book I ever picked up was Anna Sewell’s 1877 novel Black Beauty, an early story concerning animal welfare, specifically horses, of course.
..there is no religion without love, and people may talk as much as they like about their religion, but if it does not teach them to be good and kind to man and beast, it is all a sham…— Black Beauty, Chapter 13, last paragraph.
The book affected me for a long time. Maybe it’s where my love of animals originated.
As far as I recall, the first cat stories I read were Paul Gallico’s “Jennie” and “Thomasina” and much later on “The Silent Miaow” and “Honorable Cat”. The latter two are still in my possession.
Perhaps I should read Silent Miaow again soon, to see what pointers I might find for dealing with my current little ruffians. It calls itself “A Manual for Kittens, Strays, and Homeless Cats”, translated “from the Feline” by Paul Gallico.
“The Snow Goose” was another Paul Gallico story I loved, but I had quite forgotten that he was the author of “The Poseidon Adventure”.
These were just the first few animal books I loved. There is a very long list, however…