Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Book o' the Month: The Cat and the Curmudgeon

The Cat and the Curmudgeon is the second book in Cleveland Amory's trilogy about his beloved cat, Polar Bear.  This book was given to me by my dear neighbor.  She had seen our white/calico kitty in the window and was inspired to buy this book for me when she was at the church thrift store up the street.  I had no idea what it would be about, and decided to start at the beginning with The Cat Who Came for Christmas. 

Mr. Amory, it turns out, was quite a character.  Before he wrote his cat books, he had been a social satirist, and television critic for TV Guide.  And, he also founded a little venture called Fund for Animals.  He was an avid animal rights activist involved in dying (harmlessly) baby seal's coats red to frustrate those who would have clubbed them for their pelts.  He also was integral in rescuing burros from (slaughter in) the Grand Canyon.  So, what started out, for me, as a curious story about a divorcee and his rescued cat, turned into an engaging account of a man's passionate work for animal rights, along with curious stories about the cat who adopted him.  (As a side note, Mr. Amory uses a great deal of commas in his writing, accurately, no doubt, which I enjoy, since I seem to use a lot of commas, as well (correctly, most of the time, I hope!).

Mr. Amory has a definite style to his writing and his outlook on life, being a self-professed curmudgeon.  So, I would suggest reading his work with an ear for sarcasm and extreme wit.  I will be reading his last cat book this month, The Best Cat Ever (see what I mean?).

He also founded Black Beauty Ranch, a refuge for animals--Black Beauty was Amory's favorite bookIt is sad to me that he died suddenly of an aortic aneurysm in 1998, at the age eighty-one.  It would seem he was a curmudgeon with a heart of gold.

1 comment:

  1. That is an awesome review, what a wonderful man. I have seen those books but now will have to check them out because he sounds like he was fascinating. Lovely Sara :)