We took a cat home when we visited Penzance a couple of years ago. I know you should avoid holiday cats, but this was the best kind; a book cat. We are real cheapskates around here, but sheer luck made it possible to book a few days in the Egyptian House in Penzance, which didn’t cost the earth. Landmark Trust holidays are lovely, but not for those with thin cheque books. Anyway, our Egyptian middle floor flat came with books, as all Landmarks do, and in particular, local books.
So, I finally sat down to read The Mousehole Cat, thinking “it’s just a picture book”. It’s not. It’s a good story, and it even made me cry this morning, as I re-read it. And it’s got Nicola Bayley’s cat pictures.
It’s about cats keeping humans as pets. Well, not really, but it’s the idea that you can look at a relationship two ways that’s fun. Mowzer, and his fisherman Tom, live in Mousehole in Cornwall. Life is idyllic until bad weather stops the fishing. Tom and Mowzer go out and behave suitably heroically, and then the reader can cry a little at the end.
After this we had to go to Mousehole for a look. It’s a lot of expensive homes, these days, and less of the fisherman stuff, but the harbour wall is there.
And the book had to be bought to come and live with us. It’s easier to know what to do with a book, than all those shells Daughter recently discovered she had carted home from Cornwall.