My stories of our two cat families, and other cat encounters
Monday, October 19, 2015
Book Review: The Guest Cat by Takashi Hiraide
The Guest Cat
January 28, 2014 by Takashi Hiraide Eric Selland (Translator)
Paperback, 140 pages Published January 28th 2014 by New Directions (first published 2001) original title猫の客 Neko no kyaku ISBN 0811221504 (ISBN13: 9780811221504) edition language: English
I discovered the book while trolling through the public library's website, when I had simply typed 'cat' into the search bar. I quickly learned while reading, that different cultures love cats, and write about them with love and compassion. People are people; cats are cats. "The Guest Cat" is an emotional set of chapters, revealing the story of a cat-less, child-less couple who find that the visits of the neighbor's cat bring a huge volume of tenderness and joy into their hard-working, money-scraping lives. Chibi, the black and white cat, learns quickly how to enter their dwelling for a nap or a bite to eat, then becomes a daily visitor. She often sleeps on the bed with the writer and his wife, who keep odd hours due to the journalistic timetables. The chapters unfold as time moves through the seasons; Chibi playing with insects in the garden, Chibi sleeping in the box the wife makes up for her in the corner of the room. The story is delightful, yet touched with pain and sadness; the death of friends and of the landlord. Towards the book's end, the writer and his wife must leave their home, as the estate is sold off, but they stay determined to find lodging nearby, just to remain close to Chibi. A quick, easy read, and my emotions were stirred. I too have visitor cats, who have become a part of our lives as they patrol our yard and interact with Sweetie and Patty, and even Angel and Chuck through the windows or on the front porch. Aries, the two floofy-tailed cats, and the big orange kitty, have all visited my yard, as well as Hobo (who I TNR'd) and the Siamese kitty belonging to a renter two doors down who moved away suddenly. The Hubby can attest to how I fall in love with these visitors, and pine for them.