- Washington, United States
- loves: you win if you guessed "pets" and "museums". Also books, art history, travel, British punk, Korean kimchi, bindis, martinis, and other things TBD. I will always make it very clear if a post is sponsored in any way. Drop me a line at thepetmuseum AT gmail.com !
Thursday, November 06, 2014
book review: the story of fester cat
The Story of Fester Cat: How One Remarkable Cat Changed Two Men's Lives, by Paul Magrs (Berkley, ISBN 978-0-425-27504-7)
Is it such a stretch to say a pet is the keystone of the home you've made? You'd never get an argument from me. Nor would you get one from Paul Magrs, the British writer who shared his life and often his laptop with a scrappy black and white fellow named Fester. Magrs' The Story of Fester Cat, just published on November 4, tells us about love, loss, searching, and gratitude as the feline member of the family saw it. Does a cat understand these things? Of course he does, and sometimes better than his humans do.
The story begins at the end: Fester's been wobbly and unwell, and it turns out it's time to depart this life as we know it. As sad as that is, Fester's voice immediately takes us back to the beginning: we follow Fester through days as a hungry, grubby, but pragmatic one-and-a-half-fanged stray on the streets of Manchester, then sigh with satisfaction when he picks someone to take him in. His new family, consisting of Magrs and his partner Jeremy, cleans him up and treats him like the prince he knows he is. Much of the charm of this tale comes from Fester's unshakable confidence that all will be well if the cat's only made the center of everything: why argue, when you could be petting the cat?
The story follows all members of the household through ups and downs. There's trips to the vet. There's the joys and stresses of the holidays, during which family visits reveal why the household might be specially receptive to a little homeless cat. There's quality time in the garden. Career struggles, rough patches in love, a bossy scruffy cat that simply moves in and hogs the goodies for a while: throughout it all, Fester speaks his lively mind as he reminds his humans, and us, what remains truly important. There is always a garden somewhere, and we can all go there. Listen to the cat. Ungow.
Full disclosure: I received a review copy of this book.
Paul Magrs's blog: Life on Magrs (it's pronounced Mars)
Fester Cat's Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Festerthecat