I wanted to like this book. I really did. This was my book club's read for December. The person that picked it was kind of hurt we didn't like her book earlier in the year, so I really tried. I made it through the cat talking back. I even made it through the entire chapter dedicated to naming the cat. I don't exactly know what did me in, but I had to stop.
It's a cat.
Who comes for Christmas.
And it's a true story.
I guess this cat did something great later. I don't really care. You have to be some crazed cat person to really like this book. It was too much. Enough with the cats already! I get it, the cat "talks" to you. You do great things for cat rescue. And really, truly, I love cats, I support what you do 100%, but seriously. Enough.
So, I didn't finish it. It was driving me crazy. Instead I mailed it to a friend so it can torture her.
If my book club had not chosen this book from among a list of Christmas titles for our December meeting I would NOT own it. I can't even GIVE this thing away!
I love cats, truly I do, and put up with one in my home whose behavior is atrocious. BUT I cannot stand this long-winded anthropomorphic love story between cat and supposed curmudgeon. I say supposed because, at least as far as I slogged through before giving up, he wasn't particularly curmudgeonly, just an old bachelor.
'Tis the night before Christmas when a self-described curmudgeon rescues a bedraggled feline from a snowy New York City alley . . . . Thus begins this tale of a man and his cat-or, rather, of a cat and his man-a touching, timeless, and inspiring story about the animal/human bond and the spirit of the holiday season.
I enjoyed reading about Polar Bear, the author's cat that he rescued one Christmas Eve from an alley in New York City. It was really cute to read about their long "discussions" and getting used to living with each other. Mr. Amory described himself as "cat owned" and since I am a cat person, I can relate. I also had not realized that he was the founder of The Fund for Animals in 1967 and was quite an animal activist. He tells the story in the book of a group of activists from the Fund painting seal pups red so they were no use to the sealers and therefore he saved their lives. They had purchased a ship which they fortified the bow with cement and rocks to turn it into an ice breaker so they could reach the seal pups. They also used this ship to ram a pirate whaling ship which put the pirates out of business. Great reading for animal activists!
This is a book for people that have or are owned by cats. Only they would appreciate the detail that Amory gives in description of this relationship. Of course, others who would like to experience the love and friendship of a cat only have to let the fact be known. Friends or shelters would welcome them.
I did not know when I bought this book who Cleveland Amory was, and took it as just another story of how a cat wormed its way into someone's affections--which is a kind of writing I usually enjoy. This book, and its sequels (I think there were two more about this cat.) are well-written and delightful. The last one will make you cry.
I see that Nos. 2 and 3 are also available here now (6/15/13): The Cat and the Curmudgeon and The Best Cat Ever. If you love cats, get them both.
As I found out later, Cleveland Amory was a great animal lover and the founder of a very special animal sanctuary called Black Beauty Ranch.
I was a little disappointed in this book actually. I was looking for a book with lots of his cat experiences and stories about his cat. There were a few of those, but you have to wade through alot of cat history and never ending history on naming cats to find them.
Venus N. reviewed The Cat Who Came for Christmas on
Talk about warm fuzzes. Polar bear reminded me so of our dear white angora cat Monet. We were blessed to enjoy her antics for over 19 yrs. If you are a cat lover or enjoy stories about cats "The Cat Who Came to for Christmas" should be on your must read list.
I think that the problem for many people is that this is one of the first cat-person novel written in this way, and a lot of us got burned out by the cutesy copies that have gone on ad nauseum. But as the seminal one, it wasn't so bad.
From the book cover: "It was, of all things, a white Christmas Eve, when Cleveland Amory, self-confessed curmudgeon and confirmed dog-owner, found himself standing in a deserted alley trying to rescue a dirty, injured, starving, decidedly unfriendly cat...With glimpses of Amory's cat's memorable meetings with notables such as George C. Scott and Cary Grant, and fascinating tidbits about the history of cats, this is an irresistible book for cat-lovers and non-cat-lovers alike."
Tis the night before Christmas when a bedraggled white feline enters the heart -- and home -- of Cleveland Amory. To say it is a friendly takeover is an understatement. For the cat who came for Christmas is clearly of the Independent Type, and Cleveland Amory, who has rescued many a homeless creature as president of The Fund for Animals, is, where his own pets are concerned, primarily a "dog man."
As it is with all good relationships, domestic skirmishes are their modus vivendi. Toe-to-toe they stand - Amory at six feet three, the cat at six inches - and eyeball-to-eyeball each other on every issue - whether or not to come when called, to recognize one's name, to take a trip, a pill, a bath or a walk on a leash, to be civil to New People, or even in an age when Thin Is In why anyone in his right mind would want to be the Last Fat Cat. We will not spoil 'he Cat Who Came for Christmas by telling you who blinks first. Suffice it to say that in this hilarious battle, nine times out of ten it is not the cat.
It was, of all things , a white Christmas Eve, when Cleveland Armory, self-confessed curmudgeon and confirmed dog-owner, found himself standing in a deserted alley trying to rescue a dirty, injured, starving, decidly unfriendly cat. The result of this encounter is the subject of "The cat who came for Christmas". It tells the enchanting story of Amory, who undergoes the transition from a life of Independence from a life of being car-owned. With glimpses if Armory's cat;s memorable meetings with notables such as George C. Scott and Cary Grant, and facinating tidbits sbout the history of cats. This is an irristable book for cat-lovers and non-cat-lovers alike.
From the dust jacket: "Tis the night before Christmas when a bedraggled white feline enters the heart-and home-of Cleveland Amory. To say it is a friendly takeover is an understatement. For the cat who came for Christmas is clearly of the Independent Type, and Cleveland Amory, who has rescued many a homeless creature as President of The Fund for Animals, is, where his own pets are concerned, primarily a 'dog man.'
As it is with all good relationships, domestic skirmishes are their modus vivendi. Toe-to-toe they stand-Amory at six feet three, the cat at six inches-and eyeball-to-eyeball each other on every issue-whether or not to come when called, to recognize one's name, to take a trip, a pill, a bath or a walk on a leash."