I love reading. Losing yourself in another world in the pages of a good book has to be one of life’s greatest pleasures. It’s also a perfect way to escape the worries and problems of this crazy world. I’ll be sharing some of the books I enjoy in case they provide inspiration for your next reading adventure.
This wonderful book, The Travelling Cat Chronicles by Hiro Arikawa, is heart-warming and heartbreaking in equal measure. The story made me laugh out loud and it made me cry – above all it made me feel a lot of deep emotions. I didn’t want it to end, but I couldn’t put it down.
When a streetwise stray cat in Japan is hit by a car, a man takes it in and cares for it. The cat ends up staying. The story is essentially about the deep bond which grows between man and cat.
The story is told from the perspective of the cat, who understands everything the man says, while the man’s understanding of the cat is entirely intuitive.
After five years living happily together, the man sets out on a number of journeys across Japan with the cat, to visit friends who – initially inexplicably – he asks to take the cat in. None of them are deemed suitable by either the man or the cat and on each occasion the pair return home happy and relieved that they are still together.
The cat and reader learn more about the man’s childhood and friendships, and his first cat, during the course of these visits. We come to realise he is a special person with a gift for love.
There are moving interactions during the road trips in the man’s silver van, made all the more so by the matter of fact, seemingly unemotional narration which both conceals and reveals the depth of the cat’s attachment to the man.
Eventually the man and cat move in with his aunt who brought him up after the death of his parents. The aunt, who had always found it difficult to express emotion or show love, is profoundly changed by her relationship with both man and cat.
Events move rapidly towards a bittersweet conclusion (which I don’t want to spoil) with the cat demonstrating his lasting love and loyalty to the man.
The Travelling Cat Chronicles is a book to savour and treasure. I shall return to it. Read it whether or not you’re a cat lover! You can find it here for Kindle:
Cat line drawing by Mechanismatic on DeviantArt.
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