- Hardcover: 128 pages
- Publisher: Harpercollins; 1st edition (October 1, 1997)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0060191058
- ISBN-13: 978-0060191054
- Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 0.8 x 7.5 inches
- Shipping Weight: 8.8 ounces
- Average Customer Review: 38 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,886,885 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The Bachelor's Cat: A Love Story Hardcover – October 1, 1997
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From Kirkus Reviews
James Stewart in It's a Wonderful Cat, though in a vaguely realistic vein that avoids heavy sentimentality. This debut by a food and wine writer from Philadelphia who has worked as a chef, bartender, merchant seaman, and college professor follows the nameless narrator when, one cold day, he finds a newborn kitten shivering on his doorstep and takes it in. Gradually he learns to appeal to the cat by various ruses, so that the pet- in-training soon responds duly to its name (Spike) and sidles up to its new owner's leg. As a none-too-successful painter, the narrator has the requisite sexy girlfriend whom he can't quite hang on to and who leaves him time and again, only to return when she loses interest in whatever guy has replaced him. Then he meets a weight- challenged girl who, despite chubby arms, has a certain attractiveness--but clearly is not the kind of sexy beauty who can keep on winding him around her little finger. Even so, he exercises his outstanding cooking smarts and explains to her how he ``trained'' Spike largely by allowing the cat to train.... No tears, only mild uplift, and just the right size for Bridges of Madison County folks. -- Copyright ©1997, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.
"A man who accepts an abandoned kitten into his life and in the process learns the meaning of true love while finding true love." -- Philadelphia Inquirer
"A must have for the cat lover." -- Peninsula News (Palos Verdes, CA)
"Captivating." -- Seattle Times --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Top customer reviews
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I notice that a few reviewers had problems with the "weird writting style and no dialog". I think the story is that way because it is written like a fairy tale, which I thought suited this story perfectly.
Lovely little book for cat owners and lovers, those thinking of owning one, and for every bachelor on a single woman's wish list.
I have done a great deal of companion animal rescue and placement in my life, and this little volume is way up there on my favorite list. I've just read it.
Owning an animal does change your life, and always in a positive way.
The bachelor, who is starving for his art, has a devastating opening exhibit at which he loses both money and his on-again-off-again girlfriend. He returns to his apartment to wallow in self-pity, but soon hears the cries of something even more pitiful than himself: a tiny drenched kitten who is wobbling around on his doorstep. The bachelor takes the kitten in thinking only to keep an eye on it til someone responds to his "for adoption" ad. But he soon learns that cats adopt people, not the other way around, and he is very clearly now a new member of a family. Resigned to his fate, he keeps the cat.
Since his girlfriend is once again MIA, he goes to a bar and looks for someone else to keep him company for a night. He finds himself intrigued by a woman who isn't the least bit his physical type. All of his women have been sleek and chic. This woman was soft and round. But he liked her smile and her sense of humor, and so took her home with him. Like the cat, she decides he is worthy of adoption and soon spends more time at his place than hers, eventually telling him that she'd like to move in. But his slender ex re-enters the picture and soon he is forced to choose between the two very different women: one who hurts him even as she inflames him, the other who comforts and sustains him.
What worked for me:
Despite being such a short story, the characters are well-defined enough for the reader to sympathize with, and the plot interesting enough to keep them turning the pages.
What didn't work for me:
There was one passage I could have done without, but aside from that the book was superb.
This witty book is written almost as a parable or a morality play, which is quite original for so romantic and sweet a story. There is minimal dialogue and no names used save for the cat's. Had it been longer the format would have lost its charm, but as it turns out it was just the right length.
While not everyone would want it on their "keeper" shelf, it is certainly worth searching out at the library. Especially if you are a cat person. :^)
The other day I broke routine. I read a little book I'd never heard of -- and was greatly rewarded.
I'll not spoil the story but the set up goes like this:
A bachelor has a great relationship with a zipslick girlfriend. She sets his hair on fire (figuratively) and puts him through hoops which action he enjoys. Now and then the girlfriend takes off with another guy for an evening, a week, a couple of months. She never apologizes when she returns and the bachelor always takes her back, gratefully.
One day when the girlfriend is gone, the bachelor finds a wet dirty tiny female kitten on his front stoop. Grudgingly, he takes her in and puts a FOUND ad in the weekly shopper.
The bachelor plays with the kitten. The kitten plays with the bachelor. The bachelor keeps the kitten, they play some more, the kitten becomes a cat.
At this point my reflex said pfooie and in bygone days I would have tossed the book and scrubbed my mind with steel wool. Such treacly manipulation is not for me. I cut my teeth on Faulkner and O'Connor and those angry prophets: life is hard and mean and there is no room for easy sentiment -- but this writer, with a certain style, had caught me.
Everything is calm. There is no hyperbole, no direct and hurtful and angry words. The girlfriend is a bitch but the guy wallows in it, is rueful, and welcomes her back because he likes the sex (I think -- the writer never spells is out so explicitly). The writer doesn't say the kitten/cat is adorable and never stoops to anthropomorphizing: it's just a feline doing the way they do -- but the description is calm, observant, absent nonsense. Far different than my favorites who can turn a glance into terror, make a simple whisper into a scream.
The bachelor meets a *heavy woman.* Much much different than the girlfriend. They boink. No big deal except this: he likes boinking the girlfriend better than the heavy woman but somehow (and you had to have been there and if you read this book with care, you surely will remember having been there) -- but somehow, boinking with the heavy woman is satisfying on a deeper level. No DHL probing of the animal soul here; just honest, calm observation.
But what happens is quite satisfactory to me. I found there is much to learn from a certain style.
So, for an example to study, I humbly recommend
THE BACHELOR'S CAT
Most recent customer reviews
He takes her in, out of the cold, and starts to feed and care for her.Read more