“I Don’t Want a Cool Cat!” by Emma Dodd

One of the advantages of having more than one child is that you get to read more picture books. When my older son was at preschool, I discovered Emma Dodd’s “Dog’s Colorful Day” A Messy Story about Colors and Counting. (You can read about it in my 2012 March Archives)  Now that my younger son is a toddler and we go through another round of old and new picture books, I was lucky enough to stumble upon another gem by Ms. Dodd, “I Don’t Want a Cool Cat!”

The story is pretty basic. A little girl is telling us what cat she would like to have and what feline she wouldn’t care about. But the wording and pictures are just delightful. 

She doesn’t want a “stuffy, over-fluffy cat” or “a slinky, dinky, twinky cat”. My favorite phrasing was for a greedy cat that she didn’t want:  “A “Meow, meow, please feed me cat.”  But she wants a “purry “cat, “a glad when I come home cat”, that she can call her own cat. 

I can’t tell you how many times my son demanded to read this book to him, over and over again. And I can’t tell you, how much pleasure it was to read it. This book virtually reads itself. It flows so effortlessly that you just want to keep enjoying it page after page after page.

Now the book has returned to the library, but the story still rings in our heads and we frequently recite our favorite lines.

“Mrs. Crump’s Cat” by Linda Smith

As I revealed two posts ago, my older son prefers cats to dogs. Not only to dogs, actually. To anything. Hence, you can imagine my confusion when he brought home two shiny goldfish.  He won them at the fair, so how can you argue with that! Our son was truly excited about his new pets. He gave them cool names, watched them and fed them. By the next morning the fish were dead. As  the fish were vanishing in the toilet bowl, we were wondering how to explain the loss to our son and how he would handle it. Luckily, my husband remembered to mention to our son that fish don’t live long. We decided to refer to that. We expected anything from disappointment to meltdown, but his reaction was quite a surprise. “How long do cats live then?” Our son asked calmly.

And that’s how cats are back on the table. It must be in our blood. I love their grace and feline personality: clever, enigmatic and unpredictable. My husband admires their athletic nature. Have you ever seen a bengal cat jump? Yet, I guess we all have commitment issues, don’t need another chore at this moment (our son doesn’t even pretend otherwise) and our place is too small and too carpeted. Lots of excuses, as you can see. However, we often wonder, what we would do if a little  stray cat found its way to our doorstep. It happened to Mrs. Crump.

Mrs. Crump was basically a Scrooge in a skirt. Ironically,  she was the one to find a kitty on her  porch step.  She tried to shoo it away but the cat wouldn’t go. Instead, it  snuck  into Mrs. Crump’s house . She decided to feed it and let it go. But how could she let a cat go on a rainy day? Besides, if she had already bought the cream, it would be a shame to waste it.  Advised, she made a sign, “Found”, but there was no response. What was she supposed to do? She had no use for a finicky cat with fleas. Or did she?

As humorous as heart-warming story about friendship.  A miracle can happen if we choose to open the door to the unexpected. For example, a little scrawny cat can turn our lives upside down. From lonely to happy, that is. Yeah, cats are sneaky. (As you can tell from  David Robert’s exquisite pictures!)