Saturday, July 01, 2006

The Cat Who Went to Paris.

Audiobooks have kept me sane when navigating Washington, DC-area traffic (as many people seem to get behind the wheel after having frontal lobotomies). A surprise treasure was Peter Gethers's The Cat Who Went to Paris. Former publisher Gethers relates his journey as a confirmed cat hater to cat lover when he adopts Norton, a Scottish fold feline (a breed where the ears are folded down on the cat's head); takes Norton wherever he goes, including restaurants; and watches the intelligent Norton captivate the world. One of the many amusing tales is Gethers's comparison of Spain and France. The Spanish border guards were insistent that Norton needed papers to enter the country (this was a simple day trip). On Gethers's reentry into France, the French guards only had this to say: "Bonjour, Monsieur le Chat. Ca va?" ("Hello, Mr. Cat. How's it going?"). The Cat Who Went to Paris is no cutesy cat book but a captivating memoir in the tradition of Peter Mayle's Toujours Provence.

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