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Scallywag by Jeannette Rowe

Scallywag (1990)

by Jeannette Rowe

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This is one of the two first picture books my daughter picked from the library at her new school. I'm sure she was drawn in by the big smiling face, who in hindsight, looks rather self-satisfied! She would love to have a cat of her own. More's the pity -- her father's highly allergic and isn't the slightly bit inclined to seek out one of the hairless variety, no matter how many mice we may get around the house in winter.

The best stories about cats make cat owners nod in recognition. This is a surprisingly common story, in which a number of different neighbours feed the same cat, each thinking he's not getting fed elsewhere. When my mother worked for the Canterbury SPCA she was regularly stuck in the middle of heated arguments, usually when the cat became ill, and the 'reluctant owner' would bring it in and proclaim they didn't have to pay its bills because 'it had just turned up'. Invariably it would turn out it 'had just turned up' and then they'd started feeding it. My mother was once even on the NZ version of that trashy show Neighbours At War because two women were arguing about who was the owner of a certain cat and they needed the SPCA database to clear up the dispute. (I can't remember the upshot. My mother didn't even watch the show, because Coronation Street was on the other channel at the same time.)

This picture book will provide a 'Aha!' moment to a child, who will realise after a while that the cat depicted in each picture has exactly the same markings. Although this story is presented in a humorous way, I hope it becomes the catalyst for conversations along the line of 'Don't feed other people's cats!' This conversation might take place upon the second reading, because the very first sentence reads, 'Orlando was enormous, just like his owner Louis.' After all, anyone who knows anything about cats know that 'ownership' works the other way round in feline world! ( )
  LynleyS | Mar 4, 2015 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 086896591X, Paperback)

Four owners of four overweight cats are baffled when their pudgy pets mysteriously disappear.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:08:37 -0400)

An amusing tale about a fat cat who visits four different households each day for four enormous meals - and is found out!.

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