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The Cat Who Came for Christmas (1987)

by Cleveland Amory

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1,3633113,952 (3.6)59
The story of a bedraggled white feline who came for Christmas and took over the heart of Cleveland Amory.

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Every December I look for a few books that are lighthearted and funny. The Cat Who Came for Christmas fit the bill for the most part, being both a memoir about a specific stray cat coming into Cleveland's life and a didactic nonfiction containing interesting facts about cats. Here are a few examples: Cleveland delves into the theory of a cat having nine lives; he provides names of politicians and rulers who either loved or detested cats; he shares the dirty secrets of animals shelters, testing on animals (ouch), and price gouging of veterinarians. He shares stories of his work with animals rights organizations. It is not just a warm and fuzzy story about a cat named Polar Bear. But let's be fair. Polar Bear is the star of the show. The full blown, complete sentence dialogues Cleveland would have with his cat are hysterical.
Cleveland is in good company of famous people who enjoyed cats: Mark Twain, Colette, Walter Cronkite, and Robert De Niro to name a few. ( )
  SeriousGrace | Dec 26, 2022 |
Great story of an abandoned cat and his new life with the author. ( )
  kslade | Dec 8, 2022 |
The droll wit that permeates this book is a welcome change from the current style of letting it all hang out. After reading some of the reviews of this book, I wonder if a few readers understand this type of humor. ( )
  LuanneCastle | Mar 5, 2022 |
On a snowy Christmas eve, Amory was contacted by a friend who had been trying to gain the trust of a stray cat who had been hanging about in a nearby alley. Ruth was sure that with the two of them working together they’d be able to capture the skittish feline. Against his better judgment, Amory went out in the snow and eventually they succeeded. But now where to take the cat? Thus this (eventually discovered to be white) cat came into Amory’s life, and they developed a close relationship (or as close as anyone can get to a cat). Polar Bear filled a hole in Amory’s life, and the animal advocate certainly ensured that Polar Bear not only survived, but thrived.

This book is a memoir of their first year together and the ways in which man and beast became a team.

I’m not much of an animal lover, but I found this reasonably interesting and entertaining. There were some quite humorous episodes (the first “bath”). Amory was a dedicated animal advocate and he uses this story to expound on many of his efforts, including stopping the slaughter of baby seals. I thought many of these sidelines detracted from the central story of a Cat and His Man.

Despite the title, there was nothing particularly “Christmassy” about the book. ( )
  BookConcierge | Jan 24, 2020 |
If you don't like cats and have no sense of humor, don't bother with this book. ( )
  NathanielPoe | Apr 13, 2019 |
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To the biographee, the best cat in the whole world - with the exception, of course, of yours.
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To anyone who has ever been owned by a cat, it will come as no surprise that there are all sorts of things about your cat you will never, as long as you live, forget.
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The story of a bedraggled white feline who came for Christmas and took over the heart of Cleveland Amory.

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