Saturday, December 22, 2012
Paw Prints in the Moonlight by Denis O'Connor
In 1966, O'Connor was a lecturer at Almwich College in Northumberland, England. He always loved cats, but lived alone until the winter night when he heard a cat in agony. The vet was unable to save the mother cat and one kitten, but Denis, against the vet's wishes, took the other two-week-old kitten home, and fought to keep it alive. The story of that winter fight, and the determination of man and kitten is powerful. And, the love that Denis O'Connor and Toby Jug shared is remarkable.
O'Connor's writing is lyrical and descriptive. His writing is filled with his love of nature, and the enjoyment he and Toby Jug shared when they were together and outdoors. There are funny scenes, such as the story of the bee invasion. But, most of all, it's the captivating story of the first year the man and cat spent together as Toby Jug grew from a kitten with little life to an exuberant cat, thanks to the compassion of the man who loved him.
Paw Prints in the Moonlight is a tribute to Toby Jug, a story the author once promised he'd write. But, it's also a message of love for all of us who love cats. Denis O'Connor's story can be summed up by what I see as the most important sentence in the book. "To Toby Jug I was family and to me he was more than a cat."
Paw Prints in the Moonlight by Denis O'Connor. St. Martin's Press. 2012. ISBN 9780312668297 (hardcover), 214p.
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