Caroline Paul's Lost Cat: A True Story of Love, Desperation, and GPS Technology could just as easily be subtitled a tale of obsession. But, Paul's obsession with the wanderings of her cat, Tibby, is explained in the book. The account becomes even funnier due to the drawings by her partner, Wendy McNaughton.
Caroline Paul was piloting an experimental plane when it crashed. She suffered from terrible breaks to her ankle, her tibia and her fibia. But, the hospital staff probably thought she was in a drug-induced state when she said those were her cats, Tibia and Fibia. They actually were, Tibby and Fibby, a brother and sister.
Although Wendy McNaughton was a new girlfriend, she was there for Paul through all of the trauma following the accident. But, Wendy couldn't understand that the cats kept Caroline from falling into depression when she was laid up at home recuperating, and on crutches. McNaughton wasn't yet a "kitty person". But, she rallied to help Caroline when Tibby disappeared. The shy cat left home, and, despite searches, flyers, and even an attempt to find out where he was through a psychic, he was gone.
When Tibby strolled into the house, heavier and with a beautiful coat five weeks later, Caroline Paul became obsessed. Where had he been for five weeks that he didn't return home when she called? Wendy humored her as Paul resorted to GPS tracking technology and cameras to try to follow his tracks. The truth behind Tibby's journey, and how they found the answers will come as a shock to Caroline Paul.
Lost Cat is an example of how obsessive we cat owners can become at times. Of course, Caroline Paul's obsession grew because she was stuck at home with nothing else to occupy her attention. The story is funny at times, and, as I said, McNaughton's illustrations just make it more interesting. Yes, many of us cat owners do become obsessed, knowing our cats manipulate us.
SPOILER - Don't read this note if you aren't prepared to have a portion of the book spoiled. Some cat lovers will want to know that there is a death in the book. I normally wouldn't reveal that, but some readers will come to this book with the expectation that it's all humorous due to Paul's desperate search for answers. It's important that they not have those expectations.
Caroline Paul's website is www.carolinepaul.com and Wendy McNaughton's is www.wendymcnaughton.com.
Lost Cat: A True Story of Love, Desperation, and GPS Technology by Caroline Paul with drawings by Wendy McNaughton. Bloomsbury. 2013. ISBN 9781608399778 (hardcover), 243p.
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