Sunday, August 17, 2014

The Autobiography of Foudini M. Cat by Susan Fromberg Schaeffer

Next month, my brown bag lunch at work will cover the topic "Peck-N-Paws", books about animals. One of the Readers' Advisors recommended The Autobiography of Foudini M. Cat by Susann Fromberg Schaeffer, saying it was her favor cat book. Foudini does for cats what Chet does for dogs in Spencer Quinn's books. Foudini narrates the story of his own life. It's a charming story for all cat lovers. (And, remember this is an "autobiography" so Foudini lives. But, no promises about other beloved animals.)

Foudini is a housecat in the human world, writing his autobiography for the younger cat in the household, Grace. He tries to impart his wisdom to Grace, who doesn't know what it's like to be an outside wild cat. Foudini's mother was a stray who moved him from place to place until she found a spot for him in the laundry room of an apartment building. Then, one day, she disappeared. And, a woman finally caught him, took him to the vet's, where he was adopted by a man and a woman.

And, to his horror, this man and woman had a dog. Not, just any dog, but a big one! But, over time, the dog, Sam, became Foudini's dog, and he became Sam's cat. It was Sam who convinced Foudini he had to have names for the people, so Foudini called the woman Warm and the man Pest.

Honestly? The Autobiography of Foudini M. Cat is the most charming story I've ever read about a cat. Schaeffer seems to understand a cat's soul, and so many actions will be recognizable by cat lovers. There are charming vignettes in which Foudini dreams about cat ancestors, the ancient ones who come back to advise him about everything from protecting his people to his love life. It's funny, but the book does have its tear-jerker moments as well.

A cat lover? Do yourself a favor. Find The Autobiography of Foudini M. Cat at your local public library. It's a slightly older book, so you may have better luck at a library. But, you won't regret searching for it.

The Autobiography of Foudini M. Cat by Susan Fromberg Schaeffer. Alfred A. Knopf. 1997. ISBN 9780679454748 (hardcover), 166p.

FTC Full Disclosure - Library book


Rosemary said...

Oh I will definitely look out for that Lesa. Have you read Doreen Tovey's books about her Siamese cats (many over the years), her donkey and her long-suffering husband? They are fun.

Lesa said...

Thanks, Rosemary! I have read Doreen Tovey's books. Fun, but not as good as Foudini. I promise!

Rosemary said...

Well that's some promise! I've tried our library catalogue to no avail - might have to look you-know-where now....:)

Incidentally, our weather isn't great either - it's turned much colder and we've had a lot of rain. Madeleine and I got soaked coming back from seeing Patrick Ness last night (but it was worth it!) Hope you're cosy with your cats.

Lesa said...

I hope you can find it, Rosemary! We had a whole day of rain here, but we actually needed it, so I won't complain. Cozy right now with Dickens and Josh.

Beth Hoffman said...

I've never heard of this book, and now I desperately want to read it. Thanks for the recommendation, Lesa!

Lesa said...

You're welcome, Beth. You'll just love this book! You're going to love Foudini and his dog.

Ingrid King said...

I had not heard of this book, it sounds wonderful! Thanks for the review, Lesa!