That cat in the photo on the cover of Nils Uddenberg's The Old Man and the Cat isn't the only appealing part of this translated memoir. Let's start with the subtitle, "A Love Story". The sketches in the book are enchanting. The story is just delightful.
Nils Uddenberg is a retired professor of psychology in Sweden. His memoir tells of a new introduction to his family when he was in his seventies. Uddenberg had vowed never to own a pet. He and his wife traveled frequently, and owned homes both in Lund and Stockholm. But, one winter, a small cat showed up, sleeping in the garden shed. And, the Uddenbergs made the mistake of feeding the cat. Fortunately for the two travelers, their daughter agreed to joint custody while they were in Stockholm. Because, the professor would "eventually come down with cat". He fell in love.
As a psychologist, Uddenberg can't resist studying and analyzing the behavior of the cat they called Kitty. He enjoys speculating on Kitty's past. Where did she come from? What was her life like before she showed up in their shed? And, why would she disappear for long periods of time, leaving him with a feeling of emptiness when she disappeared.
The Old Man and the Cat combines Uddenberg's musings, his observations, and the lessons learned while learning to live with a cat. Add those teasing drawings featuring cats, and the book is charming. Just what a cat lover wants, the story of a man unexpectedly falling in love late in life. It's a sweet love story.
The Old Man and the Cat by Nils Uddenberg. Thomas Dunne Books. 2015. ISBN 9781250059758 (hardcover), 176p.
FTC Full Disclosure - The publisher sent me a copy of the book, hoping I would review it.