October 09, 2011

James Herriot's Cat Stories by James Herriot

I've read James Herriot before. Not only does he seem an outstanding vet, but he's a pretty good writer as well. And since most people love animals, he really can't go too wrong with his genre.

Cat Stories is just that. A series of short stories about some of the cats Herriot has had the pleasure of working with. Whether they are patients, ones that he visits while out and about on errands, or his own cats, these felines all have some unique aspects to them. There's Olly and Ginny, Herriot's cats that are so wild they won't even let them near him, which frustrates him to no end. There's the candy store cat (which would never be allowed in this time or place sadly) that patrols the store with his owner making sure that everyone gets just the treat they are looking for. The socialite cat that came into Herriot's life and was a regular attender at any town meeting or event. Every cat has their own story and their own special bond with the people around them.

Herriot is always very kind in his descriptions of patients and of their owners. I don't think I've even read anything where he has remarked unkindly about someone. And that's refreshing, he puts out the good for everyone to see. And his tales of the cats makes me want to cuddle them all and want more of my own (which I will not do, I have too many already).

His writing is very clear and easy to read but contains such warmth that its a joy to read his stories over and over. Indeed, one of the stories contained in this book was also in another one of his that I read, but I didn't mind as it was such a charming tale. This book also had some beautiful illustrations by Lesley Holmes that fit all of the stories so you could even get a sense of what the cats looked like. Definitely a heartfelt read. My only complaint would be that I would have liked more stories and even though I didn't mind reading duplicate stories, the book would have benefited by having everything be original instead of a rehash.

I highly recommend anything by Herriot. Any animal lover, especially cats, is sure to enjoy this book.

James Herriot's Cat Stories
Copyright 1994
161 pages

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