Christmas Cats: A Literary Companion
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Cat lovers should enjoy reading these selections (some original, some previously published) if they find this eclectic assortment under the Christmas tree. Murphy, the author of a popular mystery series featuring a feline crime-solver (Cat Cross Their Graves) presents 19 short stories, essays and poems that commemorate cats at Christmastime. Amy D. Shojai leads off with a lighthearted memoir of how her husband, Mahmoud, definitely not a cat fancier, came to adjust to his wife's feisty and energetic Siamese kitten just in time for the holiday. Far more sobering is a recollection by Renie Burghardt: during WWII her 19-year-old mother died shortly after giving birth to her. She left behind Paprika, her 10-year-old cat, who consoled the young child when she and her grandparents sought safety in rural war-torn Hungary. Instead of offering a sample from one of her mysteries, editor Murphy's sentimental and well-written story "The Noel Cat" describes how a librarian and her brother, the town vagrant, reunite a cat family on Christmas Eve. There's something for everyone, including an informative piece by Christine Church on holiday safety for cats.