Miss Cuddlywumps considers the story of a cat who discovers a terrible thing
It isn’t often that we get to read a story truly told from a cat’s point of view. Most mysteries that feature felines are told from the human viewpoint, with some cat stuff tucked in here and there. This is for human convenience, but wouldn’t it be interesting to see a mystery unfold through a cat’s eyes?
That is what we have in “Cat,” a story by Lynn Cullivan. “Cat” isn’t the usual cozy whodunnit type of book we review here. In this story, the feline protagonist sees evidence of a crime, or rather, a series of crimes, being committed in his neighborhood. But can he understand what is happening, and can he do anything about it?
This feline, who is simply called Cat, belongs to no one and basically shares himself out among the occupants of a San Francisco apartment building. He gets various things to eat from the occupants, he lets them pet him, and he likes to sit in a window or on the roof to watch the world. And oh, the things he sees.
For example, there is something strange going on in the building next door. The human occupant sometimes digs in the building’s “small green” at night and sometimes appears walking into the building wearing a big coat with—possibly—a much smaller human concealed beneath it.
Everycat knows this is not normal.
And when one night Cat hears a scream and sees a violent encounter as a sort of shadow play through a window, and then later sees the strange human digging in the small green once again, the truth begins to become clear.
I won’t tell you more of the story, because it’s a short story with a pretty straightforward plot, and I don’t want to ruin it for you. I will tell you that She of Little Talent found “Cat” to be not such an easy read, since she kept having to close her eyes to imagine the world from a cat’s perspective. I, of course, had no trouble at all. So, don’t expect to breeze through this story; it takes a little thought. But once you get into Cat’s world and see through his eyes, we think you’ll find the effort is worth it.