A note about The Cuddlywumps Chronicles

This blog is written and maintained by Miss Cuddlywumps, a fluffy-tailed calico cat who is both classically educated and familiar with mysteries. She receives creative input from the Real Cats and clerical assistance from She of Little Talent (old SoLT, a.k.a. Roby Sweet). Comments or complaints should be addressed to Miss C rather than to old SoLt (Ms. Sweet). Ms. Sweet accepts no responsibility for Miss C's opinions.

Monday, May 22, 2017

Book Review: Moto and Me

Moto and Me, by Suzi Eszterhas
When She of Little Talent was a little girl (many, many years ago), she dreamed of being some sort of field biologist who lived in a tent surrounded by lions or polar bears or something. She wanted to be the person who snowshoed into a remote place to crawl into a hibernating bear’s den and take a blood sample. She would have loved Moto and Me, by Suzi Eszterhas.

Eszterhas went to Kenya to photograph animals and ended up caring for a baby serval who was picked up by a group of tourists who assumed he was an orphan (although, the author writes, the baby’s mother was probably hiding nearby, just waiting for the humans to leave so she could retrieve him). She named the little wildcat Moto, meaning “fire” in Swahili, and she became totally devoted to his care, feeding him, bathing him, and helping him learn how to be a serval. She did this so that he could be a wild serval like he was born to be.

Alongside the story of raising Moto, Eszterhas tells us a lot about servals, which we found really interesting. She also writes of other encounters with wildlife, like seeing a leopard slink past her tent one night and of having a spitting cobra on her desk (that must have been fun). And then there are the photographs, which show Moto growing up. Let’s just say baby servals are adorable!

Moto and Me is recommended for ages 7–10. We found it be an enjoyable, informative read, with eye-catching photos. This is just the kind of book that can inspire or further a love of wildlife in some little girl or boy. Recommended!

A note on the "Paws Up" system: Miss C gives either one or two paws up. One paw is for a good read; two paws is for a great read. She never gives three or four paws because that would require her to lie on her back...and Miss C does not do that!

We received a free copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. We wouldn’t tell you it was good unless we really liked it!

The link below is an Amazon Associates link. If you purchase the book through this link, old SoLT and I could get some coin for our kibble account. Thank you!


  1. That sounds like such a sweet story! Servals are such beautiful cats.

  2. I missed meeting you at the conference last week! I've never heard of this book ... but those of us who grew up loving tigers, leopards, and bears ... it would be a dream come true. Poor baby and Mom Serval. How many kittens are taken from their Mom's nest every year by well meaning people who think they're abandoned because mom has to go off to hunt? Sounds like a similar situation. On the other side, the polar bear we have at our zoo in St. Louis was picked up by the hunter that killed his Mom. He didn't know she was a Mom until it was too late (or so the story goes) - so he brought the cub back to be cared for. I hate hunting and I'm not a fan of zoos ... but I love animals and we humans fail them spectacularly. It's nice to hear a happy ending where a human did the right thing!