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, July 23, 2018

Cat Classics in Print: Space Cat Visits Venus

Cat Classics in Print

Today’s classic in print is the second slim volume in the Space Cats series, Space Cat Visits Venus, written by Ruthven Todd and illustrated by Paul Galdone. This particular book was first published in 1955 and has recently been republished by Dover. We probably enjoyed the story of Space Cat’s visit to Venus even more than the original Space Cat, which means we liked it quite a lot.

The plot

We first met the little tabby named Flyball as a kitten in his first book. Now he is grown up and no one tries to tell him anymore that he shouldn’t go into space. As if he would listen anyway. In a remarkably short period of time, people have built a whole city on the surface of the moon (we do have to wonder how they managed to get funding for that, but let’s not talk about money), and they’re preparing a mission to Venus. Once again astronaut Fred Stone and his sidekick Flyball will head off to explore.

Space Cat Visits Venus, by Ruthven ToddFlyball has hopes that there will be lots of mice to chase on Venus, as there are none on the moon and that’s a real drag. Even if there don’t turn out to be mice on Venus, Flyball does have some improvements to enjoy. He has a brand-new hammock that has been built to be even more comfy than his original homemade one, and he and Fred have a new spaceship that has an actual name—Halley.

Not surprisingly, they find Venus to be a strange place with an ammonia atmosphere (at least at high altitudes), a beach of blue pebbles, and sentient plants that seem to be leading them in a certain direction. Oh, and the plants think at them. There is a certain type of moss that enables telepathic communication between plants and Earthlings and even between cat and human. All Flyball and Fred have to do is keep a bit of moss with them and they’ll be able to think at each other all the time. This is neat at first, but if you think about it, having someone be able to hear all your thoughts would get tiresome, not to mention embarrassing, after a while.

It turns out the Venus plants (and the little blue Venus mouse that Flyball is not supposed to chase!) need some help from the Earthlings. Soon Earth and Venus are off to an early promising relationship of mutual aid and cooperation. The cynic in old SoLT thinks that in reality humans would be overtaken by greed and ruin the whole planet while exploiting its amazing resources for profit. But this is supposed to be a fun and positive story, so check your cynicism at the door, please.

Our verdict

Space Cat Visits Venus is indeed a fun book. We read it in one evening and found the story and illustrations every bit as delightful as the original Space Cat. Once again Flyball goes off on a space adventure, discovering previously unknown life forms. He and Fred are brave and curious but also respectful and compassionate toward the life they meet—not a bad lesson for humans to learn, we think.

So if you’re looking for a light read for yourself or a great chapter book for the cat- or space-loving kid in your life, we highly recommend Space Cat Visits Venus.

Two Paws Up! A Great Read

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!

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. Some of us believe that cats CAME from outer space!

  2. I loved Space Cats so I'm definitely looking forward to reading this one :)

  3. Great review. Big hugs

    Luv ya'

    Dezi and Raena

  4. Wow, I really love not only the sound of the adventure, but the look of the graphics too. Mrs H says she loves this era in space travel, which probably means she was up there with them, MOL
    Toodle pips and purrs for another fab review!