o here is the book that provoked me into traveling around the world with Mark Twain (i.e. Following the Equator) – a little collection of Twain’s essays and observations about a topic dear to me. Bikes? No, cats.
Turns out the crusty ex-riverboat pilot was a lover of our feline friends, always having a couple about. He even kept a billiard table and allowed his kittens free-range across it, with a cat lurking in a hole and swatting at massing balls considered part of the game’s hazards.
There are wonderful stories here, from his classics about a boy climbing out on an icy roof to shoo away howling cats, only to slide off and land amid a young lady’s candy-pull in his nightshirt. There are cats observed slipping between the bars of Westminster Abbey, cats on ships (who visit their shore families while in port but somehow know when to return (something our cats never learned in the game Solar Trader)). There are even cats that get blown up by mining dynamite, dead cats for children to play with, Indian cats, and even the tale of Bambino, his cat of cat, who escaped his New York residence and was later “interviewed” by a sharp woman journalist.
Really, this is the perfect bedside book; short tales to amuse the reader in a pre-sleep moment, to send him into the land of Nod, to dream of cats. Going to say that you should check this one out.