Welcome to the Reading Doctor!
We introduced this service last year and we welcome your questions again in 2021.
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We love cats, despite their more ambivalent feelings for us. Slinky Malinki, the Cat in the Hat and Puss ‘n’ Boots delight us as children, while YouTube videos of furry felines appeal to adults, too.
· The spirit of Frances’s deceased husband inhabits her cat, Small Frank, in Patrick deWitt’s absurdist comedy, French Exit, and proves almost as difficult to manage as she embarks on an extravagant final act.
· At work, forensic anthropologist Temperance Brennan solves murders in the series of books by Kathy Reichs (the first of which is Déjá Dead), but at home is at the mercy of her cat, Birdie.
· The mischievous Cheshire Cat confounds and puzzles in Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carrol, able to make its body gradually disappear, leaving a toothy grin as its last visible trace.
· The magical familiar of Hermione Granger in the Harry Potter series by J K Rowling is Crookshanks, half-cat and half-Kneazle, and able to detect an untrustworthy person even if they are transfigured.
· An old man with the ability to talk to cats is one of the two central characters in Kafka on the Shore by Haruki Murakami; the other is a bookish teenage boy fleeing from an Oedipal curse.
· The steampunk fantasy The Cinder Spires series begins with The Aeronauts Windlass, by Jim Butcher, in which humans live in giant spires, vat-grown crystals power airships, and intelligent cats are warriors in magical wars.
· In a magical realist and post-modern re-telling of the Biblical Great Flood by Timothy Findley, Mottyl is the blind cat, most beloved of Noah’s wife, who is Not Wanted on the Voyage.
· A litter of urban kittens dumped in the Forest try to find their way home, through the fiercely defended territories of feral cats, in the novel by Australian Sonya Hartnett.