A Cat Called Dog by Jem Vanston

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A Cat Called Dog by Jem Vanston

Category: General Fiction
Rating: 3.5/5
Reviewer: Jill Murphy
Reviewed by Jill Murphy
Summary: A sweet story about a cat that thinks it's a dog, a group of loyal cat friends, and the rescue of a very silly human indeed. Funny and heartwarming.
Buy? Yes Borrow? Yes
Pages: 240 Date: July 2013
Publisher: Matador
ISBN: 1780885598

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Cats are not dogs. And dogs are not cats. Even two-legs know that. But Dog was a cat, because that was his name: he was a cat - a cat called Dog - and he was happy with that too.

Confused? Don't be. Dog may be happy but he is the confused one, not you. He is a cat. He is a cat. But he's called Dog because he behaves like one. He pokes his tongue out like a puppy. When he gets excited, he wags his tail like a puppy. And, horror of horrors, he even yaps and barks like a puppy. This kitten-cat is only one summer old, so perhaps it's not too late. Perhaps, if he were to find a tutor, he could learn to be a proper cat. A cat who understands the feline holy trinity of eating, sleeping and washing. A cat who understands his importance to two-legs. A cat who can proudly take his place among the others of the best species in the world.

And, luckily for Dog, he finds just such a tutor in George, a ginger tom of advancing years, who knows all there is to know about cathood. George undertakes to give Dog the education he so desperately needs. And so George begins his lessons, aided by the cheeky stray Eric, the well-travelled Francois and the sleek and beautiful Miss Fifi, But before Dog can graduate, a terrible disaster occurs. George's two-legs, The Lady, gets an unsuitable boyfriend. A thoroughly bad lot and a cat-hater to boot. She must be rescued from his clutches. And our band of felines set out to do just that...

Oh, awww. This is a story for cat-lovers everywhere. It's full of funny and accurate details that will strike a chord with any cat owner. From the way our furry friends are fussy about their food and their studious ignoring of anything they don't like to the sixteen hours a day they spend snoozing, you will recognise George and his friends immediately. Despite his confusion, you'll even recognise Dog as he rushes about in his kittenish excitement. And I defy you not to smile. It's just lovely.

The subplot about the nasty boyfriend is also highly amusing, with lots of slapstick daftery and a silly two-legs, who just doesn't know what is good for her. Well, we're all daft about our love lives, aren't we? We should all wish we have a George and a Dog and an Eric et al, who will dare anything - even dogs - to save us from ourselves.

If I were pushed to criticise, I might say that A Cat Called Dog occasionally lapses into some awkward dialogue. But dialogue is notoriously difficult even when you're writing it for humans. And it's really only occasionally. So we'll move swiftly on from the nitpick.

This is a lovely, sweet, heartwarming book. It will make you happy to read it, regardless of whether you're a cat person or a dog person, or even neither. And in these financially-straitened times, what more could you want? I'd like to read about any further adventures Dog and friends may have - and I'm sure they'll have many. Fingers crossed Jem Vanston will get his writing wheels rolling.

You might also enjoy Fup by Jim Dodge or perhaps, and don't be put off by the title! - Hate That Cat by Sharon Creech.

Buy A Cat Called Dog by Jem Vanston at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy A Cat Called Dog by Jem Vanston at Amazon.co.uk.


Buy A Cat Called Dog by Jem Vanston at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy A Cat Called Dog by Jem Vanston at Amazon.com.


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