Monday, 12 October 2009

The cat that liked to be beside the seaside

There are many books of lists, but the best ever, I think, are those by David Wallechinsky, Irving Wallace and Amy Wallace.

The 70s originals are full of amazing stories and intriguing facts, as well as weird insights into the time of writing For example, the joint third* most hated person in history 1975, according to visitors to Madame Tussaud's, was Richard M.Nixon, down from the top spot in '73. (Interestingly, although his hatedness peaked after Watergate, even in 1970 he was fourth...)

The 2005 version is just as good and includes "5 Body Parts Named After Italians", "33 Names of Things You Never Knew Had Names" and, marvellously, "The Cat Came Back: 9 Cats Who Travelled Long Distances to Return Home", which is the list I read when I can't sleep and need to think of nice things.

This is a truly cheery list, of cats that travelled up to 1500 miles to rejoin their owners who had moved, or to go back to where they used to live. My favourite is Gringo the cat who left his family in Paris and travelled 480 miles to the French Riviera in December 1982. “Wishing to escape the cold winter, he had made the journey south in a week and appeared at their summer home, where neighbours took care of him.” A cat that escapes winter to make for the coast is my kind of cat.

So there you have it – worth buying for the cat stories alone. It’s £5.99 on Amazon, so less than 67p per amazing cat journey story.

*with Dracula

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