What Cats Think
What Cats Think
Two big dogs just moved next door!
Slobbery, slathering kitty-eaters!
Maybe I’ll hide behind the furnace.
My man says they’re only poodles.
I close my eyes and dream…
Of saucers filled with steamy milk.
Rivers of creamy moo-cow juice…
…big, white waves on milky seas.
Ahhh…only a dream.
The many facets of a cat’s personality are showcased in this delightful tribute to domestic felines. An assortment of vivid, colourful cats present their feelings in free verse, each one on a separate double-page spread. The author’s use of the first person is very effective in drawing readers in. Some of the poems are of the laugh-out-loud variety while others will cause readers to commiserate with the feline narrators. The cats’ feelings run the gamut from pampered, vexed and angry to curious, flustered and joyous, to name a few, and some of the cats typify the charmer, the hunter, the princess or the stealthy tom cat persona.
Each cat’s uniqueness is not only celebrated by the clever free verse but also by the vibrant, mixed media illustrations, rendered in acrylic ink, oil pastels and gouache, primarily in bright greens, yellows, reds and blues. The cats are shown in a variety of poses, but what makes the illustrations truly charming are the priceless facial expressions. Colour choice, art medium and drawing style all combine to make each illustration perfectly suited to the feeling conveyed in the text. For example, “Spooked” is rendered in bold slashes of opposing colours, red and green, while the cat’s wide, frightened eyes and gaping mouth express its shock and fear. By contrast, soft, pale shades of gray and white lend a quiet, dreamlike quality to the closed-eyed cat in “Dream”. One can almost hear the purring.
Readers need not be cat lovers to thoroughly enjoy this book. What Cats Think is fun, imaginative and loaded with personality!
Gail Hamilton is a former teacher-librarian in Winnipeg, Manitoba.