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Stella & Rose's Books

Specialists in Rare & collectable books

The Demon Cat

I absolutely love this book! I came across it by accident some time ago and I am surprised it is still on our shelves at the time of writing. Or maybe not...

It is nothing special to look at from the outside.... A Naval Melo-drama. I must admit, I had to look up melodrama in the Oxford Dictionary which states:

  1. A sensational dramatic piece with exaggerated characters and exciting events intended to appeal to the emotions. Definitely the case!

  2. A play interspersed with songs and orchestral music accompanying the action... It would be very interesting to see this as a play... poor cat.

It is not a long read, one can read it through quickly although it rather spoils the fun if one does not take time to scrutinise the accompanying amusing illustrations which are mostly b/w with a few in colour.

Okay, so what is the story? The story reminds me very much of a German folk tale I grew up with – Max and Moritz written by Wilhelm Busch and published in 1865. Max and Moritz are a terrible duo and the story is darkly humorous as they play pranks on their neighbours and come a cropper at the end – another must read!

The Demon Cat is highly sensationalised as he boards the ship during the night, and appears to be some kind of monster of a cat to all on board. When daylight arrives he is diminished to a sweet little pussy cat, half the size! He gets up to all sorts of mischief, as cats do, which usually end up with him coming off worse. He falls into the sea whilst stalking a seagull and is rescued by a sailor who literally wrings him out and leaves him to dry - much to his indignation. From this point on, he is constantly at odds with the sailors who then hunt him down “by order”. I shall not reveal anymore, you must read the book!

I think this book appeals to my dark sense of humour, even now, flicking through the pages, it brings a smile to my face.... just wait until you get to the end and discover Demon Cat's fate!

You can see more of this book in our video slideshow on Youtube...

Contributed by Sonia

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