Adventures in Books… Under the Paw

under the paw

“For years, Tom Cox might have seemed like a regular, hard-living sort of bloke — a lover of late nights, rock music and beer — but he had a dark furry secret. Tom was a cat lover. Always had been, in fact. For a while, he kept his passion in check, but there was only so long he could postpone his true dream, especially after he met Dee, his moggy-loving soulmate. In 2001, Tom left London and his job as a rock critic behind, and he and Dee, replete with Dee’s cat Janet and three new kittens, moved to a remote part of Norfolk, a county where they knew not one living human soul. They thought it would be easy. They thought their cat madness had reached its limit. They were very wrong on both counts. In UNDER THE PAW, Tom records the chaos of owning seven of the most charismatic, idiotic and duplicitous cats in the country. How exactly does a person go from living a fancy-free young metropolitan life to suddenly thinking it is normal to be on 24-hour call for multiple sets of whiskers? What are the essential rules of disposing of a dead pheasant? How do you learn to love your wife’s ex’s favourite pet? Tom addresses all these issues and much more, encountering death, depression, flying fur and the first human sentence spoken by a feline along the way. Running through all the maelstrom is the heartbreaking story of his long and chequered relationship with The Bear, his oldest cat: a “painfully sensitive” survivor moggy who may or may not be an evil genius.”

This is the first book about Tom and his 6 cats and focuses on how he came to be a cat owner himself after leaving home and finding his own life. The story focuses on the cat man, rather than the cat lady (the stereotype) and it is nice to see someone being so honest about their life with cats.

I really enjoyed Talk of the Tail so was happy when this also came down in price for the Kindle. It’s a heart-warming story about how life if impacted by little creatures who are extremely self-sufficient in some ways, then stupidly not in others.

I enjoyed the stories about introducing new cats to the other cats and knowing that sometimes it just does not work and having to accept that. There is also heart break with the story of a young cat living life to the full and unfortunately getting hit by a car. It was sad to read and think about.

I realised that I find the lives of animals much more interesting than the lives of people. I enjoyed reading about Tom’s life, but was really reading to see how the cats reacted! I’m just being honest!  I also understood how he and his wife ended up with 6 cats as I would not be able to turn any away if they needed to live with me and got on with the other cats. It was interesting to see how they worked around the cats and always did what was best, even leaving The Bear with a previous boyfriend as he preferred it there. It must have been really hard, but they did what was best for the cat at the time – and had no problem taking him back when the guy moved out of the country.

The one thing I didn’t realise was that cats can and will wander off for days or even weeks. I am constantly debating my decision to keep my two as house cats and taken them out into the garden on leads. However I know it would cause me a lot of stress and worry if they didn’t come home one time and I would not like to go back on letting them out freely and try and keep them as house cats after. It would not be far to do it that way round, so I am keeping them in and giving them lots of different toys (although loo roll middles are their favourite things!).

Okay, back to the books. Another really enjoyable quick read that was perfect for my week off work. I would recommend Tom’s books for any cat lover out there.

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