By Dick King-Smith
I’m glad to see that this author took a vacation from writing about pigs (he wrote the book on which the movie Babe was based) to focus on a much more worthy creature — us cats, of course. I have to say, however, I am not so sure about his focus on reincarnation. The story revolves around an elderly British lady, Muriel Ponsonby, at the beginning of the 20th century (the end of the Victorian era). She lives by herself in a big house and believes that many of the cats she owns are reincarnations of humans she once knew, her dead parents included. Then the very moment Queen Victoria dies, a new litter of kittens is born and Muriel becomes convinced that one of kittens is the queen herself. Now, I have no complaints about reincarnation — it makes about as much sense as any other spiritual concept cooked up by humans — but I really have a hard time with the idea that humans can reincarnate into cats. I can see them taking a step up on the evolutionary scale, but to achieve catdom would be too big of a leap for most humans. That said, I imagine that The Catlady would a fun read for seven or eight-year-old children, as long as it is explained to them that only very, very special people can ever hope to be cats in their next lives.