Carbonel, the King of the Cats
By Barbara Sleigh
We cats are magical creatures, so it’s no surprise that so many stories about us involve magic. Take this book, for example. A young black kitten named Carbonel, destined to be king of the cats, has been rudely stolen by a witch and enslaved by her. Then, when she decids to retire, he is sold, along with the witch’s broom, to a young girl named Rosemary. Carbonel is still enslaved under a spell, which must be broken so he can take his kingdom back from interlopers. Fortunately, touching the witch’s broom enables Rosemary and her friend John to understand Carbonel so they can follow his advice and instructions. It’s up to the two of them to track down the necessary items to undo the spell. This book, originally published over a half century ago, also offers a quaint view of the lives of cats in mid-twentieth century Britain. Even back in those ancient times, cats were able to very skillfully manipulate humans—Carbonel has them all firmly wrapped around his dewclaw. Smart kitty. My favorite part of the book is the broom. Now if only I had a broom that could help my dense human to understand what I’m trying to tell her….