A feline favourite…

The Classics Club Meme

The Classics Club is reviving the idea of the Classics Club Meme, and going back to basics with the first question…

What is your favourite classic? And why?

The thing is, I’ve talked about my favourite classic, Bleak House, about a million times on the blog already and I’m frightened you might all throw rotten tomatoes at me if I do it again!

So first I thought I’d change the question – maybe to “What’s your favourite 20th century classic?” Or “What’s your favourite classic in translation?” But I quickly realised I’d feel pretty foolish if whatever I pick ends up being the question in a future meme.

Then I had a rare moment of inspiration! I’ll ask Tuppence to do the post! (Tommy isn’t much of a reader.) And she very graciously consented to oblige, so here she is…

(Scary, isn’t she?)

Hello, humans! I’m going to make this brief because I’m missing out on valuable napping time here, so sit up straight and pay attention. There is obviously only one book that could qualify for the designation of Classic and therefore it must be my favourite, as my servant could have easily worked out for herself if she wasn’t so – no offence – thick. Frankly if it wasn’t for the fact that she knows where the cat treats are hidden, we wouldn’t keep her around – she’s not much good for anything else. Except cleaning the litter trays. But I digress! Excuse me one moment while I groom my tail. Ah, that’s better!

As I was saying, the only Classic is…

Three Men in a Boat (To Say Nothing of the Dog)

Well, I’m off to catch up on my beauty sleep now, not that I need it. What? Good grief, now my servant is insisting that I explain why! I’d have thought that would be obvious to one of the meanest intelligence, but she is and apparently it isn’t. Oh well, I suppose we occasionally have to make an effort to boost staff morale around here. But I’m awfully tired and frankly a bit bored, so instead of explaining, why don’t I just let you read the passage that lifts this book so high above all others?

Ah, here it is…

I do not blame Montmorency for his tendency to row with cats; but he wished he had not given way to it that morning.

We were, as I have said, returning from a dip, and half-way up the High Street a cat darted out from one of the houses in front of us, and began to trot across the road. Montmorency gave a cry of joy – the cry of a stern warrior who sees his enemy given over to his hands – the sort of cry Cromwell might have uttered when the Scots came down the hill – and flew after his prey.

His victim was a large black Tom. I never saw a larger cat, nor a more disreputable-looking cat. It had lost half its tail, one of its ears, and a fairly appreciable proportion of its nose. It was a long, sinewy- looking animal. It had a calm, contented air about it.

Montmorency went for that poor cat at the rate of twenty miles an hour; but the cat did not hurry up – did not seem to have grasped the idea that its life was in danger. It trotted quietly on until its would-be assassin was within a yard of it, and then it turned round and sat down in the middle of the road, and looked at Montmorency with a gentle, inquiring expression, that said:

“Yes! You want me?”

Montmorency does not lack pluck; but there was something about the look of that cat that might have chilled the heart of the boldest dog. He stopped abruptly, and looked back at Tom.

Neither spoke; but the conversation that one could imagine was clearly as follows:-

THE CAT: “Can I do anything for you?”

MONTMORENCY: “No – no, thanks.”

THE CAT: “Don’t you mind speaking, if you really want anything, you know.”

MONTMORENCY (BACKING DOWN THE HIGH STREET): “Oh, no – not at all – certainly – don’t you trouble. I – I am afraid I’ve made a mistake. I thought I knew you. Sorry I disturbed you.”

THE CAT: “Not at all – quite a pleasure. Sure you don’t want anything, now?”

MONTMORENCY (STILL BACKING): “Not at all, thanks – not at all – very kind of you. Good morning.”

THE CAT: “Good-morning.”

Then the cat rose, and continued his trot; and Montmorency, fitting what he calls his tail carefully into its groove, came back to us, and took up an unimportant position in the rear.

To this day, if you say the word “Cats!” to Montmorency, he will visibly shrink and look up piteously at you, as if to say:

“Please don’t.”

Ah, yes! Sheer poetry! The plot, the characterisation, the triumph of good over evil – it has everything! Plus there’s no pleasure greater than laughing at a dog.

Now, if you’ll excuse me – well, frankly, even if you won’t – I’m done here. Please don’t disturb me for a good eighteen hours.

* * * * *

Thank you, Tuppence. I’m overwhelmed by your kindness and condescension! I’m so lucky to have you as my boss! Have a lovely nap and let me know if there’s anything I can do for you…

Go on, tickle my tummy! I dare you…

* * * * *

What do you think of Tuppence’s choice? Is there another classic that you feel deserves her consideration?

HAVE A GREAT TUESDAY! 😀

63 thoughts on “A feline favourite…

  1. Thank you, Tuppence, for your wise guidance in which book is ‘the’ classic. You know how we humans are when it comes to thinking. Little wonder the world is in the state it’s in! At any rate, I’ve made note of your choice, and will immediately read it. I’m sure there will be much to learn from doing what you say. Sorry, I have no cat treats with me (I must be forgiven for serving dogs, not cats), but I will pester your human servant to give you more treats.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Yes, it is rather sad that humans don’t try harder to be like cats – if they would only sleep twenty hours a day like we do, there would be far less time for them to mess up the world! Tommy and I are very sorry to hear that you have to serve dogs – but then, I suppose someone has to do it. They’re far too silly to do it themselves… 😺

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Tuppence has excellent taste, it’s such a fun book. I don’t think I will ever tire of you raving about Bleak House, or anything else Dickens related though.

    Liked by 1 person

    • She can be a little opinionated but she does have good taste! Aw, thank you! I’m sure Dickens will turn up again soon -I’m beginning to feel withdrawal symptoms and may need a fix soon… 😀

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  3. Tuppence has good taste. Perhaps she’ll help spread the joy of reading more. For myself, I lean toward Little Dorrit, which also doubles as a weapon since it is such a weighty tome.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Tuppence likes Dickens too, but feels he should have had more feline characters. Plus, she points out she doesn’t need to use books as weapons since she has lethal ones attached to each paw already… 😼

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  4. Gee, Tuppence, I haven’t read this one, so I’ll trust that you know what you’re talking (er, writing) about. I felt a bit sorry for poor Montmorency, though, you know. Most embarrassing predicament. Enjoy your nap, sweetie, and I’ll be sure to remind your servant to dispense plenty of kitty treats upon your awakening!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Our servant is reasonably generous with the treats, though I did hear her mention the word “diet” recently – fortunately to Tommy, not me! If she tried to put me on a diet, she’d be out on her ear! Montmorency is great, as dogs go, but of course cats are always superior… 😼

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Tuppence is gorgeous! Perhaps that compliment – which is heartfelt – will make up for the fact we have a rather large pack of dogs at our house…. and no kitties.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Dear Tuppence,
    Thank you so much for your erudite recommendation. I appreciate greatly your genteel condescension in supplying this title.
    Understanding your time is precious, may I offer the following short story for your delectation: The Loaded Dog by one Henry Lawson, also a human (but what can you do?)
    I would love to offer a synopsis or even a paragraph from this humble writing, but to do so would spoil your enjoyment. Please trust a fellow cat lover (ssh Kimmy!) that you will find this classic work highly diverting.
    Best wishes and many fishes
    Warren

    Liked by 2 people

    • Dear Warren,

      Tommy and I enjoyed that very much so here is a synchronised tail twitch in appreciation! Our servant fainted at the bit where the dog left a rotting dead cat at the door of the tent – she was obviously overwhelmed with jealousy since we normally give her nothing bigger than a mouse. Then she fainted again when the yellow dog blew up, I don’t know why – we laughed and laughed at that bit! Humans are very odd,,, However, she revived in time to give us our cat treats, so we’ve let her keep her job.

      Best wishes to you and your… dog…
      Tuppence 😺

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Lovely to see some photos of the renowned Tuppence. 😀 Shouldn’t her favourite be The Secret Adversary or something like that? Or perhaps that doesn’t count as a classic (it really ought to!)

    Liked by 1 person

    • Tuppence loves The Secret Adversary but since she’s convinced it’s an allegorical biography of her own adventurous self, she doesn’t understand why humans seem to think it’s fiction… 😼

      Liked by 1 person

    • Tuppence’s recommendations should never be ignored – you certainly don’t want to make her angry! She graciously accepts your compliment, which she feels is well-deserved, and offers you an appreciative tail twitch… 😺

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Cheers Tuppence, cats rule! This is an enticing introduction to an unknown (to me) classic. I think this will be a good book to listen to, and luckily the library has an audio version. Looking forward to it!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ooh, if you’ve never read this one you’re in for a treat! Our servant and I agree (for once) that it’s the funniest book in the world! Who’s the narrator? We’ve just acquired an audio version narrated by Ian Carmichael, who we think should be perfect for it… 😺

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  9. Ah Tuppence, such a glorious tale and such a glorious tail. Though perhaps these should be the other way around? In order of gloriousness? Your perceptive post started me thinking on books I have enjoyed which extol the many virtues of you feline wonders. Of course I thought of Old Possum’s Book but for me it has to be the children’s classic ‘The Mousehole Cat’. Brave Mowser accompanies her fisherman servant as he struggles to bring home a fishy catch to feed the starving villagers. Mowser soothes the ferocious Great Storm Cat with her purring. I’m looking at a picture of the Great Storm Cat right now. I think there is an uncanny resemblance between the two of you. Have you had a former career in life modelling before taking up the pen yourself? Yours, in humble supplication …. 🐟

    Liked by 2 people

    • That sounds like a great book – we shall order our servant to acquire a copy! I think we may have heard of it before – is it the one that has stargazy pie in it? We like the idea of stargazy pie a lot, but our servant unaccountably won’t make it for us, offering us dull tins of tuna instead – sometimes we wonder if we shouldn’t replace her. Are you looking for a new job, by any chance? I haven’t modelled since I feel it would be rather unfair on all the lesser beings who have to earn their keep that way, but I’m glad you recognise my superior potential…

      Feline felicitations!

      Liked by 1 person

      • You are right, stargazy pie does indeed feature. Maybe you could persuade your servant to offer you a tin of sardines rather than tuna? Sardines are a key ingredient of stargazy pie. But there again, you probably have fresh tuna… offered on a delicate china platter…

        I’m flattered to be considered as a potential alternative to your present servant but ask my felines for the lowdown first. They are lucky to get the very occasional piece of coley and a nightly Dreamie or 3. Not a chance of stargazy pie. Or tuna. I hang my head in shame …. 😣

        Liked by 1 person

        • Oh well, we may as well stay with our existing servant then – better the devil you know, eh? No offence. 😼 Hmm, sardines, eh? We did try them when we were younger but preferred tuna, so our servant never gets us sardines now. We shall remind her that variety is the spice of life…

          Liked by 1 person

    • She is disappointed but not surprised. She says nothing about humanity could surprise her any more. However, she says, she will continue her sporadic attempts between naps to improve us… 😼

      Liked by 1 person

  10. I trust Tuppence’s choice – it is so refreshing to see the opinion of a cat for once – and such an adorable one – I hope she is not angry with me for saying this – she sounds serious 🙂 As for Bleak House, as far as I am concerned, no one ever can give it enough compliments or mention it too many times, one millionth time may not be enough for this book – I want it mentioned in every post and in every line – the book is that good lol

    Liked by 1 person

    • Tuppence graciously accepts your humble praise and twitches her tail in appreciation! 😼 Three Men in a Boat is great, so I second her recommendation! But, oh yes, nice to see someone else who appreciates Bleak House as it should be appreciated! There’s so much in it, it’s nearly a library in itself! Best book ever written, whatever Tuppence says… 😉

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