Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews

The Catlady

The Catlady

Dick King-Smith
For ages 8 to 10
Random House, 2007   ISBN: 978-0440420316

Muriel Ponsonby loves cats and she has a whole house full of them. The villagers are not quite sure what to think of her. They wonder if the old lady is a witch or just a nice old lady who is a bit peculiar. In actual fact Miss Ponsonby is quite harmless, though there is no doubt that she does have some “odd habits.”

   Perhaps Miss Ponsonby’s oddest quirk is the fact that she is sure that her cats are the reincarnations of people she once knew. Amongst her throng she has her mother, father, cousins and friends – all now living in the bodies of cats. One day, soon after old QueenVictoriadies, Miss Ponsonby examines the new kittens that were born. To her amazement she discovers that one of the kittens contains the spirit of none other than Queen Victoria herself. What an honour and yet at the same time, what a trial!

   In fact the whole business of taking care of so many cats is becoming rather hard for the old lady and she sets about trying to find someone to help her take care of her home and her pets.

    This deliciously funny and unique story is a cat-lovers dream. Miss Ponsonby’s belief in re-incarnation is certain to pose some interesting questions. The idea would certainly explain some of the odd behaviours our feline friends display. Maybe she is not “odd” at all, but instead is the one person who really understands cats.