The Unadulterated Cat (1989)

The Unadulterated Cat

Illustrated by Gray Jolliffe

Not too many years ago, my husband ended up in the hospital. He was there for four weeks. At one point, the drs weren’t certain how things would go and he ended up in Intensive. I had just started on The Unadulterated Cat and decided that if he had to placed in coma, then I would keep on reading it out loud to him. Thankfully, he did not have to be placed in coma, so I kept on reading the book to myself. But I have to say that The Unadulterated Cat represents a frightening period of my life yet also a time of gratitude in my heart.

Cats! My first cat appeared soon after my entry into the world. From pictures that cat seemed to be an adorable white little sweet-heart. According to my parents our relationship was much like the cat and baby in the above video. She loved being my hat and we kept her a long time. I imagine I put her ears into my mouth and did my best to pull and prod her as much as I was able to.

The Real Cat and Children A Real kitten in a Real household with a junior member can expect to be:1) pulled. 2) pushed. 3) Imprisoned in Cindy’s bedroom with Cindy, Mr T in one of Cinderella’s dresses*, a tiearmed teddy bear, a fearsome plasticoid with Lazer-zap cannon and a small pink pony. 4) Fed unsuitable food. In this category can be included peas, ghastly sweet pink goo, and a fortnight’s worth of Kitty treats in three minutes.5) Inserted into unsuitable clothing (cf. Cindy,Barbie, Action Man, etc).) Carried by being he the middle, so that large amounts of cat flop down on either side. (Strangely enough, most cats put up with this, even when they are great fat toms)

The next one that entered my life ended up with the name Soxie. She just turned up one day. I adored her. We did not have her for all that long before we moved to another country, and the cat may or may not have survived being placed in a pound. Upon leaving I was in my late sixes. Oh, how I missed her. On my way home from school I would sing songs about her and make up stories about where she might have ended up. In spite of her murdering, devious, treacherous and conniving ways she had found a place in my heart.

Buying a house in the Country: A very reliable way of acquiring a cat. It’ll normally turn up within the first year, with a smug expression that suggests it is a little surprised to see you here. It doesn’t belong to the previous occupants, none of the neighbours recognise it, but it seems perfectly at home. Why? It is very probably a Schrodinger Cat

Years and years passed until my family moved into another house in another country. I now understand that is a prerequisite for the magically appearing cat. The lady that moved into our house also turned up one day. She kept on returning and all of a sudden she decided she was ours. Paid rent as well. At night she would climb through my sister’s bedroom window and leave her offerings on her pillow.

Real cats don’t hunt for food, but because they love you. And, because they love you, they realise that for some reason you have neglected to include in your house all those little personal touches that make it a home, and do their best to provide them. Headless shrews are always popular. For that extra splash of colour, you can’t beat miniature sets of innards.

My sister still has a cat. All of her terrifying nightly experiences did not stop her from such a drastic step. Their first cat was the terror of the neighborhood. The one they have now is in cahoots with the dog. Such unpredictable creatures, cats, and described to perfection by Terry Pratchett.

Quotes found on L-Space



  • Bulgarian: Автентичната котка
  • Czech: Nefalšovaná kočka
  • Dutch: De Echte Kat: Felix Vulgaris
  • Finnish: Tosikissa ei kirppuja kiroile
  • French: Sacrés chats !
  • German: Die gemeine Hauskatze
  • Hungarian: Az igazi macska: Kampány az igazi macskáért
  • Italian: Il Gatto D.O.C.
  • Polish: Kot w stanie czystym
  • Russian: «Кот без дурако́в», «Кот без прикра́с», «За подлинную кошачесть»
  • Swedish: Riktiga Katter bär inte Rosett



About humanitysdarkerside

Bibliophile, small-time activist, ASD, blogger

Posted on 2014-12-07, in Book reviews and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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