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The Guest Cat - Takashi Hiraide, Eric Selland

I received a copy of this book from the publishers and this is my honest opinion of the book.


A couple reside in a rented property in the suburbs in Japan. They are meandering through life when suddenly a cat, adopted by neighbours begins to visit their house. As the cat works its way into their hearts and home she has an effect on their lives in other ways.


This is a short novella, only 136 pages long. There is a mystical almost whimsical feel to the story as the unnamed narrator tells us about Chibi the cat and how she motivates him and his wife. He notices changes taking place, neither of them being cat lovers, his wife starts to make a bed for the visitor, feeding her and leaving the door open to ensure she can visit whenever she likes. The cat inspires the narrator to make changes in his own life.


The author is also a poet and this shows in the writing. Short chapters of two or three pages appear to convey little but the story soon grows on you much like the cat. There is no big plot line, just a gentle meander through the lives of a Japanese couple. A charming little story.