So, that book Elaine gave me in Colchester - frankly I'm surprised that nobody has given it to me before - it's Simon's Cat by Simon Tofield.
I came across the YouTube channel for this cartoonist a long time ago, possibly on one of those days when I was feeling a little glum and so was looking at YouTube videos of kittens, and then this lovely book came out. Do go and have a look at the cartoon videos here, they're a mixture of the very observant and the very silly. Observant about cats, that is - the way they move, the things they seem to be thinking. And the book is the same - I love this picture, and the oscillating friendship between Simon's Cat and the Garden Gnome which is seen throughout the book... all very silly and fun. Thanks Elaine!
There seems to be a correlation between literary bloggers and cat-lovers. Not everyone is wise enough to see that cats are the best and greatest creatures on God's earth, of course, but those of us who recognise the fact are also often well aware that books are the best inanimate objects on God's earth. It's just common sense, really. There are probably quite a few bloggers who weary of getting their most excitable comments on posts which are simply photos of their pets, rather than their well-thought-out book analyses - but I'd take a photo of a kitten over the best book review, any day.
Luckily for us, there seems to be a whole industry of cat cartoon books. A while ago I 'reviewed' Everyday Cat Excuses by Molly Brandenburg, and my favourite of this subgenre is Jeffrey Brown's wonderful Cat Getting Out of a Bag and other observations.
It's a must for any cat lover - gently very amusing, and certainly the most observant as to how cats behave, getting across all their little ways, silly and dignified alike. I did buy it for my friend, but then my friend became my housemate, so I get to look at it too. Only eleven months til Christmas, why not pick this one up now... then you have eleven months to enjoy it before you give it away.