A little while back Dark Puss/Peter wrote a piece about Croc Attack! by Assaf Gavron. Not a man to overload himself with books, he's devised a little feline competition to send the book off to another - UK entrants only, I'm afraid, although non-UK readers are very welcome to have a go at the quiz sans prize. (N.B. - for obvious reasons, don't put the answers in the comment section!) Over to you, Peter...
Croc Attack! Competition
With Simon’s encouragement I have set a small literary competition for you. Here are five quotations from books of fiction containing cats who play significant, or dominant, roles in the story. All the books are from the 20thC, three are translated from another language, two might be described as “children’s literature”. If the name of the cat explicitly appears in any of the quotations I have replaced it with “****”
The rules are simple, email Simon (firstname.lastname@example.org) with the name of the cat and the name of the book for each of the five quotations. Simon will draw the winner from a hat if more that one person ties for first place. I’ll then post off “my” copy of Croc Attack when Simon sends me the winner’s postal address. Have fun!
’I’m very pleased to make your acquaintance’, said **** in his silky voice. ‘Hello’ said Chester. He was ashamed because of the fuss he’d made. ‘I wasn’t scared for myself. But I thought cats and mice were enemies.’ ‘In the country, maybe,’ said Tucker. ‘But in New York we gave up those habits long ago. **** is my oldest friend. He lives with me over in the drain pipe. So how was scrounging tonight, ****?’
From somewhere behind him a soft voice said, ‘Ah well, that’s better. I’m glad you’re alive. I wasn’t sure at all. But I say, you are a mess!’ Startled, for the memory of his encounter with the yellow cat was still fresh, **** rolled over and beheld the speaker squatted down comfortably beside him, her legs tucked under her, tail nicely wrapped around. She was a thin tabby with a part white face and throat that gave her a most sweet and gentle aspect heightened by the lively and kind expression in her luminous eyes that were grey-green, flecked with gold.
A bend in the path and a gap in the leaves allowed Camille to see Alain and the cat once more from the distance. She stopped short and made a movement to retrace her steps. But she swayed for only an instant and then walked away faster than ever. For a while ****, on guard, was following Camille’s departure as intently as a human being. Alain was half-lying on his side ignoring it. With one hand hollowed into a paw, he was playing with the first green, prickly August chestnuts.
The moment she saw the cat climb onto the tram, she screamed with a rage that made her whole body shake:
’No cats! No Boarding with cats! Scram! Off before I call the police’
Both the conductress and the passengers were oblivious to the heart of the issue: not that a cat was clambering onto a tram, which would be half the trouble, but that he intended to pay!
However in my absence, the fir tree had grown a little and I could not reach to put the silver star on the top of it, even if I stood on tiptoe. You’re probably thinking that it should be fairly easy for a cat to climb a tree, But the tree was so small I was worried it would not bear my weight. So I went off to fetch one of those wooden boxes I’d seen lying around in the station. I hung the decorations on the tree, carefully threading the thin wires over the branches. Then I climbed up onto the box and tied the silver star to the very top with another piece of wire.