Book Report “The Guest Cat” by Takashi Hiraide

“Before the gate, at the foot of the tree that stands near the well, there is a rare guest. By his countenance I think he is not common. If he is descended from heaven he should have a heavenly face, and if he is of the earth his face too should be earthly. Truly this is a great beauty. Might he be a prince – an heir to the imperial throne?” (description of the god of hunting from the Nihon Shoki)

This book is unlike any I have read before and is well translated. It is about a pair of editors who move into the guesthouse of an old estate and slowly befriend the neighbors cat Chibi. The story revolves around Chibi and the estates garden and guesthouse. At first I thought it was written from the wife’s point of view but when the writer referred to his wife as “his wife” and himself as his “wife’s husband” it all became clear. I’m not sure if referring to one’s self as “his wife’s husband” is an artifact of translation or Japanese culture.

The story is basically two years in the couples life with the tear jerker about 2/3s of the way through the book and a mystery at the end. All in all I recommend it as it shows that each cat is it’s own little person.  

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5 thoughts on “Book Report “The Guest Cat” by Takashi Hiraide

    • Thank you and yes you may reprint it. You won’t believe what book I’m reading now, Mike was appalled. Let’s just say it’s real light reading.

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