Cats In Command And Other Stories by C. M. Barrett
Review by Sara Townsend
With this title, I came to this book expecting a collection of short stories about cats. Not all the stories are about cats, however. There is an eclectic mix of short stories here, and many of them – though not all – could be described as modern fairy tales.
The title story is highly entertaining and deals with a notion that all those who have ever owned cats have long suspected – we don’t own them as much as they deign to stay with us. In this story Elaine finds herself in a cage being viewed by cats as the potential pet – and is also on trial for allowing her last cat to be taken off by her ex-husband, and to boot has allowed herself to remain cat-less for over a year. It seems that cats have taken it upon themselves to train humans, even though to do so requires sacrifices on the part of the superior feline species.
The strongest story in the collection is “Gargoyle in Love” concerning a stone gargoyle on the roof of Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris, who has not always been made of stone and laments his loneliness and current immobility. He befriends a small white cat who has been adopted as a mouser by the nuns, and this bittersweet story traces their relationship. I am left feeling a need to go look at Notre Dame cathedral next time I am in Paris, and look for the gargoyle with the small cat between its paws – because I am convinced it is there, and that it inspired this lovely story.
Some of the stories in this collection are stronger than others, and there are some errors present that should have been picked up with tighter editing, but this is an entertaining collection of stories perfect for those times when you want a quick read.
Star Rating: 3/5
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