THE BACHELOR’S CAT
by L.F. Hoffman
Unlike my other reviews, this one will be relatively short. Then again, it’s a short book! It’s a nice little story to read, with a cup of tea at hand, on a rainy day as the drops cascade down your window to the garden below. An hour or so later, after you have finished reading the book, you will find yourself thinking about it for the rest of the day.
This book is unusual due to its quirky style. The only name used is that of the protagonist cat, which after much deliberation, is named ‘Frankie’. All the other characters remain nameless.
Another peculiar trait is the author’s usage of staccato sentences. They’re quick and to the point, done in a very clever way. They turn you into an immediate speed reader!
Even though the story is simple, there is much to digest. It is humorous and intelligent. The bachelor has a beautiful girlfriend who almost treats him as a commodity. She never hesitates to take off unexpectedly with someone else when the mood overcomes her. He is left to find companionship elsewhere.
It is during one of these sojourns that the bachelor hears a crying sound outside his door. There he finds a shivering kitten, so small it must have been recently born. He brings it in on a ‘temporary’ basis which develops into a permanent bond.
Using ingenuity he figures out how to feed the tiny ball of fur and over time how to communicate with her. He overcomes her fears and names the little gray tabby Frankie. They became close buddies.
While his girlfriend is away he is left to frequent his regular haunts and befriends a woman who is the total opposite of his girlfriend. She is not superficially beautiful and is slightly on the heavy side. Yet, they click. She is very friendly, pleasant, makes him laugh and always gives him her full attention – unlike his girlfriend who is vain and more interested in whomever else is in the room rather than him, even though she does excel in evening dalliances. The woman gets along very well with the cat while the girlfriend couldn’t care less.
Time wears on and the bachelor realizes he has to make a decision. The woman hints at moving in with him and he recoils at the permanency of the idea. She is hurt and tells him she understands. The woman gives him three days to decide and if she doesn’t hear from him by noon on the third day she’ll come and take the few things she has at his apartment and leave for good.
On the second day his girlfriend, back from an absence, calls him and invites him to an extended brunch the following day. The bachelor has a sleepless night. The moment of truth has arrived. In the morning he dabbles in calling the girlfriend to cancel. However, the allure of her voice and charms win out.
As he is leaving his apartment he knows deep down he has made the wrong choice, yet persists. Leaving his apartment he leaves the door unlocked for the woman and loosely closes it. As he is crossing the street he notices a black limo further down coming in his direction.
Suddenly, he hears the vehicle screech to a breaking halt! He turns and is horrified when he sees the mass of grey fur under the front tire! His whole life changes… – Marilu Shellie
A worthy quote from the book: “...as he stroked the fur of her belly – ‘Heaven,’ he thought, ‘would have to be a place lined with cat bellies’.“