Genres: Animals, Non-Fiction
Original Publication Date: 1988
Source: I purchased this book
Find the Author: Website, Goodreads, Amazon
‘Twas the night before Christmas when a bedraggled white feline entered the heart — and home — of Cleveland Amory. To say it is a friendly takeover is an understatement. For the cat who came for Christmas is clearly of the Independent Type, and Cleveland Amory, cranky or not, is a pushover where animals are concerned.
Table of Contents
Cleveland Amory’s The Cat Who Came For Christmas is the delightful holiday tale of Amory and his beloved feline, Polar Bear.
Amory Meets The Cat On Christmas Eve
On a rescue mission, he meets Polar Bear, a stray who is living in deplorable conditions. The cat is living in a Manhattan parking garage and people are throwing things at him and abusing him.
Polar Bear immediately touches his heart in an unusual way. Amory loved all animals, but had never been owned by a cat before – he was a “dog man.”
But that cold Christmas Eve changed all of that. He seems to know instinctively that this small, half-starved creature will be important to him. Amory and Polar Bear were perfect for each other.
As Amory says:
To anyone who has ever been owned by a cat, it will come as no surprise that there are all sorts of things about your cat you will never, as long as you live, forget.
Not the least of these is your first sight of him or her.
That the first sight of mine, however, would ever be memorable seemed, at the time, highly improbable. For one thing, I could hardly see him at all. It was snowing.
Amory wasn’t even supposed to keep him, not even temporarily.
Polar Bear didn’t trust anyone after his previous cruel treatment by humans.
Polar Bear spends most of his first few days sleeping and hiding.
But after a few days of uneasy truce, Polar Bear realized that Amory would never hurt him and that they could live together.
They became best friends.
I really love this book. The sometimes comical interactions between Amory and Polar Bear are fascinating.
Even though Amory was devoted to saving animals, he had never been owned by a cat before and had a LOT to learn.
The book can also be very funny as Amory tries to see things from a cat’s point of view.
It is a sweet story and makes for wonderful Christmas reading.
Amory considered himself a “curmudgeon” and he and Polar Bear were happy curmudgeons together.
The Book Was So Popular That Amory Wrote Two Sequels
The book was a huge bestseller upon its original publication in 1987 and has been republished numerous times, with the most recent edition in October 2013.
Two sequels were published:
The Cat and the Curmudgeon, 1990:
Curmudgeon is about the continuing relationship between Amory and Polar Bear, especially after fame has struck.
Polar Bear now goes on book tours and stays with Amory in hotel rooms. They are now a fine team.
The Best Cat Ever (1993) is actually mostly about Amory’s interesting life and not so much about Polar Bear, although it does have the very sad but inevitable conclusion to their enduring friendship.
Or you can get all three volumes in one giant hardcover book, Cleveland Amory’s Compleat Cat.
For some reason, these books are not available for Kindle – yet.
If you’re in a Christmas mood, you may also want to check out a Merry Classical Christmas.
You may also want to read my posts about cats or Christmas:
The Fur Person by May Sarton.
Love Saves The Day by Gwen Cooper.
Please also check out Christmas memories from my New Jersey blog!
Thank you for reading The Literary Lioness!