Category: Memoir; nonfiction
Publication date (US): Oct. 30, 2012
Book source: Goodreads giveaway (publisher ARC)
Paw Prints in the Moonlight tells the story of Toby Jug, a diminutive and charming Maine Coon cat rescued by the author as a tiny kitten, after its mother was hit by a car. From infancy, Toby Jug was an unusual cat, small but curious, cheerful, affectionate, and adventurous. His loyalty to the author was strong enough that Mr. O’Connor was able to take him on walks (usually but not always wearing a harness) and car rides. Toby Jug even accompanied the author on a horseback camping trip — a memorable outing for man, cat, and horse.
Toby Jugs’ adventures didn’t stop there. He absconded with tomatoes from a neighbor’s conservatory, had a run-in with foxhounds, and, with the author, endured a massive swarm of bees within the cottage. Through it all, he remained a loving and faithful companion.
Mr. O’Connor’s deep love for Toby Jug shines through on every page of this memoir. His slightly formal, almost old-fashioned writing style seems oddly appropriate to both the story and the setting: England’s Northumberland and in particular the author’s home, Owl Cottage. If you hate pet memoirs in which the pet dies, O’Connor has thoughtfully put that section in an epilogue which you can skip if you prefer.
I enjoyed this book more than Cleo: How An Uppity Cat Helped Heal a Family, in part because there is far less tragedy in it, and because Toby Jug is such a charmer. I’d recommend Paw Prints in the Moonlight to those who enjoyed Dewey and Homer’s Odyssey. You’ll find yourself wishing you had your own Toby Jug!
Giveaway: I’ll be giving away my ARC of Paw Prints in the Moonlight to one lucky reader! You can enter below. The giveaway ends on 10/22/2012 at 12:01 a.m. (Eastern Time). Earn extra entries by leaving a comment and/or sharing the giveaway on your blog.