Book Review: The Cat Who Came In Off The Roof


In the tradition of The Cricket in Times Square comes this charming tale of courage, friendship, and what it really means to be human. This classic, which originated in Holland and has withstood the test of time worldwide, will appeal to readers young and old—and dog and cat lovers alike!

An act of kindness brings shy reporter Mr. Tibble into contact with the unusual Miss Minou. Tibble is close to losing his job because he only writes stories about cats. Fortunately, Minou provides him with real news. She gets the juicy inside information from her local feline friends, who are the eyes and ears of the neighborhood. Tibble is appreciative, but he wonders how she does it. He has noticed that Minou is terrified of dogs and can climb trees and rooftops with elegance and ease. . . . It’s almost as if she’s a cat herself. But how can that be?

So I want a cat. Or two. Or three. I would settle for a basket of kittens. I have none of these things. My current apartment does not allow pets, so I can’t even plan for a cat. Also none of my friends have cats. My life is a barren wasteland.

I have managed by following several blogs which post videos and pictures of cats. But it’s not quite enough to fill the void. And thus, when I saw a book featuring cats on Netgalley, with a charming middle-grade-style cover, I clicked “request” without reading the description. And I got approved. And then I opened it up in awe and horror. What had I doooooooone?

What I had done, fortunately, was request a charming middle-grade drama from the 1970s, newly translated into English. I had some SERIOUS moments of fear when it opened on adults meeting each other on a street— one newly about to lose his job and one treed by a dog— but my afeared paranormal romance did not materialize. Thank goodness.

Instead we got heroic photography, the problems of keeping yourself from rubbing your face on someone’s arm, kitten adventures, and a gang of journalist cats. Yes, journalist cats. Seriously. All the cats in town figure out that if they bring news, they get treats, and so they’re spying on the humans with varying degrees of success. On the one hand, the cat who lives in the school keeps coming to Minou with news he heard about in class. “Put this in the paper. The spanish armada was defeated! Now how about some fish?” And on the other hand, the fat cat who lives at the hotel discovers corruptions at the highest levels of town politics and everybody working together brings down a cruel businessman.

*wild applause*

Final verdicts is that this book is lots of whiskery fun and it will make you want to adopt a cat even more. SO THANKS FOR THAT, ANNIE SCHMIDT.

Also, there is a stray named Tatter Cat, who is independent and angry and has kittens, and I love her deeply and wish to adopt her. She would not accept me, but I would lay out saucers of milk in hope and adoration.

Tell me what you think! Please.