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James Herriot's Cat Stories

James Herriot's Cat Stories

Book rating: 04 Hardback

By (author) James Herriot

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  • Publisher: St Martin's Press
  • Format: Hardback | 161 pages
  • Dimensions: 140mm x 197mm x 14mm | 363g
  • Publication date: 15 September 1994
  • Publication City/Country: New York
  • ISBN 10: 0312113420
  • ISBN 13: 9780312113421
  • Edition statement: First.
  • Illustrations note: colour illustrations
  • Sales rank: 71,868

Product description

What better match of author and subject than James Herriot, the world's most beloved veterinarian and storyteller, and the adorable feline friends who delight so many millions of cat lovers around the world? Between these covers, teller and tales finally meet in a warm and joyful new collection that will bring delight to the hearts of readers the world over: James Herriot's Cat Stories. Here are Buster, the kitten who arrived on Christmas; Alfred, the cat at the sweet shop; little Emily, who lived with the gentleman tramp; and Olly and Ginny, the kittens who charmed readers when they first appeared at the Herriots' house in the worldwide bestseller Every Living Thing. And along with these come others, each story as memorable and heartwarming as the last, each told with that magic blend of gentle wit and human compassion that marks every word from James Herriot's pen. For lovers of cats, James Herriot's books, or both, James Herriot's Cat Stories will be a gift to treasure.

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Author information

James Herriot (1916-1995) was the bestselling author of memoirs including "All Creatures Great and Small," "All Things Bright and Beautiful," "All Things Wise and Wonderful," "The Lord God Made Them All," and "Every Living Thing." At age 23, Herriot qualified for veterinary practice with the Glasgow Veterinary College, and moved to the town of Thirsk in Yorkshire to work in a rural practice. He would live in, work in, and write about the region for the rest of his life. Though he dreamed for years of writing a book, his veterinary work and his family kept him busy, and he did not start writing until the age of 50. In 1979, he was awarded the title Order of the British Empire (OBE). His veterinary practice in Yorkshire, England, is now tended by his son, Jim Wight.

Customer reviews

By Wayne S. Walker 28 Jan 2012 4

James Herriot was the pen name of James Alfred (Alf) Wight (1916-1995), an English veterinary surgeon and writer, who used his many years of experiences as a veterinarian to write a series of books about animals and their owners. In 1940, he moved to work in a rural practice based in the town of Thirsk, Yorkshire, England, with Donald and Brian Sinclair, and the following year married Joan Catherine Anderson Danbury. In his semi-autobiographical books, Wight calls the town where Herriot lives and works "Darrowby," which he based largely on the towns of Thirsk and and nearby Sowerby. He also renamed Donald Sinclair and his brother Brian Sinclair as Siegfried and Tristan Farnon, respectively, and used the name "Helen Alderson" for Joan Danbury. Wight's son, also a veterinarian, has said that the books are only partially autobiographical as several events that actually happened in the 1960s and 70s are transported back to the 1930s and 40s.
Herriot first published six short books, which in the United States were released as three combined volumes. They were All Creatures Great and Small (1972, incorporating If Only They Could Talk and It Shouldn't Happen to a Vet); All Things Bright and Beautiful (1974, incorporating Let Sleeping Vets Lie and Vet in Harness); and All Things Wise and Wonderful (1977, incorporating Vets Might Fly and Vet in a Spin). He has also written James Herriot's Yorkshire (1979), The Lord God Made Them All (1981), and Every Living Thing (1992). I first became acquainted with the series as a result of watching the long-running BBC television program based on the books and shown in the United States on PBS. Then my mother gave us copies of the books which are cute stories but have quite a bit of cursing and profanity, even some vulgarity, and many references to drinking alcohol. Cat Stories tells about Buster, the kitten who arrived on Christmas; Alfred, the cat at the sweet shop; little Emily who lived with the gentleman tramp; Olly and Ginny who first appeared at the Herriots' house in Every Living Thing; and others.
We are "cat people" with two pet housecats, both neutered toms-one a huge, hulking yellow tabby that our older son brought home when it was a tiny, barely four-week-old kitten, and the other a sleek black stray which adopted us after our younger son found him under our back porch. I had hoped that Cat Stories might omit some of the objectionable features of the other books, but there are still a few instances of cursing, profanity, and drinking alcohol, though perhaps not as much as in the larger volumes. There is also a companion, Favorite Dog Stories (1995). Because of the language, I would not recommend them for youngsters. Herriot did write several shorter stories suitable for children--Blossom Comes Home (1969); Moses the Kitten (1984); Only One Woof (1985); The Christmas Day Kitten (1986); Bonny's Big Day (1987); The Market Square Dog (1989); Oscar, Cat-About-Town (1990); and Smudge, the Little Lost Lamb (1991)-which I believe were all included in an omnibus edition, James Herriot's Treasury for Children (1992).

Back cover copy

What better match of author and subject than James Herriot, the world's most beloved veterinarian and storyteller, and the adorable feline friends who delight so many millions of cat lovers around the world? Between these covers, teller and tales finally meet in a warm and joyful new collection that will bring delight to the hearts of readers the world over: James Herriot's Cat Stories. Here are Buster, the kitten who arrived on Christmas; Alfred, the cat at the sweet shop; little Emily, who lived with the gentleman tramp; and Olly and Ginny, the kittens who charmed readers when they first appeared at the Herriots' house in the worldwide bestseller Every Living Thing. And along with these come others, each story as memorable and heartwarming as the last, each told with that magic blend of gentle wit and human compassion that marks every word from James Herriot's pen. For lovers of cats, James Herriot's books, or both, James Herriot's Cat Stories will be a gift to treasure.