After some traumatic early life experiences, Dougal the black-and-white kitten falls on his paws into a loving home with two kind humans.
Dougal decides to repay his humans' kindness by trying to be a Good Cat at all times. When you have a sister like Shadow, being good isn't as easy as it should be.
Dougal is a very lucky cat. He knows that, so he's very determined to be a Good Cat and repay Man and Woman who kindly took him and his sister Shadow home with them after a shaky start in life.
Not being much of a reader (paws won't turn pages, let alone switch on a reading light), I had to have this book read to me by my Woman (although we call her She Who Often Returns from the Shops with Squeaky Toys). Our Man (He Who Disapproves Heartily of the Ongoing Provision of Squeaky Toys) just rolled his eyes and told me to go look for rats in the chook shed, but a dog does not live by exercise alone, and besides, reading involves lots of lying around on beds which is a Very Good Thing.
Dougal seems like a very lucky cat. Not that I'm a big fan of cats, but I can tolerate them if they Don't Touch Me! So I was pleased that Dougal found a lovely home with Man and Woman who give him lots of cuddles and lots of food (note to self - must discuss this one daily meal idea with ProSqueaky and AntiSqueaky... may need to find favoured shoe to concentrate their attention on the subject at hand!). Personally, I'm not that convinced about this being a Good Cat thing as I've never seen the need. My sister Meg moved in from next door a while ago and she says it's very important as if she's a Very Good Dog she won't be made to go home and sleep in her own little house (she prefers to sleep on big beds with fluffy doonas). My other sister Jedda and I know that we're the only reason that ProSqueaky and AntiSqueaky have to get up every morning and do something called work (or at least they keep telling us that Squeaky Toys don't grow on trees and you have to work to earn something or other that magically creates Squeaky Toy bushes). Or something.
I did like the idea of the walks that Dougal and Shadow go on. They sound much more interesting than the once arounds the paddock that we get as there are no cats to be glared at and the Alpacas hate us. But we do have rabbits to chase and I bet Dougal and Shadow would like that - so maybe they could visit one day and maybe they could show us how to sneak up on a rabbit, because we're something called a "Smash and Grab Gang without the Grab". Whatever that means.
Dougal's Diary is a very nice book about a very nice cat who looks after the girls in his household (even though girls are really annoying). I know how very hard it is to be Good when you have a little sister (I've got two of them and they are a real trial so I know exactly how Dougal feels!). I hope he has a very happy life and that he figures out how to get on and off the roof and out of the trees. I'd like it if he would write another book about how you do that as I can't seem to even get close to climbing and there's this crow that lives in a tree outside the front door that I'd really like to surprise one day.
Review by Clancy the Australian Terrier (11 years and 1 month old)
Clancy (at the bottom) with his sister Jedda
(ProSqueaky is not from a cat household, and should declare an interest being the WebWrangler for http://www.clandestinepress.com.au - Publishers of this book. She would, however, genuinely recommend this very sweet, funny, often very touching little book to animal lovers of all ages - it's perfect for kids as well as adults. It's a joy to know that there are people out there that love and care for their animals as much as Dougal's Man and Woman do. It really makes you think very hard about animal adoption from shelters as a real alternative to pure bred breeders - and that's from somebody who is utterly besotted with Aussie Terriers!)