Tigger: Memoirs of a Cosmopolitan Cat by Susanne Haywood is an absolutely delightful read. Susanne is someone who understands a cat’s psyche and writing from Tigger’s point of view she absolutely nails it.
Tigger is a cat that takes his family’s wellbeing seriously and gets on with the business of shaping their education and their leisure pursuits so that his family will be able to go out into the world well-equipped to do so.
Tigger begins his story in Melbourne, Australia and then he experiences life in America before heading back to Melbourne again. Eventually he, and the rest of his human family, plus a female white cat, Tammy, and two very badly behaved dogs, Mishka and Max, all travel to the UK where they set up home in the south of England.
I loved Tigger’s easy style of writing; the lessons he tries to teach his family, which comprise Mum, Dad and three children, Caroline, Emily and Robin and Tamm, Mishka and Max and he does his best to keep them all on their toes and in line. I laughed out loud at many parts of the book, especially when Betty, an elderly lady who cat sits while Mum and Dad go on a holiday, has to deal with Tigger’s presents which he leaves by the side of her bed for her to step unwittingly on when she gets up, to the vomit that Tammy has left outside the bedroom door where once again, poor Betty steps right into when she opens it first thing in the morning. There were many other hilarious incidents and some very sobering lessons which we can all take a note of.
Susanne’s ‘epilogue’ had me in tears within seconds as she wrote that Tigger ‘left us on a breezy day in March 2014, barely three months after his story ends.’ Somehow, the poignancy of Susanne’s words touched my soul and my tears coursed down my cheeks as I, too, remembered my beloved feline companions who were now no longer by my side.
Tigger’s memoirs are wonderful and I could really see this book being made into a film. The descriptive prose is mesmerising, evocative and I could feel myself at once either in Melbourne, or the delights of Maryland, or an English countryside. It is a truly beautiful piece of writing and the storyline and Tigger’s exploits will stay with the reader long after you’ve finished the book.
Susanne Haywood grew up in Austria, married an Englishman and spent most of her married life in Australia and in the United States before settling in Southern England, which makes her as cosmopolitan as her cat Tigger, who accompanied the family on all their travels.
After a career as teacher, university lecturer and higher education manager she now devotes her time to writing. Having won some recognition in Australia for her short stories, she embarked upon the memoirs of Tigger, the world-travelling cat. An Australian story and a World War II biographical novel are also in the pipeline.
Susanne has three children and lives with her husband, a fluctuating number of their young people and an assortment of animals in West Sussex
You can tweet Susanne @TiggerHaywood
The story behind 'The Memoirs of a Cosmopolitan Cat'