Like its canine counterpart ‘A Prince Among Dogs’ reviewed by Dale Haines, A Dickens of a Cat is a collection of short stories written by various authors and edited by Callie Smith Grant. 

The blurb on the back cover says: ‘Our cats are more than pets. They are our best friends when times are tough, our partners when we are lonely, our pillows to cry on when we are sad. Cats bring companionship, humour, and a sense of mystery to our lives that no other pet can match. A rumbling purr or a tender meow can change our moods and warm our hearts.’

The title is taken from the first story about a cat called Dickens who comes into his owner’s life at a time when she is trying to cope with cancer. In caring for Dickens, Gwen Ellis realises that she has something else to focus on and Dickens, for his part, cares for Gwen with stoic love and duty.

All the stories are very heart-warming, all have that ‘aah’ factor and some are moving so you may shed a tear or two. The cats in the stories are almost like angels in fur coats, fulfilling a need in their owner’s lives.

Knowing how much my own cats have transformed my life and stuck with me through the times of my various illnesses, I can fully believe all the stories.

There are several stories which I favour but probably the one that hits the spot is on page 53 ‘The Cat Who Rescued the Boy.’ We all know children who are ‘difficult’ and who have ‘challenging’ behaviour traits but when it came to the crunch, the boy in this story didn’t think twice about rescuing his sister’s cat who’d been stuck up a tree.

Another favourite is ‘Out of the Woods’ by Jeanette Thomason, which is about a cat called Stella who is rehomed to a friend some distance away. Stella had just turned up one morning and as Jeanette already had a cantankerous cat called Miss Kitty she decided that Stella may have a happier life with a friend of hers who lived quite a distance away.

Some weeks later Stella turns up again at Jeanette’s home, determined to stay, having walked miles, crossed several major roads and braved the near-freezing temperatures. As Jeanette herself sums up: ‘Love finds a way, even across the miles, even through the dark.’

Published by Revell, it’s available in paperback and can be purchased online from,, and

The ISBN numbers are: 10: - 0-8007-5846-3

And 978-0-8007-5846-2 

A Cats Purr

"Cats make one of the most satisfying sounds in the world: they purr ...

A purring cat is a form of high praise, like a gold star on a test paper. It is reinforcement of something we would all like to believe about ourselves - that we are nice."

Roger A Caras

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