It had to be. You move to France, you’re learning French and you get a cat, so it would be required for someone to give you a little book called French for Cats*. Like I said, it had to be. After all, your cat has to learn to understand French too. Right?
Why, oh Why?
I generally consider these sorts of books, throw away books. Not that I ever do! Sacrilegious, to throw away a book! (Rather I give to charity, or to another unsuspecting person.) You know the kind, funny for a moment, given to you at birthdays or Christmas, generally by your children because they didn’t cost very much , or a friend who has no idea what else to give you. Or because they just thought this book ‘is so you!’
Par usual, this one was relegated to the bathroom. Isn’t that where all small books you think you might one day read go to die? And there it sat. And sat.
But then there was this picture of a cat in a beret on the front. So, one day I picked it up. I opened to a page at random and read:
“I think I am going to cough up a fur ball / Je crois que je vais cracher une boule de poils.
Here it comes now / Attention, ça vient.
Voila / Voilà.”
I was hooked.
French for Cats
An easy read, the author Henri de la Barbe (Henry Beard) writes some very typical phrases, all exactly what you know your cat is thinking, as well as objects of interest to your cat. The Cloth Mouse = La Souris en Tissu. The Ball with Bell in It = La Balle avec un Clochete dedans. But what really makes French for Cats fun, is the drawings accompanying the phrases and descriptions. They are simple, but emotive.
All in all, a very simple little book that will bring a smile to your face, or the face of a cat owner, as all the typical cat antics are covered. And, Bonus! You learn a little French on the side. Whether your cat does too, is another matter.
So, if you must buy a cat owning friend or relative something small and funny, we actually do recommend it.
Oh, and if you like that one, Monsieur la Barbe also wrote ‘French Cats don’t get Fat’. (Not strictly true as one of our cats, Lapsong, is a tad on the portly side. But we bought the book for her to see if it would make a difference. So far, hmmmm, not really, though we enjoyed the read.)
If you prefer to read or are simply curious about the original ‘French Women don’t get Fat’, check out our review by clicking on this ‘link‘.
*Our Book Club Disclosure
For our Vive le Livre Book Club we are affiliated* with Bookshop.Org. As great readers ourselves, we wanted to offer a way to purchase the books (when available) we recommend about France and the French (and wine). We specifically chose to affiliate with Bookshop because they support independent bookshops. They are currently supporting, and you can buy from, bookshops in the UK, USA and Spain.
For this and other books we recommend in our book club, simply click on your book of choice below to read more or purchase…
From the UK:
From the USA:
I also offer a small selection of vintage book finds, mostly English, some French in my own Shop.
*If you would like to read more about Affiliates, or be more involved, visit the Nourishing Pumpjack & Piddlewick page.