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The Cat With Two Names
by Linda Newbery
Rose has a black and white cat called Smudge-Face. Her next-door neighbour, Wilfred, has a black and white cat called Fungus. However, what neither of them realize is that this is the same cat, enjoying double the meals and double the attention at two different houses, by slipping through a hole in the garden fence. But when the cat with two names is accidentally shut inside another neighbour’s garage, both Rose and Wilfred set out looking for their missing pet and it isn’t long before they meet each other ...
Key Stage: KS1 E; Age 7+ (info)
198 x 130mm
Illustrator: Stephen Lambert
Linda Newbery wrote her first novel during the summer holidays from her job as English teacher in a comprehensive school. Now a critically acclaimed full-time author, Linda has written over twenty novels, been shortlisted twice for the Carnegie Medal, and is the winner of a Silver Medal Nestle Children’s Book Prize and the Costa Children’s Book Award. Linda does much of her work in a writing hut in her garden but is often distracted by her own four cats ...
Visit www.lindanewbery.co.uk to find out more.
THE CAT WITH TWO NAMES
Once, Cat had a name, but after a few weeks as a stray he forgot what it was.
He’d had a home once, and a cat-flap, and a basket to sleep in. Not any more.
One day his owners packed up and left. Without Cat. They didn’t want him.
New people moved into the house, blocked up the cat-flap and shooed Cat
away. They didn’t want him either.
What would he do? It was winter, and the nights were long and cold. There was no warm kitchen to sleep in, no bowl of food put down for him.
He’d have to learn to survive.
Cat became very good at hiding. He found a place underneath bushes for sleeping when it was wet, and a shed roof for sprawling on sunny days. He had places for walking and places for stalking; he knew places where no one could find him.
At night, he prowled around the dustbins looking for food. He lurked around the gardens, searching for scraps in compost heaps, hoping for bits of bread that had fallen off bird-tables.
Sometimes, when he was very brave or very hungry, he went through some other cat’s cat-flap and took food from a kitchen.
Once he got into a fight with Ginger Flash, who lived in the house on the corner and didn’t
want anyone else in his territory. Ginger Flash, a tough fighter, tore Cat’s ear and made it bleed. Cat felt very sore and bruised after that fight, and didn’t even feel like looking for food.
What really made Cat’s fur bristle and his claws tighten was the way Ginger Flash changed
into a sweet, purring pussy-cat the instant his owner came to the door to call him inside. Ginger Flash’s owner didn’t call him Ginger Flash. She called him Fluffball.
“Here, Fluffball! Dinner’s ready!” she would call from the back door.
At once, Ginger Flash stopped hissing and growling, and looked as sweet as a kitten. His back arched, ready to be stroked. He trotted to the back door and rubbed himself against his owner’s legs. Then he went inside and stuffed himself with food, all the delicious flavours that Cat could remember – cod and salmon, special meaty chunks with gravy, pilchard-flavoured biscuits.
Cat had peeped in once, and seen Ginger Flash’s luxury dining area. Ginger Flash had his own mat, labeled PUSS. He had two food bowls of his own – one for meat, one for biscuits – a saucer of water and a saucer of milk. Cat’s mouth watered, just thinking about it. He remembered having his own food bowl, and being called indoors at meal-times.
Not any more.
Cat especially hated Ginger Flash’s smug way of coming outside to wash his paws and whiskers when he’d finished eating. But at least Cat was safe at those times. Ginger Flash was so full of meat and biscuits and milk that he’d waddle off for a good sleep on a car bonnet before he thought about fighting again.
Then, one day, in the darkest, coldest time of winter, Cat found Rose.
This endearing tales of how Cat eventually finds a home (or, in fact two homes!) to suit him, is straightforward and simply told. The language is skilfully chosen and evokes and explores the world as seen and experienced by a cat. Stephen Lambert’s line drawings are also simple but convey the feelings of Cat and the people who come to love him and offer him a home.
Carousel Guide to Children's Books
Having two owners means plenty of food for a greedy cat. But, with two owners, a cat has two names and two homes, which brings responsibilities. One in a series for young cat lovers, this well-written story has good sized text and simple language, which are well-supported by attractive black and white illustrations.
Leicestershire County Council recommended Key Stage 1 Fiction Books
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