The Dublin Fox by Kelly Ulrich

The Dublin Fox by Kelly Ulrich

As the title says, this is a book about a fox.  Now, I have to say I like foxes, because they run like cats.  How cool is that?   But let’s get to this story.  A human rents a cottage in a place called, Dublin, Ireland.  One day as she’s shopping she nearly trips over a fox, and assumes the fox must be starving. (Huh, it’s been my experience that foxes rarely starve!)

That evening she sets out some food on her back porch before she falls asleep.  And in the morning, what does she see, but some foxy paw prints leading away from the empty bowl.  This human decides to go all detective and follows the prints, which lead towards the church, where she sees a priest give a chicken bone to the fox. But it doesn’t stop there.  The fox stops at the fish mongers, the post office, and the bakery and gets a meal at each place. Nope, I was right, this fox has a full belly. (Heck, he even stopped at a neighbor’s house for some spaghetti!).  But what was the story behind all these humans helping feed a fox?

Well, it seems that hundreds of years ago, the town of Dublin was over run by rats, and the cats couldn’t keep up with catching all of them.  (Frankly, I really find that hard to believe, because cats are awesome hunters, but then again maybe we do need a little help now and then..)  A  gameskeeper found an orphaned fox, who turned out to be so good at helping cats catch mice, that he was made the  official mascot of Dublin. And those Dublin humans decided to always honor foxes for their mouse catching abilities by leaving them food.  (I wonder if “those” Dublin humans leave tidbits for cats too?)

I know it seems like this PawReview is more about cats than the foxy hero of  The Dublin Fox, but hey, I’m a cat.  In any case, I really like the pretty pictures in this book and couldn’t stop staring at them and touching them with my paws.  In fact, this book is catastic!

Never Drink Alone

Never Drink Alone

Humans apparently do not like to drink alone—and neither do cats.  We will even lower our standards to drink, dare I say, with a dog (if there are no humans around).  Well what do you know.  There’s this company (Woof and Brew)  “across the pond,” (that’s how humans talk when they describe this kingdom, called “Great Britain”) that makes beer, wine–and hangover tonics for cats and dogs. So you can even share a hangover cure with your human.

I invited my doggy friend, TommyBoy,  to share a beer called, “Bottom Sniffer,” a beverage for dogs with healthy stuff like iron and iodine.  After drinking a few bottles, we bragged about how many fish we each caught (I beat him of course, as dogs are pretty lousy fishermen).  TommyBoy bragged that he was better at chasing cars, but who in their right mind would chase a car?  I lost that one.  We also boasted about our respective love lives, and I think we all know who came out ahead in this arena.  TommyBoy drank far too much beer so I had to share the hang-over tonic that got rid of his doggy breath and made him feel better.

There’s even a wine for dogs AND CATS called “Pawsecco, ” made up of elderflower, nettle, ginseng, and lime flower. (Unfortunately, my clueless caretaker did not buy me a bottle of wine.  Very thoughtless of her.)  I understand after drinking a few glasses of this elixir, you feel like you’re in charge of the world.

Woof and Brew even makes an herbal tonic, called “Windy Hound” that helps get rid of unpleasant orders that erupt from a dog’s rear end.    Or as the company says, “a  few caps a day keeps the farts away.”  (Cats rarely fart, and if they do, their farts smell like lavender on a sweet summer day.)

If you can persuade your care taker to buy some of these items (or steal their credit card and buy all by yourself), go to woofandbrew.com

Hansel and Gretel

Hansel and Gretel

I’m sure you’re all familiar with the fairy tale, “Hansel and Gretel.”  Sweet brother and sister are abandonned in the woods because there’s no food in the house, and evil stepmother wants to get rid of them.  They get lost on a dark and dreary night, and all of sudden discover a cottage made of bread, cake, and sugar.  Start stuffing their mouths and out comes an evil witch who captures little boy and tries to fatten him up so she can eat him.  However, drastic change in plans as the sister pushes witch into roaring fire and rescues her brother.  The end, more or less.

Now, if I, TeddyBoy, were a character in the book, here’s how this fairy tale would be written.

Once upon a time there was a poor brother and sister who lived with a loving father,  evil stepmother and a noble tuxedo cat, named TeddyBoy.  TeddyBoy was also starving, but he always made sure that Hansel and Gretel had food, even if it meant having to give them rotten bits and pieces of a dead mouse, he had caught.

But one day, the father and evil step-mother took Hansel, Gretel, and TeddyBoy for a long walk in the woods, and then run off and left them to die of starvation.  But TeddyBoy, the noble protector, led the brother and sister on a secret path to a lovely cottages made of bread, cake, and sugar, where the kids gorged themselves.  And then TeddyBoy promptly took a nap. (Well, cats have nap a lot.)  While he napped, a wicked witch who liked to cook and eat little boys and girls, came up and snatched Hansel up and put him in a cage…to fatten him up.  But TeddyBoy came to the rescue.  He used his paws to unlock the cage to free the brother who promptly ran under the bed and hid.  He then attacked the wicked witch, scratched out her eyes, and pushed her into a pot of boiling water.

TeddyBoy led them to a secret stash of gems and Hansel and Gretel filled up their pockets (and even made TeddyBoy a collar out of the gems) and all three marched back home.  And everyone lived happily ever after, because TeddyBoy was such a brave and noble cat who had saved their lives!

by the Brothers Grimm, illustrations:  Syville Schenker