The Good Luck Cat

February 7, 2018
Subheader: 

Kind of like a less cruel version of "The Cat Came Back."

Review: 

A girl owns a cat and the cat is "good luck." Apparently the girl is nominally Native American, as she mentions a powwow. She also mentions her aunt going to play bingo, so we have two stereotypes running there. But it's not about that, it just mentions that.

Basically the the story is entirely the story of this cat and the eight times she almost dies. She gets attacked by a dog. She gets shot at by some kids with BB guns. The girl wants to take her to the powwow, so she hides her in a box in the trunk and then forgets about her. Her mom says it was a good thing it wasn't the summer. And then the cat is missing for four days and she's really worried, because it's been eight times she's escaped death, so they're like, "Okay, she must have lost her ninth life and now she must be dead." The girl leaves out a bowl of food and finally the cat comes back with her left ear bitten in half. And that's it.

There's not really much of a point to this book, just horrible things happening to a cat. A cat repeatedly getting maimed and injured and keeping on going like a champ. As far as the luck goes, the girl found her lost earrings after petting the cat, and her aunt won at Bingo after petting the cat. So we've got some great superstition in there. Plus the whole nine lives of cats thing. So superstition and stereotypes of Native Americans, but also things that people might not necessarily associate with Native Americans like cats, for one. Or clothes dryers, or BB guns.

But it really doesn't go anywhere. It's just a list of terrible things that happen to this cat. It's not really much of a story. The only minor conflict is at the end, but it gets resolved through the passing of time. They're looking for the cat; they can't find the cat; the cat finally shows up. Nobody solved that problem; it just solved itself.

I probably wouldn't read this to kids based on the amount of terrible things that happen to this poor animal, but I wouldn't be that upset if somebody read this to my children. Bad things happen in the world.

Message: 

Cats have very dangerous lives.

Author
Illustrator
Publication Year
  • 2000
Age Range
Age Range: 
3-7
Number of Pages
Number of Pages: 
30
Number of Words on Typical Page
Number of Words: 
45

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