Monday, September 12, 2011

Mog the forgetful cat

Mog the forgetful cat
Judith Kerr ~ Parents' Magazine Press, 1970


Here is the book that separates the Americans from the Brits, for one reason alone, which I will get to in a second. The much beloved Mog, illustrated and written by the lovely and amazing (incredible, astounding, celebrated, talented and on and on) Judith Kerr who celebrated her 88th year this summer, is a classic. The first in a long series of books on the magnificent Mog. I also have a guest post on her other famous title The Tiger Who Came To Tea that I never posted when my internet went down on vacation but hopefully I will soon, Eliza Taylor! Anyways, here, we meet the black and white striped feline who is, as the title boldly states, forgetful.

Once there was a cat called Mog and she lived with a family called Thomas. Mog was nice but not very clever. She didn't understand a lot of things. A lot of other things she forgot. She was a very forgetful cat.

She forgets she's eaten dinner and begs for more. She forgets she can't do things like, um, fly. She forgets that the cat flap is used for getting in and out of the house with little to no human assistance. Her family loves her so, but is driven mad by all all her idiosyncratic notions.

But one night, one of her annoying personality traits comes in handy, when she inadvertently uses it to thwart a burglar. Brava kitty!

Now, here's the part I don't understand, as an American. The civilized notion that the thing to do with a thief while you wait for the police to arrive is to invite him in for tea. It's not explained within the story, yet there, one page after the man is nabbed, we see him enjoying a cup of tea with the family, his burglar mask casually dangling from his pinky.

Whether it's lost in translation or maybe I've lived in the gun-smoking state of Texas too long, who knows. (I think we all know what Rick Perry would have done to the guy.) No matter. My son thinks it's hilarious, which might be the point all together. Or better yet, when you've witnessed such incredible inhumanity firsthand like Ms. Kerr has, perhaps even the most loathsome soul deserves a spot of tea.





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9 comments:

We read it like this / Lo leemos así said...

We love the fact that the burglar is given a cup of tea and looks like a rather innocuous chap without his mask! But then we are British... I personally love Mog sitting in the dark and thinking dark thoughts. We love The Tiger who Cames to Tea too! (http://wereaditlikethis.blogspot.com/2011/06/tiger-who-came-to-tea-owp.html)

Julia's Bookbag said...

Um yeah. I'll be looking for this one ASAP! We love kitty cats. And Brit tea drinkers! :) ~Melissa

Eliza said...

Yay! I thought maybe you forgot :)

B. Streetman said...

i did forget, until this morning. Unfortunately, the e-mail I use here is also the e-mail I use to sign up for annoying e-mail so sometimes the good stuff gets all lost in the junk.... will do this week. promise!

GrayFlannel said...

Oh my gosh, this was one of my favorite books. I'd almost forgotten it, but when I saw your title, it came right back and I knew it had to be the one. I loved Mog, but that picture with the lady in bed always creeped me out for some reason...and still does lol. Thank you so much for sharing these with everyone. It not only brings back old memories, but helps make new ones.

Anonymous said...

My 3 year old girl is a massive Mog (and Tiger) fan. Not only are Ms. Kerr's books pure delight, but Mog looks just like our portly tiger cat who is also a bit, well, dense. Especially love the Christmas Mog book, where the tree (actually Mr. Thomas carrying the tree) shouts at her. Too funny, it always has us in stitches.

Marta said...

We have The Tiger Who Came to Tea, and my son loves it, but we didn't know this one with the burglar. Definitely I think it's too polite and weird to give him a cup of tea!!! Best regards from Barcelona,
Marta
http://abilingualbb.blogspot.com/

Jules said...

I loved this book growing up (I am British) and never geve it a second thought that the burglar was given tea! I was more interested in the fact that Mog liked eggs. (http://bananamondaes.wordpress.com/2011/09/30/cats-and-ketchup/) Love your blog - going to rumage around the attic this weekend to dig out some other classics.

Holly Shilling said...

I loved this book as a child. I still have my copy from 1973. I'm not British- loved that the burglar was served tea. I've read this book countless times to my kids. Just getting ready to send my oldest off to college and she asked to read the book again tonight. Started a fun conversation and an online search about Mog. led us to this site.

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