Review By JENNIFER GANNETT
When Mrs. Lovewright, a chilly person, decides she needs more warmth, she sets about obtaining it by commanding her grocery delivery guy, Dylan, to bring her a cat. She is unconcerned about the animal’s color but wants it to be cute, small and a lapcat. Dylan delivers her a kitten but, like so many cats, he turns out to have a mind of his own. Initially named Purrly, the kitten declines to sit on Mrs. Lovewright’s lap from the very first evening. Mrs. Lovewright suffers a series of bodily injuries in her attempts to get Purrly to cuddle. Soon, the cat has been renamed Purrless and Mrs. Lovewright’s injury count mounts. It is clear to the reader that Mrs. Lovewright’s cat is independent and potentially just does not like her (he seems to enjoy being greeted and pet by Dylan during his delivery visits). He does not sit on her lap.
The years pass and Mrs. Lovewright and Purrless appear to work out a satisfactory arrangement—the book closes with Purrless and Mrs. Lovewright sitting together, but he never becomes a lap cat.
This book does a good job of illustrating what it can be like to have pre-conceived notions that end up being very different from the reality of bringing an animal into one’s home. While Mrs. Lovewright’s case is extreme and author Paul Zelinsky exaggerates her problems for comedic effect (which children may find more comedic than adults), it is a reminder that people planning to add an animal to their family need to keep open hearts and minds and accept that the animal is an individual creature with a mind and personality of his or her own.
Ages 6 and up.