The next time you see a painting, a drawing or any kind of artwork depicting The Nativity, take a close look. You might notice a glaring omission: there are horses, cows, sheep, poultry, donkeys and lots of other livestock in the stable but no cats! How can this be? We know that felines have always been important stable dwellers –it is their job to keep vermin out of the fodder of fellow resident animals – so why have artists throughout the centuries forsaken cats in their renderings of the most famous stable event in history?
Dr. Fred Eichelman has published a new book to provide an interesting explanation to this seeming slight to our feline friends. It’s called A Cat’s Nativity Tale and it’s a winner! It’s short and sweet and follows a cat named Chatool (Hebrew for all felines) and his experiences on the night of the first Noel. The story is excellent and would make a fine animated film. Both moving and inspirational, it’s a memorable tale fit for the whole family, from kids to grandparents, and especially appealing to cat lovers. It’s also a nice companion to Mrs. Hudson’s Cat, Dr. Fred’s fine Sherlock Holmes mystery involving another cat (or is it the same kitty in each book?). Be sure to read Dr. Fred’s fascinating “Postface” explanation of the instantaneous genesis of the story. Anyone who has ever created art of any kind will recognize his tale of spontaneous inspiration – and its source – as the authentic revelation that it is.
Chatool’s adventures are beautifully captured in striking black and white illustrations by Robin Medford, a gifted artist who utilizes silhouettes and heavy black spaces to superb effect. And the cover is gorgeous as well, eye-catching in a sumptuous blue. The book was obviously assembled by talented hands. Robin also did the art work for Mrs. Hudson’s Cat.
An audiobook is available too, as read by Kathy Garver. We all remember her from her role as Cissy on TV’s Family Affair as well as from her appearances in many other fine works. She’s not just a screen star, she’s also a talented and award-winning vocal artist and has been involved in countless spoken word projects. She always gives a performance of the highest quality and is the perfect choice to recite this wonderful story.