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The Cat Who Covered the World: The Adventures of Henrietta and Her Foreign Correspondent

3.7  ·  Rating Details ·  245 Ratings  ·  41 Reviews
Henrietta was an ordinary New York City cat until she ventured overseas with foreign correspondent Christopher S. Wren and his wife and children. Over seventeen years and tens of thousands of miles, she became a plucky, indispensable companion for the reporter as he covered world events in Moscow, Cairo, Beijing, Ottawa, and Johannesburg. Wren's often hilarious, and someti ...more
Hardcover, 208 pages
Published November 8th 2000 by Simon & Schuster (first published 2000)
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Jan 05, 2009 Sarah rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: memoir
My dad was college roommates with the author, which is how I found out about this book. It's a lot of fun.
May 31, 2017 Kristin rated it really liked it
While I'm usually a dog person, Henrietta's story intrigued me as it provided a unique look at a family's frequent efforts to intercalate itself into various cultures of the world, as anyone could write about how the human members are treated, but few people have taken their pet cat with them to live on 4 continents over the course of the cat's 15 or so years of life and know first-hand the challenges and benefits that may be encountered. Wren is a foreign correspondent for the New York Times an ...more
Sally Bennett
May 30, 2017 Sally Bennett rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Henrietta was blessed. She led an amazing life so full of adventure. And, as animals always do, she taught her humans the meaning of love.

As an ethical vegan, a couple of the stories were difficult for me to read. One in particular left me wondering how her well-educated humans couldn't anticipate the deadly outcome which I could see coming the moment the rabbit arrived at their home. But like so many others, theirs was a pet-one-eat-the-others family.

Overlooking those couple of issues that wer
Margaret Perdue
I enjoyed the details of traveling with the family cat and how much Henrietta was a part of the family. But it didn't seem to read with as much emotion as I thought it should.
Nov 08, 2011 Brian rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
"The Cat Who Covered the World" is a novel written by a journalist for the New York Times. This story begins with a coworker of the author bringing him a small cat and a bottle of Scotch. The author is called to work in Moscow, Russia on a writing assignment. Pressured by the pleads of his two children, Celia and Chris, he decided to take the cat, Henrietta, to Russia with him and his family. During the duration of the author’s time in Russia, Henrietta turns from a shy little cat to a full gro ...more
Nov 16, 2013 Pamela rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Don’t read this if you don’t like cats. Don’t read this if you hold the following preconceptions about cats: a) cats don’t like humans, b) cats are intellectually challenged, c) cats like to kill babies by stealing their breath d) you’re a scaredy cat, e) you think cats should be forbidden to travel to foreign places that you will never find the money or time to visit. However, Wren’s memoir of Henrietta’s adventures might be the perfect gift for that cat-loving friend/ spouse/sibling/grumpy co- ...more
Jan 06, 2011 Peggy rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: cat lover looking for a light, entertaining read
Shelves: nonfiction
ADDED AFTER COMPLETION: I have to admit that I enjoyed the last section of the story of Henrietta the cat once I got back to finish it. In the right mood, at the right time and place, this can be a rather delightful quick little read and does bring along side of it the historical events which the foreign correspondent (Time magazine) was covering in various countries. I did have to add another star and could easily go 3.5.

EARLIER: This is another one of those books I read NEARLY all the way thro
Dec 12, 2009 Kennedy rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: memoir, animals, 2011
I don't read pet stories very often. I can't handle when the pet dies.

I thought that The Cat Who Covered the World sounded fun though. Henrietta, the main catracheter (ha), was owned by a family of a New York Times reporter, so she followed them around the world. There were funny parts of the story. When the Wren family lived Moscow she was able to eat Russian caviar.

Henrietta sounded like a fun cat, but I really had a hard time liking her owners. We don't let our cat out because I'm worried she
Apr 17, 2014 Sarah rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: history
My sister lent me this book to read. Her cats had urinated on it at some point so there was a little something extra that made me feel like Henrietta was right there with me. Now, I have barely been able to manage a fifteen minute car ride to the vet's for rabies shots in case my own cats happen to survive a fox attack. The fact that this cat lived through car rides, planes and getting lost in various countries may be enough right there to warrant writing a book. This unusual upbringing also aff ...more
Sep 25, 2012 M— rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: reviewed
Purchased on the fly and enjoyed highly. I'm not an avid reader of the New York Times and have not read Wren's articles, but his writing style really clicked with me. This is an ideal book for any cat lover, with heaps extra bonus points if the reader is also a travel enthusiast. And the Meilo So illustrations were whimsical and perfect.

Three and a half stars, rounded up to four possibly because of the illustrations. I had a lot of fun reading this, but I won't be likely to have the urge to read
Kris Sellgren
Nov 26, 2012 Kris Sellgren rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: reviewed
Wren is a foreign correspondent for the New York Times, and this is a light-hearted romp through the adventures of his cat Henrietta (and her human family) while posted to Moscow, Cairo, Beijing, Ottawa, New York, and Johannesburg. We learn the ins and outs of finding cat food -- and cat litter -- in each of these places, as well as how the humans cope with changes in language, culture, bureaucracy, and cuisine. This charming memoir will cheer up any cat lover.
Jun 08, 2009 Susan rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Interesting and somewhat entertaining because of the countries lived in, but I didn't get the sense the author (or even the family) was a true cat lover. Given the fact that the cat was allowed to roam free in whatever city or hotel/apartment/home they were in, cross busy streets, disappeared in Egypt for weeks, and given MILK on a regular basis, suggests either they were terribly ignorant and/or the author embellished quite a bit.
Mar 16, 2014 Ken rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I’m sorry, but the anecdotes in this book are not nearly as interesting or amusing as the premise would suggest. The stories are generally along the lines of “my cat sat on Andropov’s lap” or “my cat ate from KGB trash cans.” And more of the same. Sorry, although this sounds like such an adorable book, it does not live up to expectations.
Leslie Andersen
Jan 15, 2013 Leslie Andersen rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Much better than the "average" cat story, because the author is a writer for the New York Times--he is smart and funny and so is this book.

Most cat books end with the cat dying...and I end up crying, which I don't like. In this one, yes, the cat dies at the end, but the author tells that part so quickly that I was able to read it without tears. That's a good thing!
Jun 30, 2013 Travelin rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
What can one say about a cat-lover's book where the writer eats a cat?

Would you be surprised that he doesn't show any real evidence of liking cats? The subtitle is also lifted, almost word-for-word from another cat book by a different writer published 7 years earlier. Maybe the writer changed his identity?
Oct 14, 2009 Marti rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
my friend claire lent me this book. usually i don't read animal stories because the animal in question always dies at the end. Guess what? henrietta dies, but she has quite a life traveling around with the family of a ny times foreign correspondent. it is not as long or as involved as the last book i read, the man who loved china, but it is quite delightful and enjoyable.
Carolyn Crocker
“Forget Russia. Forget China. Write about the cat,” Wren was advised. So he did: Russia, Paris, Rome, Cairo, Beijing, Ottawa, Vermont. The amusing cat-centric life of the foreign correspondent and his family.
Apr 14, 2007 Debbie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A very fun memoir of sorts by a NYTimes foreign correspondent about his traveling cat. A must-read for any cat lover, and quite an interesting look at life in several foreign countries as well. Reading this made me want a cat.
Sep 20, 2010 Diane rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Supping on caviar in Moscow, getting lost in Cairo, writing the Christmas letter in Ottawa, Henrietta was a "worldly" cat who accompanied the Wren family around the world. Enjoyable story, told with a great sense of humor.
I just can't imagine hauling a cat all over the planet.

I love my cat, and if I moved to another continent, I'd definitely take her with me. But if I had a particularly transient lifestyle, I don't think I could justify having pets.

More power to this family. And the cat.

Aug 14, 2014 Nanci rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
If you love a cat, or have ever loved a cat, or have ever loved someone who has loved a cat this is a must read. Such a well written story detailing the adventures of a world traveling family and their beloved Henrietta.
Apr 07, 2008 Carly rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Carly by: Dusty
Shelves: 2014
To sum up my thoughts about the book, I just have to think that while I love, adore, coddle my cats....I must realize what they do is not interesting to anyone else, because they aren't in the moment.

Emily Decobert
Jan 27, 2013 Emily Decobert rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Follow Henrietta throughout the world and learn how to travel with finckey style. Henrietta and her humans cover Communism, racism, and Canada in the winter, with Henrietta sailing through in style. It gets a bit wordy about the humans but still is a good read.
Mar 08, 2014 Hardy rated it liked it
This was a quick and enjoyable read. Mr. Wren deftly illustrated Henrietta's life in scenes that will make those who had or have cats nod in agreement. The unpredictable nature of feline behavior dovetailed well with Wren's own journey from one foreign posting to another.
Feb 21, 2010 Liz rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I think my mother would have liked this book. It was very gentle and courtly, but it was also just a string of anecdotes about the author's well traveled cat. Guess I like a little more plot than that...
Katie Coates
Jun 15, 2011 Katie Coates rated it really liked it
This book is very fun to read. It's full of amusing stories about Henrietta the cat and the family that owns her. As the family moves around the world, Henrietta encounters new and exciting experiences. This is an enjoyable book to read.
Sep 24, 2012 Julie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
An amusing combintation of personal and global perspective, as the correspondent, his family and their cat share adventures in various places overseas. Henrietta was obviously a law unto herself!
Jan 02, 2015 Rhode rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: living-abroad, travel
Funny and fun.
Fiona Dolan
Jun 18, 2009 Fiona Dolan rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Very cute and very funny. Makes you want to be a foreign correspondent.
Oct 14, 2009 Jenn rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This book should be called The Amazing Cat Who Managed to Survive Extreme Danger and Negligent Owners.
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