Cats in the Belfry
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Cats in the Belfry

4.1 of 5 stars 4.10  ·  rating details  ·  192 ratings  ·  26 reviews
Rediscover this lovable classic in a delightful new illustrated edition of these warm and witty cat tales, first published over forty years ago.
Animal lovers Doreen Tovey and her husband Charles acquire their first Siamese kitten to rid themselves of an invasion of mice, although they worry about the cat attacking the birds. But Sugieh is not just any cat. She's an iron ha...more
Hardcover, 240 pages
Published November 25th 2008 by St. Martin's Press (first published 1957)
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(showing 1-29 of 406)
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Hilarious and wonderful. A real comfort read for me, this tale of Siamese cats and their human slaves in England never fails to transport me.

Re-read 2/2010

I still love this book, as anthropomorphic and silly as it is. It's the more-or-less true story of how a nearly textbook dotty English couple who live in a picturesque English cottage in a picturesque English village lose control of their lives to some Siamese cats with personalities as large as the oceans. There are numerous falls down stair...more
Jul 30, 2007 Katherine rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: cat lovers
I loved this book! The writer's description of what the cats were really thinking/saying/doing was hysterical and the memoir has a fantastic voice. Makes me nostalgic for the days when my family still had our Siamese cat... but not so nostalgic that I'm going to run out and find one for myself. Was an interesting revelation to find out that it is common for Siamese cats to eat wool. Explains so much.
Chi ama i gatti, non potrà che trovare simpatica questa serie di Doreen Tovey, tutta incentrata sulle avventure dei suoi gatti siamesi. Questo primo episodio è molto carino, anche se, da gattofila sfegatata quale sono, avrei preferito che si parlasse di gatti comuni, anziché solo ed esclusivamente di siamesi e quindi come scelta narrativa l'ho trovata un po' "razzista".
Comunque ci sono alcuni punti davvero divertenti, nei quali non si può fare a meno di confrontare i propri gatti con quelli del...more
A comment by Jilly Cooper, on the cover of the book, reads: "The most enchanting cat book ever", and I have to agree with that assessment. This book has had me chuckling on every single page. Tovey has a remarkable gift for writing cat language, for want of a better way to describe it - and I don't think that the reason I found the book so enjoyable is only because I like cats or owned some in my life.
It's an amusing book for those who like Siamese cats, and is funny in places. Some problematic, outdated language concerning other cultures, though.
I think that 4 starts might be pushing it, but I suddenly had this vision at the end that this book would make a decent kids film (Disney you should think about it) in that the cats get up to some very funny antics ... it was hard to think of them as cats for much of the time, probably ebcause the author did not. I liked her labelling of the cats or the situation at times eg. The Morning he Wanted to Be a Horse. I think this would be a good book for prospective parents, of cats or children.
I loved this book. I've had several friends with Siamese cats and it's hard to believe that this book was written so long ago, because it totally describes them. For that matter, it describes my 3 non-siamese owners. (let's not kid anyone- they own me, not the other way round!)Especially the way the cats voiced their opinions In Capitalized Exclamations and the general behavior when taken anywhere in the car.
This was yet another recommendation from someone..? as it came in from another library special order.
Very very quick light, fun read.
Who knew siamese cats could be so cunning and entertaining.
This was "extremely" funny and actually a good read for a parent to read to a child as well. I will be looking for the follow up of this by same author.
self-note: yarn/knitting mentioned briefly in book.
Rebecca Buttigieg
I first read this book in my early teens, and I loved it... even though I didn't like cats. Quite a few years later I have finally got my hands on a copy of my own - and I still love it! Now that I have cats, some parts made me laugh even more.

This book is one of the funniest books I have ever read, and I recommend it even if you are not a cat-lover.
The first time I read this book I was in a college library and I laughed so hard I ugly cried in the stacks.
David Serxner
This is one I re-read all the time for a good laugh. I am pretty sure my copy is one I got in England who knows when, or maybe my Mother brought it back or someone did for me. I know it is hardbound. Great book. Makes me remember my squirrel since the Tovey's started out with one.
I enjoyed this book, even though it was tinged with some sadness. What I liked best about it, was the humour. Also, living with a part Siamese cat myself, I sure could relate to a lot of the antics the author's cats got up to and what it is like to live with such cats.
Dear Melody Marie Murray sent me her very own copy of this book, and the next one the author wrote about her cats. It is laugh outloud funny, and makes me forever grateful my cats are NOT Siamese. Mine are demanding enough without that Siamese voice. Thank You Ms Murray!
Sep 12, 2007 Helena rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: cat people and fans of British humor
Shelves: fiction
Another re-read. I love Doreen Tovey's work, which puzzles most people I know. She writes about English country life and Siamese cats, and the way she does it makes me laugh out loud.
Book Concierge
2.5 stars
Only okay. I am not that into cats. (I'm allergic to their dander.) This is dated circa 1950, and it is also very English in his humor. Just not my cup of tea.
Although this book was written in the 1950s it is still funny and a nice easy read. Having had a couple of Bengal cats I understand the frayed nerves and premature grey hairs!
Angela Verdenius
I have read every book that Doreen Tovey has written about her cats and assorted furries, and I have never laughed and cried so much. She truly had a gift for 'reading' animals.
Susanne Mulholland
This is not a book to read in public, unless you're happy for people to look at you whilst you roll on the floor laughing. I laughed till I cried.
Alex Ross
Read all of them, loved all of them. Used to want a Siamese until my friend got one, too mad for me.
Valerie Kite
Cats in the Belfry is a great book for people who have cats as it is representative of cat behavior
Rachel (Sfogs)
One of the most adorable cat stories ever!!
First read in 1973.
A catlover's dream!
Dee L.
Mar 08, 2009 Dee L. rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone who likes cats
Amanda Kruckenberg
Amanda Kruckenberg marked it as to-read
Aug 28, 2014
Sara marked it as to-read
Aug 24, 2014
Emily Templeman
Emily Templeman marked it as to-read
Aug 20, 2014
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Doreen was born in Bristol on 24 October 1918. At this time a flu epidemic was raging and her mother died from this leaving her two week old daughter to be brought up by her Grandmother, as her father, being an engineer, was away from home for long periods of time.

It was this upbringing that introduced Doreen to a variety of pets, as Grandmother was an inveterate rescuer of anything in need.

More about Doreen Tovey...
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