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Paw Tracks in the Moonlight (Paw Tracks #1)

4.02 of 5 stars 4.02  ·  rating details  ·  545 ratings  ·  128 reviews
The heart-warming story of one man and his cat

When Denis O'Connor rescues a three-week-old kitten from certain death during a snowstorm, little does he know how this tiny creature will change his life forever. Against all odds the kitten - who he names Toby Jug - survives and forms an unusually strong bond with his rescuer.

Set against the rural splendour of Northumberland
Paperback, 214 pages
Published October 1st 2009 by Constable (first published 2004)
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22nd out of 78 books — 23 voters
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259th out of 331 books — 128 voters

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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 1,218)
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"Paw Tracks in the Moonlight" will tug at your heart and paw at your soul. Toby Jug and Denis share a love that is otherworldly and yet so close to home.
I really loved this delightful tale about Dennis and Toby Jug.

Who would think that a book with very little else happening apart from the relationship between a slightly eccentric character and his cat would be so interesting. A very gentle paced story that I really looked forward to picking up, and losing myself, to find out what was happening.

It very much reminded me whilst reading of Noodle. We, as a family, were living in Saudi Arabia for a 4 year posting with my husbands job. Sneak was a s
Kerrie Sakura
I don't often cry at books, but I wept at this one. And then I went and hugged my own cat.
It's definitely worth reading though. Toby Jug was a special cat (and like all cats would relish his story being told) who brought a lot of happiness into the world. That's what made it worth reading, for me - even though it made me sob, it's a lovely reminder that animals can't stay with us forever, but we're lucky that we get the time with them that we do.

Now, go and hug your cat.
I absolutely hate it when a book makes me cry, but you'd have to be a bona fide psychopath not to feel strongly at moments while reading this. This cat is simply amazing, and the author a credit to his own race. Reflective, romantic, sometimes a bit mystical, and punctuated with plenty of adventure, peril, and even some humor and indignation, this is very well written and even more importantly written with sincerity that is blessedly bereft of ham-handedness.
Irena Milanova
Може да звучи ужасно пристрастно, но като потомствен коткар оценявам книжлето изцяло по сантиментално достойнство, а не по стилистично. Разплака ме на няколко пъти, разсмя ме още толкова, значи безспорно ме е докоснало по тънката струна на котколюбивата ми душица. А и без бой си признавам, че подобен род четива, които карат коткофилията ми да избуява, са ми слабост, така че... :3 *отива да намачка котарака* ...more
От няколко дни си имам нов приятел – не знам как се казва, защото името му е дадено от друг и то отдавна, но аз реших да го наричам Тигър заради пухкавата му оранжева козина. Засякохме се на улицата съвсем случайно и веднага си допаднахме. После, точно както направих и с Жоро преди много години, веднага го заведох да го запозная с баба. Почудихме се се какво да го правим, защото му личи, че не е бездомник, а пък вкъщи никой не обича котки. Накрая го нахранихме и го оставихме да намери сам пътя к ...more
May 31, 2010 Dawn rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Cat Lovers
Shelves: biography
I liked this book because there's nothing tacky about it and there's no bad language or sex in it. It is a good, clean read. (It has given me hope that creative writing without sex or swearing in it is still published!)

The book is a bit slow in parts however. The style of writing is clear, but a little dry and boring in parts. Nevertheless there were some quirky bits and what I loved most is Denis O'Conor's tenderness for his pet, and it reveals how people long for something to fill "emotionally
I first saw this book on GoodReads as a giveaway (I did not win one). When my local library got it, my name was the first on the list. As a lifelong cat lover (as well as other animals) I could not wait to read. If you have ever had a deep bond with a cat, then you must read this book. AS I read the first page, I knew I was in trouble. I knew I could not put down until finished and I didn't. Toby Jug and Denis O'Connor will melt your heart and put great big smiles on your face. Then along the wa ...more
A sentimental journey with a man and the cat he loves. I read it as sort-of a Christmas book, so the time of the year had a lot to do with my reaction. Don't know if Id recommend it if you're not in the mood. I'll admit, I got misty-eyed when the cat died a the end. (This isn't a spoiler because it's in the chapter headings and seems to be an obligatory scene.)
For animal and pet enthusiasts this is a great story. Not for those who aren't fond of animals, nature, pets. If, however, your love of animals does not extend to cats, you should give this one a try. I happen to share the author's passions for the natural world, so this was my sort of story. If you're new to this genre, be warned that there is always a heartbreaking end. Animals seldom outlive us, and when they do their fate is seldom a happy one, as they mourn our passing, as well as often fin ...more
A sweet book about a man's relationship with a kitten he rescues and then keeps as a pet. However I later discovered that this is a true story. I couldn't quite understand why the author felt it necessary to write this book at all. He has some pompous and pretentious ideas about animals and nature and the descriptions of his relationship with his cat became a little uncomfortable knowing that the events were all factual. Just a bit odd. Another free Kindle read that I'm glad I didn't pay for.
7 anni fa mi sono arrivate a casa 5 bellissime gattine,una più dolce dell'altra. sono nate mentre passavo un brutto periodo e non avrei potuto ricevere un regalo migliore. è bello averle nella mia vita,le amo,sono le mie piccoline. però devo ammettere che ne avevo una preferita,la mia ombra:stavamo sempre insieme,facevamo tutto insieme,se io mancavo mezza giornata non mangiava (e io la pensavo sempre)...non stava mai in una stanza diversa da quella in cui stavo io,eh si....mi seguiva anche in ba ...more
Marina Nova
Няма да съм напълно обективна. Обичам котките и отношението ми към тях и изобщо животинското царство е изключително топло и дори сантиментално. В тази връзка и мнението ми за книгата е сантиментално. Да, разказът като литературно произведение не е нищо особено, но като история за спасението, приятелството и всичко между тях е затрогваща, вълнуваща и емоционална.

П. П. Всеки, който обича котките и затрогващите истории, ще оцени книжката. :)
Although this book was published in 2009, it is set sometime earlier, maybe the 1960's or 70's? There are many things about it that indicate it isn't quite a modern day tale - but it is a good one. A young professor, living alone, takes in an orphaned kitten, Toby Jug. The book, all but one chapter, is the detailed story of the cat's first year of life - with one chapter at the end dedicated to the rest of his life.

I enjoyed the story very much - partially because I like cats, particularly beca
Absolutely marvelous book!! Well-written and most enjoyable story of a very special cat named Toby Jug! A must for all cat people and Anglophiles!
This is really a sweet biographical story about a man who rescues a tiny kitten and the special bond that develops between the two as Toby grows into a beautiful adult cat. It’s a really fun read for cat lovers, especially anyone with a special cat in their life. It’s cute & lighthearted. It's much lighter than what I usually read. I really enjoyed it.
Man. living on his own in a cottage in Northumbria, rescues a kitten. Though the vet doesn't expect it to live without it's mother at only two weeks, the man manages to nurse it through. These are memories of his first year with the cat.

The kitten, Toby Jug, is no doubt adorable, and meant a tremendous amount to O'Connor. Unfortunately for me, the story is told in a style slightly formal, cliched, and well, awkward. The anecdotes are cute, but the whole thing is just too stilted to ever really a
I read this to my mother in the nursing home, and she enjoyed it a lot. It recounts the rescue of the kitten and his first year. The author is a British psychologist and he is very British. It is an enjoyable story especially if you are a cat person. My mother who cannot have a pet had Toby Jug for a pet as long as I was reading it to her.
This is one of the most adorable tales imaginable, and I hope the book never goes out of print. It's a refreshing antidote to today's crazy, social media-driven world, a simple story about a man who rescues a kitten, nurtures him into an amazing cat, and the simple but fulfilling life they share by the fireplace and in the garden at Owl Cottage and the surrounding countryside. I don't even like cats, and I fell totally in love with Toby Jug and his best human friend. I highly recommend this book ...more
I loved this book! I'm a sucker for anything about cats - and this one didn't disappoint. Toby Jug is the sweetest cat.

A lovely book to read, although I did cry my eyes out at the end. Am looking forward to reading the follow on. I just wanted to hug both my cats at the end!!
Two and a half stars. I both love it and can't stand it. It's reminiscent of Good Companions by Era Zistel, and James Heriot stories (of course), but just lacks something. Somehow, the writing feels to me like it came about as a result of someone who doesn't feel emotions trying to tell a James Heriot story; he knows that this is how some people feel when in that situation, and uses appropriate awe and beauty in his descriptions, but it just rings a bit disingenuous. It's almost too perfect to b ...more
Ralitsa  Koleva
It took me really long time to read this one, but it was really beautiful story which made me cry at the end.
Absolutely marvelous book! Well-written, charming and engaging story about a very special cat named Toby Jug
Feb 15, 2010 Claire rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: cat/animal lovers
Recommended to Claire by: The Daily Mail, believe it or not!
Shelves: library
I read an extract of this in the Daily Mail before Christmas, and really enjoyed it, so thought I'd read the book.

Denis rescues Toby Jug as a 3 week old kitten from certain death, and the vet predicted that he wouldn't live much longer through hand-rearing. However, Toby survives, and this is the memoir of his first year.

This is a really heart-warming and touching memoir. The story of how Denis found Toby almost had me in tears - and the ending certainly did. I really enjoyed all the stories, he
It took me most of 2011 (started in late April) to read this small book because of the story and having recently lost my cat, Aubrey, in March 2011 and it made me miss her even more. However, I once I got through the initial sadness of losing Aubrey I absolutely loved the story. It made me feel good to know that there are people out there who feel the same way about cats the way I felt about mine. The challenges the author had with the small kitten in just trying to get it to survive was a mirac ...more
Author O'Connor tracks through snow in the darkest of winter nights to rescue an injured cat. When he finds her he also finds her two kittens. At the veterinarian's office he watches as both the mother and the babies are on the verge of dying. But one kitten tugs at his heart so much that he takes it home, against the veterinarian's advice because he believes the kitten will be dead by morning.

The kitten does not die overnight and so begins the life and love between a very tiny cat and a man wit
The Bookwyrm's Hoard
Review originally published at The Bookwyrm's Hoard.

NOTE: Click the link above to enter to win a copy of Paw Prints in the Moonlight!

Paw Prints in the Moonlight tells the story of Toby Jug, a diminutive and charming Maine Coon cat rescued by the author as a tiny kitten, after its mother was hit by a car. From infancy, Toby Jug was an unusual cat, small but curious, cheerful, affectionate, and adventurous. His loyalty to the author was strong enough that Mr. O'Connor was able to take him on wal
I really, really, really, REALLY wanted to like this book. The cover is adorable and the premise sounds purr-fectly delightful, but the author's writing style was too much for me. It was too focused on describing the idyllic-ness of his cabin, too effusive in delighting in nature, and too slow for me to continue reading. I had this book lying next to my bed for WEEKS as I tried to get myself to just get through one more description of his written commune with nature, and couldn't get past page 5 ...more
Jackie Blewett
I stumbled across this book in a pile of books at my Mothers that she had planned to give away. I squirrelled it away and am pleased I did. This is a wonderful, sweet story, with which cat lovers will identify. For me, it had the added intrigue of being set in a part of Northumberland where I grew up and with which I am familiar. Hearing the place names and the descriptions of life from a time when the world was slower, simpler and more naive was fascinating for me. This is a gentle and easy rea ...more

An absolutely delightful memoir of O'Connor's first year with rescued kitten, Toby Jug - so named because that's where he was kept to keep him safe & warm for the first little while. Toby Jug was rescued in 1966 in midwinter, in the wild, & was extremely lucky to survive. He is a very satisfying cat - a real companion who went everywhere with his person. The book also contains some lovely drawings - I particularly like 'the tomato thief' -, O'Conno
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Denis O'Connor trained as a psychologist and teacher. Throughout his career he taught in schools and lectured in colleges and universities. He is retired and lives with his wife Catherine and his two Maine Coon cats in a remote country cottage in Northumberland.
More about Denis O'Connor...

Other Books in the Series

Paw Tracks (3 books)
  • Paw Tracks at Owl Cottage
  • Paw Tracks: A Childhood Memoir
Paw Tracks at Owl Cottage Paw Tracks: A Childhood Memoir Toby Jug Paw Tracks in the Moonlight Wild Adventures in Time and Place

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