But the truth is that Simon has four cats: Hugh, Maisey, Jess, and the newest addition Teddy (an abandoned kitten rescued by the Tofield house human). All four cats contribute to the antics Tofield draws in his cartoon videos and print books, but Simon’s cat gains all the notoriety.
The first book in Tofield’s series is Simon’s Cat: In His Very Own Book. Simon’s cat, a master man-ipulator, claims his sleeping territory which just so happens to be the major portion of Tofield’s bed, leaving the house human to hang out on the edges, sans blankets. Then this maxi-meowler flicks his kitty litter out of his porta-potty in the make-a-mess-for-Simon-to-clean-up game. He pounces on Simon from unexpected places, sneaks into the kitchen cupboard to check (gorge on) the food supply, and performs other normal (but annoying) cat tricks. Tofield’s line illustrations are laugh-out-loud funny as Simon’s cat works through a catalog of crimes against his personal food purr-veyor.
Simon’s cat gets annoyed with his humans when the food dish remains empty beyond the anticipated feeding time (an unforgiveable offense), but he becomes even more irritated when the human decides to do the cat-in-the-bath routine. In Simon’s Cat: Beyond the Fence, Simon’s cat, feeling unappreciated and not at all desiring a bath, leaves home and goes off to explore the world. Friendly hedgehogs become his unlikely accomplices in his curious adventures.
In Feed Me, Simon’s cat has only three things on his mind: food, food, and food. He uses all of his wiles to find his meals including pretending to be any of a number of other creatures hunting for food.
My favorite book in the Simon’s Cat series is Simon’s Cat: In Kitten Chaos. A new kitten in the house causes trying times (sibling rivalry?) for Simon’s first cat. Turns out this newly rescued kitten is even more mischievous and maybe a bit more destructive than Simon’s first cat. All the same, you know how it is, the older critter gets the blame for the damage. Do cats smirk? Well, this new little invader often gets the last laugh!
Cat lovers of all ages will enjoy these books. Teachers can have students write captions for the cartoons or narrate the events, and kids can tell the stories to Mom or Dad at night before lights out. Adults can just laugh.
Writers know that cats and writing don’t often mix well. Though we love and adore them, sometimes, just sometimes, our cats drive us to distraction. Simon Tofield captures this writer-cat problem in this Cat and Mouse video.
YOUR TURN: Do you have a cat? How does your cat help or hinder your writing?