A Cat Abroad: The Further Adventures Of Norton, The Cat Who Went To Paris, And His Human by Peter GethersA Cat Abroad: The Further Adventures Of Norton, The Cat Who Went To Paris, And His Human by Peter Gethers

A Cat Abroad: The Further Adventures Of Norton, The Cat Who Went To Paris, And His Human

byPeter Gethers

Paperback | August 9, 1994

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"Charming, witty, and winning...[A] delightful sequel."
Norton charmed even the most avowed cat haters in the bestselling THE CAT WHO WENT TO PARIS. Now, in Peter Gethers' and Norton's further adventures, the extraordinary feline with the great Scottish Fold ears, is hightailing it to the south of France--and making pit stops all over the globe (with his favorite human, of course). Along the way, Norton and his human companion face change and learn to understand the problems and the pleasure that come with growing up and growing older together. Like its predecessor, A CAT ABROAD is funny, touching, and wise.
Peter Gethers has spent almost a decade chronicling the life of his extraordinary cat. When he has some free time, he's also a novelist, publisher, and screenwriter. Under the pseudonym Russell Andrews, he has written the bestselling thrillers Gideon and Icarus. He lives in New York City, Sag Harbor, and, luckily, Sicily.
Title:A Cat Abroad: The Further Adventures Of Norton, The Cat Who Went To Paris, And His HumanFormat:PaperbackDimensions:256 pages, 7.91 × 5.18 × 0.56 inPublished:August 9, 1994Publisher:Random House Publishing Group

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0449909522

ISBN - 13:9780449909522

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Rated 5 out of 5 by from Funny and Heartwarming I absolutely loved this book! Yes, of course I'm a cat lover, but you wouldn't have to be a cat lover to enjoy it. Peter Gethers has an amazing writing ability, enabling you to see things through his eyes, and of course, Norton's eyes. This book actually had me chuckling out loud in a coffee shop during my lunch hour...Do yourself a favour, grab a cup of coffee and curl up with Norton and his human...you won't be sorry!
Date published: 2006-08-03

Read from the Book

It’s been said—by Edmund Wilson among other scholars—that the only great subject for American writers is the rise of America in the first half of the twentieth century.   That may be true, though I would argue that there needs to be a slight revision to such a narrow way of thinking. Without going off the deep end, let’s just say: A very good subject for American writers is the rise of the American cat in the second half of the twentieth century. Especially if the cat happens to be a brilliant, handsome, good-hearted Scottish Fold with a round head and flat, folded ears who looks more like an owl than a cat and who has traveled all over the world, having more adventures in his travels than Gulliver.   Of course, I may be a little biased here, especially since this book is a sequel to one called The Cat Who Went to Paris, which was all about the aforementioned cat with folded ears and his owner, who happens to have reasonably straight ears.   The cat who did indeed go to Paris is my very own cat Norton. He’s also been everywhere else in France you can think of, as well as to Holland, Germany, Italy, Switzerland, and Spain. He’s been to baseball’s spring training in Florida, to a writers’ conference in San Diego, to meetings at movie studios in L.A., and gone cross-country skiing in Vermont. As I explained in the first book, Norton takes walks with me sans leash and I can leave him outside almost anyplace, in any situation, and he waits patiently in the designated spot until I come to reclaim him. Those designated spots have been everywhere from hotel lobbies to friends’ backyards to airport waiting rooms to the great expanse of Central Park. He has flown on the Concorde. In Europe he goes out to restaurants with me and sits in his own chair, where he behaves like someone who has just graduated from a Swiss finishing school. He is, common to the breed, extraordinarily sweet. He is also, not common to any animal I’ve ever met before, shockingly smart. I really do take him everywhere I go, have ludicrously long conversations with him, and I like him so much I willingly admit it borders on the demented. Very little is done in my life unless Norton approves of the doing.   Since the publication of The Cat Who Went to Paris, I’ve discovered that, as I venture out into the world, I have begun to fade more and more into the background while Norton has slowly poked his way into the limelight. This is fine with me except it means that too often I find myself being compared, one on one, to something—excuse me: someone—I used to foolishly regard as my pet.   Believe me, it is not always a comforting exercise to compare cats to people, particularly if the one doing the comparing happens to be a flawed human rather than a member of the near-flawless feline race. For instance: People lie. In fact, people lie all the time. Cats do not ever lie. People happily kill other people in the name of everything from a god to a country to an overly developed sense of annoyance when someone cuts across two lanes on a freeway without signaling. Cats will, on occasion, kill other cats but, for the most part, they are content to puff up their fur, yowl like banshees, and rip the occasional ear off—and all this is usually done for the sake of food or protecting their own territory (which may not be condonable, but it is at least rational). People are often cruel and cause great emotional damage to others, sometimes deliberately, sometimes in blissful ignorance. The worst thing a cat will do, when it comes to inflicting emotional pain, is to make it clear he wants to be left alone. This causes nothing more than a sense of relief in other well-adjusted cats and a sense of rejection in not-so-well-adjusted, much more neurotic humans. People tend to lower their standards (and almost anything else that can be lowered) if they have the opportunity to win approval from a friend, spouse, boss, or even nodding acquaintance. Cats, on the other hand, are relatively indifferent to such emotional stroking. As a result, their decisions—on matters of personal attachments, lavishing affection, and certainly on such questions as whether or not to get off the comfortable couch to join, if they’ll excuse the expression, the rat race—automatically fall on a substantially higher moral and ethical plane. All in all, it is not particularly difficult to make the case that cats are, in almost any and all ways, superior creatures to the supposedly dominant Homo sapiens.   That is why, when it came to making the single most important decision of my life—which I did last year—it is not so surprising that that decision revolved around the actions of my moral, ethical, truth-telling, affection-lavishing, semi-couch-potatoish best friend.   To begin to explain, we need to take a look at one area where people seem to hold their own, or at least can compete on the same field, with cats: courage.   Norton, not unlike most humans I have encountered, is an interesting combination of brave adventurer and wimpy coward. Plop my cat in a strange garden, yard, or even forest and he will immediately roar into action, fearlessly climbing trees, playfully slithering under bushes, joyously romping and running wherever his little gray legs will carry him. Put him down in a strange house or hotel room, and he will explore any and all nooks and crannies, generally making himself quite at home without any thought of potential danger—i.e., irate cleaning women, dizzying heights, or wobbly furniture that might not take kindly to an extra nine pounds of fur bouncing around on top of it. He is not afraid of Parisian rooftops or dark and mysterious ruins or airplanes or boats or even most dogs.   However. Two years ago, I replaced the pillows on my bed with nice, soft, down-filled ones. The night they arrived, Norton jumped up on the bed, ready for sleep, got set to nestle into his usual spot by my head, placed one tentative paw on the new pillow, and, to put it graciously, was off the bed so fast, running away from the terrifying pillow at such breakneck speed, that he made Lou Costello in Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein—and I’m talking the scene with the revolving bookshelves—look like Schwarzenegger in T2. It took him six months before he’d so much as touch a down pillow again! (Don’t worry. For those of you who are already doubting my devotion, yes, I did put the old pillows back on the bed. I kept both sets handy at all times and arranged them so I could sleep on the new ones and Norton could sleep on the old ones.)   Janis—of whom much was spoken in the first book and of whom much more will be spoken in this sequel—and I recently bought a new couch for our Sag Harbor house. Only after the old couch was carried out and far removed from sight would Norton so much as step one gray and black ringed foot into the den. He had an absolute horror of that couch. He was too afraid even to scratch it. For those of you who are already wondering to what lengths I’ll go to keep my cat happy, no, I didn’t buy a new couch because Norton hated the old one. We got a new one because the old one was ugly, falling apart, and extremely uncomfortable. The fact that I let my cat live with something he didn’t like is, however, totally out of character. In retrospect, I’m already feeling guilty and I just hope he settles in happily on the armrest of the new sofa or I’m sure I’ll be furniture shopping before very long.   Janis also just bought a new blanket for our bed. A plain, simple, ordinary, purple, inanimate, wool blanket. There is nothing remotely threatening about this blanket—except to a particular Scottish Fold. To Norton, this blanket has much the same personality as Freddy Krueger in Nightmare on Elm Street. The first time Janis picked him up, put him on the bed, and, thus, on the dreaded blanket, Norton did a near-perfect Greg Louganis back flip onto the floor—I gave him a 9.7—and disappeared from sight for the rest of the day.   In addition to the odd piece of furniture and accompanying accoutrements, my dear cat also is terrified of bicycles, jackhammers, and birds. The first two I can sympathize with. Bicycles are ridden by careless humans and are more than capable of squashing a feline flat as a stepped-on morsel of Pounce, Norton’s personal favorite between-meal snack. And jackhammers are loud, earth-moving things and should be terrifying to anyone with any sense who’s not named Rocco or Deke. The last one on the list, however, is a constant source of humiliation to all who know and love cat and cat owner.   This past autumn, while my round-headed pal and I were spending time in the south of France, I decided to show off l’intelligence incroyable de mon chat. We were going out to dinner with a friend and our car was parked several streets away from the house. I decided I’d bring Norton along to dinner—and I also decided I’d let him walk to the car with us. Our friend was a little dubious, especially because the town we were in was a French medieval mountain specialty with winding narrow streets and animals roaming freely wherever they chose to roam. But Norton came through with flying colors: striding boldly out the door, disdainfully ignoring all the dogs and cats frolicking around him, as well as all the kids kicking a soccer ball to and fro and all the adults briskly strolling around with their baguettes tucked under their arms. He followed at an acceptable pace along the cobblestones—until we came to a house, a mere ten feet away from our car, that had a bird cage hanging outside the window. Inside the cage were three tiny yellow birds, whistling and singing away. Norton, having braved all the tough obstacles in town, got within a foot of the cage, heard the birds merrily chirping, turned on his heels, and made a beeline for home, in the process breaking A.J. Foyt’s land-speed record by a comfortable margin. I found him huddled pathetically by our doorway, trying his best to make himself invisible.  

From Our Editors

Like its bestselling predecessor, A Cat Abroad is funny, touching, and irresistible to cat lovers. The extraordinary feline hightails it to the south of France--dining in three-star restaurants, attending celebrity parties, and engaging in similar antics (with his human)

Editorial Reviews

“Peter Gethers’ trio of books about the globe-trotting Norton are witty and warm. One not only learns of Norton’s sweet personality but also about the author’s not-so-cynical genuine feelings about what really matters when it comes to love and cats.”—Vicki Myron-,author of Dewey: the Small Town Library Cat who Touched the World