In childhood I read the classical fairy tale of Puss-in-Boots. He was a tomcat, a proper rambler. I wondered: why are certain adventures for men only? And here we go: there is a Cat Lady-in-Boots aka Miss Catherine St. Quintin (or Q, or Squintums, as her companions call her). She plays an innocent-looking furry creature during the day, but nightly she turns into a naugthy hunter with a riffle (no kidding!). And yes, she gets into trouble, threatened by a fox, and is finally rescued by a hedgehog.
I found the book in a forgotten children’s corner of TK-Maxx and instantly fell in love with the illustrations by Quentin Blake: a rare treasure indeed, as Beatrix herself didn’t make her usual sweet drawings to this story. It had been waiting for over 100 years until eventually published in 2015. Now we can read a rather old-fashioned tale reflecting the customs of English hunters – a bit scary, disgusting and not-so-much for children. Quentin himself made a great job in keeping the story’s little absurdities alive: Kitty is wriggling, kicking, fanciful. Alive and very naughty. You may wish to look at the illustrations and read the tale along with Helen Mirren’s lovely interpretation on a CD that accompanies the book.
Still, Beatrix’s message is: you girls should behave and better stay at home, enjoy the proper company of other respectful cat/girlfriends and under no circumstances leave the house after dark to hunt. Well, a good advice for an early 20th century lassie perhaps, but not for a notorious kitty of 2019. I’ll go out and get wild, thank you.