I have often suspected that if the power of speech were given to the family cat, it would not go well with us. Their cavalier attitude gives it away every time. The problem arises when we realize that they just don’t care what we think. It is important for us to be in command at all times, if not over our husbands, then at least over our cats.
Saki’s famous talking cat, Tobermory disclosed for all time what might happen should that enigmatic creature begin spilling the beans.
In his delightful tale Tobermory, Hector Munro brings his chatty cat Tobermory to life as he tears up an upper class Victorian house party. His truthful disclosures about each of the guests private thoughts are unnerving and frequently embarrassing.
Major Barfield questioned Tobermory; “How about your carryings-on with the tortoise-shell puss up at the stables, eh?”
Everyone recognized the blunder as Tobermory tossed his head and replied frigidly “I imagine you’d find it inconvenient if I were to shift the conversation to your own little affairs.”
The panic which ensued was not confined to the Major.
“Why did I ever come down here?” asked Agnes Resker.
Tobermory immediately accepted the opening.
“Judging by what you said to Mrs. Cornett on the croquet-lawn yesterday, you were out of food. You described the Blemleys as the dullest people to stay with that you knew, but said they were clever enough to employ a first-rate cook; otherwise they’d find it difficult to get any one to come down a second time.”
After an afternoon of similar exchanges, Mrs. Cornett said “Tobermory may be a valuable cat and a great pet; but I’m sure you’ll agree that both he and the stable cat must be done away with without delay.”
I do not wish to spoil the story by giving away more of the plot. I don’t think there is a cat lover who will not be glad they read it.
While I see Saki’s cat as being black, Scottish artist Angus Stewart’s Tobermory cat is of ginger color.
Angus Stewart is the creator of the children’s book Distillery Cats”.
The Distillery Cats” originally lived at the Tobermory Distillery in Tobermory on Mull, Scotland. The two ginger cats were named Tobermory and Ledaig after two whiskies produced at the Tobermory Distillery. The cat named Tobermory remained at the distillery, Ledaig later moved to Browns Hardware Shop. A third ginger cat known as the Mishnish Cat lived at the Mishnish Hotel. Together these three similar cats became a single fictional cat character named Tobermory Cat created by Angus Stewart in a Facebook page. He later published a book, Tobermory Cat subtitled famous for being famous. It explores the nature of the ciontruct of celebrity through a fictional cat who is simply “famous for being famous.”