Turning an apparently real incident into spun sugar, Godwin sends a Spanish feral cat, trapped and transported far from home, on a feline odyssey.
A Dumpster’s lode of tasty prawns nearly spells Poohka’s downfall as, after being swept into a sanitation truck, he is at last ejected, his front leg crushed, in a distant tip. Carrying anthropomorphism to an extreme, the author surrounds him with allies ranging from a crew of helpful rats to a kindly cork tree named Señor Arbol, who talks him out of his despair and provides him with a verbally abusive owl to guide him on the long road back to the gated community from which he came. So vivid are these characters that they command more attention than poor Poohka. Over the course of his journey, he is rescued from the clutches of Señora Bruja, a comically revolting witch who munches on raw mouse while fattening Poohka up for dinner, makes friends with a young mouse and clicks with Pequita, a friendly female cat who later follows him home. His weary, hobbling journey comes to an end at last when he is adopted by a human couple and, after a long convalescence at the vet’s, settles into a new life as a three-legged house cat. In contrast to the story, the many small ink drawings scattered throughout are fairly realistic (except that Poohka’s injury is barely visible).
A lightweight tale of odds overcome; too bad the unusually talkative supporting cast shoulders most of the load and shines more brightly than the supposed protagonist. (Animal fantasy. 10-12)