This installment in the continuing story of Lulu, her cousin and best friend, Mellie, and her growing collection of pets delights.
Their grandmother, Nan, who is “little and snappy and quick and kind,” is staying with the girls while their parents are away on a grown-up holiday. She is not fond of animals, so this is quite brave: Lulu’s menagerie is ever-growing. When a bag full (as it turns out) of a marigold-colored cat is left on the doorstep, Nan tries mightily to keep Lulu from opening something that could be dangerous, but she does not succeed. What follows is a rollicking tale of a cat that loves flowers (and is wary of humans), terrorizes Lulu’s old dog Sam and young dog Rocko, and allows the girls to understand that not all animals can cohabit with the same family and that not all adults look upon creatures with the affection and care that Lulu does. Their neighbor Charlie, who loves making people “shriek and giggle,” makes a cameo appearance. Why the marigold cat was so large (and so wary) is explained in the end, and a satisfactory home for the marigolds three (!) is found.
The story allows for increasing complexity of situation and emotion in a way that’s utterly accepting of 7-year-old thought—and it’s very funny. (Fiction. 7-9)