ANGEL CAT by Michael Garland


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Ursula LeGuin introduced readers to living cats with wings (Catwings, 1988, etc.); Cynthia Rylant took readers on a tour of Cat Heaven (1997). Garland's heaven-sent winged feline is Matthew and Gillian's pet cat, Yin, that died in a car crash. Only Yang, the children's other cat, sees his friend Yin return in ghost-like fashion as an angel cat. Yang romps and plays, swiping at the air as if Yin is playing alongside him. Whenever Yang engages in the strange behavior, Matthew senses a ""faint breeze on his face."" When a spark from the fireplace causes the rug to catch on fire while everyone is asleep, only Yin notices; in a lapse in this fantasy's logic, she touches Matthew with her whiskers, awakening him. Gillian is skeptical about Matthew's story, and an idiosyncratic ending suggests that only Yang knows for sure. Deft, surrealistic computerized illustrations have the artificial brightness of a ""colorized"" movie. The technique works best in the service of other-worldly scenes of a flying cat from heaven than it does in more earthbound landscapes and domestic interiors. The magic of the angel cat, however, is ethereally apparent.

Pub Date: Oct. 1st, 1998
Page count: 32pp
Publisher: Boyds Mills