Hurlimann credits a medieval German fable with the inspiration for this solid little tale, and you'll recognize the traditional elements that she incorporates so neatly here. The proud white cat--as seen, the very picture of ridiculous vanity--is one Tom, who considers none of the other cats good enough to be his wife. When he asks Mrs. Vixen's advice on a worthy mate, she suggests the daughter of the Moon . . . but then the Sun is stronger. . . and the Mist hides the Sun. . . but is blown away by the Wind. . . though the Trees still stand. . . but Fire devours trees. . . Water puts out Fire. . . a House withstands rain. . . and Mice undermine the walls of the House. But just as the silly cat has decided to marry the daughter of the mice, Katy Cat comes along with a dead one in her mouth--proving herself, as Mrs. Vixen declares, ""every bit as good as you are"" and thus ""the perfect wife."" Some might wish that Katy Cat at this point would turn the bum down, but the fact that Tom Cat is herewith ""cured of his pride and conceit"" warrants the ""happily ever after"" ending. And Hurlimann's crisp, upbeat landscapes, which personify each force or element in turn, demand it.