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Hotel Cat: 03/15/08
Hotel Cat is the last of the "Cat Club" series by Esther Averill. I would like to read more in the series after having so enjoyed Hotel Cat but my library doesn't seem to have any more in the series. When I clear my current back log of "to be read" books I might treat myself to more of these books.
Hotel Cat is told from the point of view of Tom, a stray who is befriended at the start of a winter of the "burst boilers" by the maintenance man at an old fashioned hotel in a big city (Manhattan, perhaps?). The hotel is falling on hard times, its glory as a host to royalty and celebrities long since faded as newer and taller hotels have gone up around it. To Tom, the cat off the street, it is a marvelous and magical place. He takes his new job as a ratter (in the basement) and greeter of the guests (upstairs) very seriously.
As winter progresses Tom to his consternation has to share his beloved hotel with a host of cats all chased into the hotel as the boilers have burst in the nearby apartments. The first two are stray cats but Tom knowing his own recent misfortune lets them into his basement home. Upstairs though, problems are brewing with rooms and rooms of nervous cats locked up while their owners are displaced.
Through Tom's interaction with these different cats and a strange woman he meets every night on the stairs at midnight we learn both about the Cat Club (fans of the series will recognize all the characters who are guests in the hotel) and about the history of the hotel. Reluctantly Tom helps bring the Cat Club members together which in turn gives the hotel one last chance to shine.
Peppered throughout this delightful book are illustrations by the author. She captures the personality of all her cat characters and brings them to life. I especially like the cover illustration of all the cats gathered together.
The entire list of the Cat Club books are as follows