Review: Fantasy: “My Father, The Cat” by Henry Slesar

@msiduri (5750)
United States
May 8, 2017 8:15am CST
Etienne Dauphin is bringing his fiancée Joanna to his ancestral home in Brittany. They met at the metropolitan museum of art where he found work after graduating from college in America. When he told her he was an orphan, he wasn’t being quite honest. True, his mother died when he was four. However, his father is still around, hearty and hale. It’s just that, well, he’s a cat. Not merely any cat, of course. Dauphin the cat has refined taste in music, literature, and wine. He brought his son up with a love for learning, for which Etienne is grateful. It is to my father's patient tutoring that I owe whatever graces I now possess. It was my father, the cat, whose gentle paws guided me to the treasure houses of literature, art, and music, whose whiskers bristled with pleasure at a goose well cooked, at a meal well served, at a wine well chosen. How many happy hours we shared! He knew more of life and the humanities, my father, the cat, than any human I have met in all my twenty-three years. Etienne’s mother was always delicate. Her father watched over her constantly. When he died, the beautiful Angora cat, Dauphin, cat appeared, speaking cultured English, French, and Italian. Unbeknown to her father, Etienne’s mother was a fairy changeling, thus many possibilities lay open to her not open to moral women. An understanding priest married her to Dauphin. Their one child was Etienne. Dauphin doesn’t think Joanna will show the same understanding Etienne’s mother did and the household servants do. He’s quite adamant: she will not accept Etienne’s parentage. Etienne maintains his father is wrong. Joanna is a woman of great heart. She will love his father as he loves him. This is a sad little story. It’s not a matter of lack of love. The characters love one another. Etienne loves and respects his father. He’s grateful for his upbringing. He also loves Joanna and doesn’t wish to change her. Author Henry Slesar was a playwright and copywriter as well as an author. He wrote fiction in fantasy, detective, science fiction, mystery, and thriller genres. Twist endings were his hallmark. His first novel The Gray Flannel Shroud, won the Edgar Allan Poe award in 1960. This short story is available from Project Gutenberg and Librivox. _____ Title: “My Father, The Cat” Author: Henry Slesar (1927-2002) First published: Fantastic Universe December 1957 Source: ISFDB *An earlier version of this review appeared in Examiner. It has been updated and expanded for its inclusion in ML. And apparently, its was was one of the few reviews NOT plagiarized at atombash.*
https://www.gutenberg.org/ebooks/28119
2 people like this
2 responses
@teamfreak16 (41152)
• Colorado Springs, Colorado
12 May 17
That sounded like something I just had to read. Glad I did. An amusing little ending.
1 person likes this
@msiduri (5750)
• United States
12 May 17
Glad you liked it. I did, too. Nice like tale, so to speak, and nicely written.
1 person likes this
@JohnRoberts (56734)
• Los Angeles, California
8 May 17
A talking cat who parented a human? This is so weird figuring the logistics.
1 person likes this
@msiduri (5750)
• United States
8 May 17
His mother was a fairy. The possibilities are wide open.
1 person likes this