In wild and wacky prose the affronted feline chronicles a year-long fight to regain
his territory. Indeed, it’s an escalating war of hisses and pawbats which seesaws
between “catastrophe and triumph” as Cat’s owner HER repeatedly fails to contain
the pets’ sparring.
For A.S. Cat is no ordinary feline and DOG, as he dismissively calls the pushy puppy,
is no family-centred bow wow but a self-possessed lion of a female Chow called Tamba.
And to puss’s further regret, this other SHE is also disturbingly catlike, forever
challenging his authority.
Over 282 pages, cat, dog and human continually scrap for control. Which ensures the
self-opinionated moggy’s diary fizzes over with breathless accounts of fiercely fought
battles over property rights, obedience training and Cat’s growing perception that
Dog’s only aim is to topple puss from his perch -- until enlightenment strikes with
a more verminous intruder.
A.S. Cat is the creation of pet owner Diana Comber who wrote, self-published and
is currently marketing the book herself to raise money for charity. Her improbable
literary icon is admittedly the figment of a vivid imagination – nevertheless, one
based on personal observation of the extreme reactions of her 17-year-old puss, the
real Sooty, to a bullish Chow puppy, the real Tamba, whom she brought home to ideally
live “in peaceful coexistence.”
The Real A.S. Cat
The character of A.S. Cat is based on Diana’s black-and-white neutered tom Sooty
whom she bought for £5 in 1988 from an animal shelter in Newcastle upon Tyne in northern
England. A dog warden found Sooty wandering along the streets of a suburb. With
his glossy coat, he looked quite well fed and was very friendly and as no one came
forward to claim the sleek young tom, he was put up for adoption.
While Sooty’s owner thought him to be the “bee’s knees,” Puss was in reality no more
than a quite common piebald or “tuxedo” cat, a mainly black feline with solid patches
of white fur. In Sooty’s case these covered his paws, bib, nose and chin and with
his white undercoat, he appeared to Diana “a cut above the rest.”
In early 2004 Sooty’s vet diagnosed him as diabetic. Although he needed insulin injections
twice a day, Sooty never complained, taking every jab in his stride during morning
and evening meals.
The Real Dog
A.S. Cat’s nemesis whom he derisively labels Dog is drawn from Diana’s Chow Tamba,
born in Cornwall, England in March 2003. Part of the Spitz family of dogs, Tamba
is a pedigree bitch who has herself had a “swift rise to stardom” since joining the
UK Kennel Club’s Companion Dog Scheme. Not only can she be seen on three YouTube
videos (including two produced by The Kennel Club) but she’s also been the “Pin-up
Pooch” on a KC business card! Despite being somewhat “bullheaded,” she too has done
her bit for charity by agreeing to go walkies along The Thames during one of The
National Hospital for Neurology & Neurosurgery’s London Bridge-athons to raise funds.
Most of the book’s proceeds are being donated to The National Hospital for Neurology
& Neurosurgery (NHNN) although other charities have also been supported, including
Cats Protection, the UK Kennel Club Charitable Trust and the Geriatric Society for
Health in Aging (USA).
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