Review Blog

Oct 15 2013

Dougal's Diary by David Greagg

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Ill. by Yvonne Van Vliet.  Clan Destine Press, 2010. ISBN: 9780980790016.
Dougal's Diary is just that, a diary covering the first year of life of the black and white cat Dougal. Yes, in collaboration with David Greagg, Dougal has shared the ups and downs of his life from his earliest memories as a new born enjoying life with his siblings, to the end of his first year secure in his new home and in the love of his humans.
After the trauma of being separated from his cat family and waiting in a cage to be chosen, Dougal finds he is sharing a home with his adopted sister Shadow, whose early life as an alley cat has conditioned her to steal food whenever she can, and Belladonna the incumbent matriarch who takes some winning over, as well as Man (David Greagg) and Woman.
Dougal is a peace loving diplomat and a hero as he negotiates the delicate path between protecting his girls and fitting into the neighbourhood complete with cats, dogs, wattlebirds and other humans.
Dougal has much to learn about the human world as he learns about the various appliances and equipment in the house and garden. From cars to computers Dougal's point of view is that they are all boxes with the ability to take humans away or to frustrate them. For the reader it is a lesson in perception and point of view as are the lessons from Belladonna regarding cat etiquette and techniques for training humans.
This is definitely a book for cat lovers with, I would think, a limited audience in the primary years, however as an example of diary writing and point of view I found Dougal's impressions of the world around him entertaining.
Sue Keane

Editor's note: There is a second in the series, When we were kittens. Clan Destine Press, 2102. ISBN: 9780987271716.

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