Friday 6 June 2008

Stray Dave: Hard, Or Just Plain Adorable?

Last night my publishers held a small but perfectly formed launch party for Under The Paw in a room above a pub in London's Covent Garden. The highlight of the party was the Hardest-Looking Cat competition, for which the prize was a job lot of the (so The Bear tells me) very tasty Applaws cat food. Participants were asked to bring a photo of their - or a close friend's - toughest cat; a longlist and shortlist of finalists was drawn up by three judges after much-deliberating*, then the room was asked to show its disapproval or approval via the medium of noise. I feel confident in predicting that 2008 will end with this being the only literary party of the year to have included 30-odd people standing next to a bar alternately booing and cheering pictures of cats.

The unequivocal winner was Stray Dave (see above). Dave is still at the Lewisham Branch of the Celia Hammond Animal Trust, looking for a home. Scroll down THIS page to find him. I can't help but feel that the overwhelming support for him was nothing to do with his apparent toughness - he actually looks more inebriated than hard - and more to do with the fact that everyone in the room probably felt an instinctive need to shower him with love and cheer him up. I have to confess I'm very tempted to take a trip down to South London this weekend, even though I've told myself that six mogs is my limit. Lenise, who helps look after Dave at CHAT, struggled out of the room with three boxes full of high quality sustenance for him.

Below I've included pics of some of the other cats who made the longlist. Hannah, who sent in the photo of Mee Mau assures me she isn't taking the piss, but I'm not sure I believe her.

Milo (also in residence at the Lewisham branch of CHAT):




Mee Mau:

* E.g. Does a cat automatically become hard just because he is behind bars in quarantine?


CatWitch said...

Awww :) they're great! And they look like contenders for! Incidently, seeing my link on your page makes me feel a bit guilty about neglecting the blog for so sorry...the cats AND the dog are a right pain these days. It shall be updated...really! New pics & tales (or tails!) of life with a bunch of cheeky critters.

Unknown said...

I love Stray Dave. He reminds me of the last cat I took in, Finish It Off Freddie, a stray I took in from the alley 8-ish years ago upsetting the balance of male cats in my house - but when you fall in love what can you do. I now live in a bit of a war-zone. Although things have improved since I discovered 'Urine-Off' products!

Lenise said...


Wanted to thank you again for a great book (yours and the one by the Cat Counsellor!) and a lovely evening.

I absolutely applaud the idea of doing the "Hardest Looking Cat" comp as opposed to Cutest, as that really would have led to some (quality) mindless violence!

The difficulty is, as we all know, that the hardest cats are those that look the most benign (when you least expect it, expect it!).

Even though Stray Dave looks more drunk than hard, so pleased that he won and he will be the most popular cat on his cell block when he shares out his spoils tomorrow afternoon.

Again, congratulations on another wonderful book full of Universal Truths - and when you do the sequel, you'll definitely have to include a chapter on the behaviour humans when their moggies are involved in a competition!


Sharyn Ekbergh said...

I would be totally unable to resist Mee Mau and Barnaby.
But you should see our Titus ( at Conway Area Humane Society) He would have one that contest, paws down.

Anonymous said...

what beautiful cats and I just love the names of them :-)

Renate in Colorado

Anonymous said...

Stray Dave is incredible!

Jo said...

Stray Dave Rocks!!!!

Jo said...

Stray Dave rocks!!!!