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The Travelling Cat Chronicles by Hiro Arikawa

Date: Dec 15, 2020

The Travelling Cat Chronicles by Hiro Arikawa

As soon as I saw the front cover, I knew that this was the book that I wanted to read… and I must confess that I am a true cat lover, but I would absolutely recommend it to anyone! 

It is the kind of book that makes you laugh and cry at the same time. It illustrates friendships and human behaviour from the animal’s perspective. No doubt, it is not like anything I have read before!

“The Travelling Cat Chronicles” is an emotional story of a young Japanese man named Saturu, who discovers an injured cat and takes him home. They soon become best friends. Sprinkled throughout the book are scenes where Satoru takes Nana (the cat) on a journey across Japan to visit his family and friends. This is no ordinary road trip but rather a search for someone to take care of Satoru’s beloved cat. During their travels, Satoru's past is revealed through flashbacks to his childhood and experiences with his friends. We quickly learn that the book is not just about cats… It’s about friendship and love, and how important it is to be supported by another human being.

This book really made me think about the value of human connection and impact we have on others. I feel inspired to get out into the world and connect with other humans… What’s more important than feeling understood, accepted, loved? Chasing money won’t bring you happiness or fulfilment…

IT’S THE SMALL THINGS THAT CAN GIVE YOU THE GREATEST JOY!

Just like developing a beautiful relationship between a pet and his owner. I’m sure that people with pets would agree with me that animals can help you deal with stressful situations. Whenever I have a bad day, I know that snuggling with my cat is the only thing that will always calm my nerves and boost my mood.

CATS CAN QUITE LITERALLY SAVE YOUR LIFE!

The same applies to human relations. The more positive relationships we have, the better we are at facing personal challenges and responding to crises. Isn’t it great when we know that we have someone we can trust, someone that can be relied upon when unexpected happens in our lives? 

When it turns out that Satoru is no longer able to take care of Nana, he travels in search of the cat’s new home. Not only was it touching, it was heart-breaking to find that each of Satoru’s friends is unsuitable. We discover that Satoru is a lonely man who lost both his parents in a tragic accident. He has no other soul mate apart from his old childhood friends and a distant aunt. Each trip gives us some background information about the characters, and their relationships with each other. The story has many good morals. It teaches us to be kind and polite.

LIFE IS FRAGILE, APPRECIATE IT!

Don’t take things for granted as if we had unlimited time. I have realised that it’s better to take charge of things today rather than put them off until tomorrow! We all have a purpose on this planet and perhaps being a positive person can impact on those around us, making the world a better place. By the end of the novel, it’s clear that Satoru is a cheerful person with a warm heart, who has always tried to do his best for people around him.

“The Travelling Cat Chronicles” was one of the books that I couldn’t put down and I’m sure it will stay with me for a very long time…

What did I take from it?  We should appreciate every single moment in our lives! I have learnt to connect more deeply with myself and people around me and I still continue to explore how I want to live my life. I’m taking care of the relationships I already have by reconnecting with old friends just like Satoru... The support that we give and receive is particularly important nowadays, in the era of pandemic.

But why is Satoru so determined to find Nana a new place to live? I will leave that to you to find out.

Enjoy,

Emilia