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The Killer Cat Strikes Back

Anne Fine
Jan 2007
“Okay, okay. So stick my head in a holly bush. I gave Ellie’s mother my mean look. It was her own fault. She was hogging my end of the sofa.”

Nonchalant Tuffy the cat makes his triumphant third outing in this latest tale by Anne Fine. Tuffy is fast becoming an archetype in children’s literature. In him, Fine has perfectly captured the nuances of cattish behaviour. Just as it is now almost impossible to speak of bear stories, without Pooh or his alliterative counterpart Paddington coming to mind, Tuffy is the forerunner in feline fiction.

Keen to express her creativity, Ellie’s mother experiments with photography, painting and pottery. Tuffy the cat holds little appreciation for any of this art and accidents befall all but one of the pots as Tuffy ‘biffs’ and ‘strokes’ them. Eager to be rid of the monstrous artwork, Ellie’s father tries coaxing Tuffy to smash the final remaining pot, but contrasuggestible as ever, Tuffy evades each attempt as father places a tantalisingly tempting prawn into the pot and smears it in cream. What resolve, if any, could cause Tuffy to smash the pot…?!

As with the two previous books in the “Killer Cat” series, this book is based upon an urban legend. Anne Fine has augmented this with her own inimitable wit and sense of social understanding making this a riotous, rib-tickling read.

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