It is a sad reflection on the seriousness of second child syndrome in our house. For several months, our long-suffering youngest has been listening to bedtime stories aimed at much older children. In fact, the recommendation is that they’re for children age six plus – she’s three. So, it was time to redress the balance with an adorable new book for little ones. And it’s one she can wholeheartedly relate to.
The Saccone Jolys and the Great Cat-Nap
The Saccone Joly family consists of mum and dad, three children and six dogs. The girls giggled at the children’s activities that the dogs joined in with. Especially when we saw that the game they were best at was dressing up. That and dancing when the children got home from school – we know that excitable doggy tap dance well!
Then, another familiar event happened. One of the children came home from school with a book she’d borrowed from the library. Her dad read it to her as a bedtime story, and the book was called, ‘I’d Really Like to Have a Cat’. As she drifted off to sleep, Emilia uttered the words, “I’d really like to have a cat.”
One of the dogs heard what Emilia had said and she rushed off to tell the others. After a serious meeting and some meticulous planning, the great cat-nap was on! The dogs decided to get Emilia a cat by cat-napping some local cats. This was despite the fact they had no idea why she could possibly want one.
The cat-nap that wasn’t
Those fluffy little dogs were just too nice to manage to catch a cat. They split into teams and tried catching three different cats, but it all went wrong. So, they were back to the drawing board. And with a little help from a squirrel friend, they realised they could get Emilia her cats after all – six of them to be precise.
Those sweet little dogs all sprung into action using their number one skill – dressing up. Soon, the dogs had transformed themselves into six fluffy white cats. And when Emilia got home, they all played together. Until she realised that she really was missing her dogs.
That’s when the dressing up outfits came off, and the children realised it had been their dog friends after all. The dogs were delighted when Emilia said they were the best friends ever. And when it was time for bed, she had another new story to read. ‘I’d Really Like to Have a Squirrel.”
This book really struck a chord with Lia. She is a little girl who adores her dogs. Bubbles in particular loves to play with her. Whenever the girls get a new toy, Bubbles is the first there to play it with them. They recently had hoop and stick games from the Black Country Living Museum and Bubbles spent hours chasing them around the decking.
And yet, we all miss our beautiful Jamer cat, nobody more so than Lia. She only has very vague memories of Jamer, but that cat was such a little character that we never could replace her. Jamer was always at the heart of anything we did as a family. She even came on dog walks with us, and I once had to turn around on the way to the pub to take her home because she’d followed us.
But Lia knows that we can’t have another cat at the moment. We intend to travel for a whole year in the not too distant future, and it wouldn’t be fair to ask someone to look after a cat for that long. And besides, there will never be another Jamer.
So, the Great Cat-Nap was both an enjoyable book and a life-lesson. We may not be able to have a cat at the moment, but the girls have some wonderful canine friends. They may not always appreciate the dogs as much as they should, but reading this book made them realise that they wouldn’t be without them for the world.
The Sacconejoly’s and the Great Cat-Nap is available from Amazon via this link.