ghost_cat1.jpgGhost Cat

Groundwood Books, 2001

Winner of a Tiny Torgi Award, 2002

“Heartwarming and touching” – School Library Journal

“An inspiring story that comes to life and warms the heart. It has an unconventional happy ending” – Montreal Review of Books

“A magical picture book. Ghost Cat is full of wry humour, imaginative wordplay, and evocative metaphors. Subtle and knowing, striking just the right balance between deeply moving emotional resonance and whimsical fantasy, Abley’s story is poignantly touching without ever being sloppily sentimental. Simply stunning.” — Quill & Quire

An excerpt from Ghost Cat:

“If you please, Tommy Douglas!” Miss Wilkinson would say when it was time for dinner. Miss Wilkinson was an old lady with crumpled skin and bright blue eyes, and she lived all by herself except for a small black cat. The cat’s name was Tommy Douglas. Ever since he was a kitten, his eyes had glowed with brilliant orange fire.

Miss Wilkinson and Tommy Douglas shared a small house in a big city. Tommy Douglas rarely went out, but he loved to sit on top of Miss Wilkinson’s sofa and watch the birds pecking and fluttering in the morsel of back garden. His tail would dance and his eyes would flash like liquid flames.

Miss Wilkinson used to be a teacher. Now she was retired, but she kept busy with a seniors’ choir and a pottery club and a social justice committee. Sometimes she came home from a rehearsal or a meeting so tired that she wanted nothing more than a bath and a long sleep.

On evenings like this, Tommy Douglas would wait on a carpet with his eyes half-closed until Miss Wilkinson was already in bed. Then — “If you please, Tommy Douglas!” — he would jump onto the bed and purr and purr beside her aching feet. Occasionally he would stroll up the patchwork quilt, whiskers twitching, and purr by her face.