Book Review: The Travelling Cat Chronicles

travelling cat chronicles

travelling cat


Nana, a cat, is devoted to Satoru, his owner. So when Satoru decides to go on a roadtrip one day to find him a new home, Nana is perplexed. They visit Satoru’s old friends from his school days and early youth. His friends may have untidy emotional lives but they are all animal lovers, and they also wonder why Satoru is trying to give his beloved cat away. Until the day Nana suddenly understands a long-held secret about his much-loved owner, and his heart begins to break. Narrated in turns by Nana and by his owner, this funny, uplifting, heartrending story of a cat is nothing if not profoundly human.


At the time of writing this review Goodreads have rated this as 4.28 out of 5

Opening Lines

I am a cat. As yet, I have no name. There’s a famous cat in our country who once made this very statement.

I have no clue how great that cat was, but at least when it comes to having a name I got there first. Whether I like my name is another matter, since it glaringly doesn’t fit my gender, me being male and all. I was given it about five years ago – around the time I came of age.


Okie dokie.

Here is my cat.

Her hobbies including sleeping, ensuring that she sits where she fits and judging you.

She has had no impact on this review at all. None.

Ok, that is a lie.

My confession is that The Travelling Cat Chronicles is not a book that I would have picked up pre cat. It’s not even a book that I would have picked up post cat but, because I have a cat, people like to buy me cat related things. I don’t mind this at all. One of those cat related things was this book which my Mum got me because it has a scruffy black cat on the cover.

I am such a softy when it comes to animals and so oddly enough I don’t like reading books about animals because inevitably conflict has to occur to create a plot and if animals are involved I get all sad. I also get nervous because I just think ‘death’ all the time because quite often that’s what writers insert (especially with animals) because they know a lot of people will have an emotional response of some kind. Darn you, you manipulative writers! *shakes fist*

I won’t spoil anything with this book aside from these two things.

  • There is a permanent undercurrent of sadness within the story, the reason is hinted at early on and astute readers will pick up on it
  • The story has taken the saying; ‘life isn’t about the destination, it’s about the journey’ to heart

This book didn’t blow me away but I did like it for what it is – a charming, slightly quirky, gentle book about life and what it’s like to be owned by a cat.

Is it one that I would recommend to non cat lovers? No. Actually I wouldn’t. This is also why owning a cat has had an impact on this review – this book (while not exactly about cats per se) is definitely one for those that look at cats or more specifically their own cat(s) and sigh wistfully while saying, “only other cat mad people will understand why I let you breathe your fish breath on me at 3am and why only other cat mad people think it’s cute that you decide to attack my toes when I go for a nighttime wee. You’re so adorable.”

This book is about a cat mad person called Satoru and because we are cut from the same cloth I find his actions and his interactions with his cat, Nana completely relatable. This journey he is on to find Nana a new owner takes him through Japan to visit old friends. As ‘Travelling Cat’ is mostly third person we get to see Satoru’s backstory but also laced in his story is the point of view of his friends. Not only do we get their viewpoint of Satoru but also their own life stories.

Even better is when we get to experience the first catson (not really first person) perspective of the journey from Nana and this is where it is slightly quirky and what I would almost call ‘magical realism.’ The other reason why I think it helps to be a cat person is because of these sections. Some people may just go, ‘this is simply bizarre’ but I got a giggle because of the confidence and self assured nature of Nana just made me go – ‘yep, that’s a cat.’

The translation from Japanese to English does make the writing feel a little clunky at times and some of what was probably rather poetic language is lost.  The story is sweetly delightful although, as mentioned above, slightly tinged with sadness.

What I particularly liked and alluded to in my post about roadtrip books is that this is a rare non USA roadtrip book as it is set in Japan. The descriptions of the ocean, Mount Fuji, Japanese towns and culture and swaying pampas grass has really given me a hunger to visit Japan.

This book also made me want to pick up my cat and give her cuddles. Which I did.

She came in a minute ago and meowed at me so I told her I was talking about her. She is now sat on my bullet journal purring away filled with the satisfaction of knowing that she’s a cat who is awesome and spoilt.

willow 6

This blog post has been bought to you by me and apparently Willow.

My Rating

3 Star



15 thoughts on “Book Review: The Travelling Cat Chronicles

  1. Ahh Willow is so glamorous and fluffff! I need more pictures of her. 😛 This sounds like a lovely book that would definitely make me cry. I had a black cat Emily for 10 years and I never got over her passing, so when I was next able to get a pet I got a complete opposite – a white fluff dog. Then I realized I’m not a dog person, I’m a cat person, which might be the reason my pup acts like a cat and plays with kitties. :3 Lovely review! ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I mean I’m hugely biased but I also think she is glamorous and fluff! I’m very tempted to just flood my blog with photos of her but boy I think it’s worth it 😛

      This is a lovely book, a real life affirming read and it genuinely made me want to travel.

      Oh but your white fluff dog is GORGEOUS! I could do with more photos of Uber Fluff.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Well a few more pictures won’t do any harm, people who love books tend to love cats too. 😛

        I loved your review, and I’ve read a gorgeous one by Amalia/The Opinionated Reader, so that counts as a superb recommendation to me, as you both have great taste in books! 🙂

        I know he is! 😀 Ahh, I know, but his fur is still growing from when he was ill and we had to cut it, so he wasn’t that pretty lately, but I’m giving him a bath/hairdo this weekend, so he might be interested in a photo-shoot. 😉

        Liked by 1 person

  2. First off, I have to say this: OH MY GOD, YOUR CAT IS SO FREAKING CUTE!!! Seriously, I’ve always wanted a black cat, and I would legit kidnap your cat from you if she was within my reach. (Nah, don’t worry). 😛 And this book sounds really sweet! It’s very cool that it’s a translation from Japanese to English, and I relate to the melancholy that comes with animal books; whatever happens, animals pull on my heartstrings unconditionally, and I personally really enjoy animals as a result of that. Lovely review! 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hahaha! I’m biased obviously but I think she’s gorgeous 😉 It’s funny because black cats aren’t really the favoured type of cat colour because of nonsense superstitions and it means that a lot of people don’t want a black cat which is really sad. Even the people we got her from were surprised we chose her and not one of the other (silver coloured) ones! I adore her though. Gosh, look at me harping on about my cat. I’ll slink away now. Like my cat. Sorry. Not sorry 😛

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Aww that’s a shame, because I think black cats and dogs are absolutely gorgeous! And lol, do feel free to rave about your cat anytime; I live vicariously through people gushing about their animals as I myself can’t have a pet. 😉

        Liked by 1 person

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