Great Gravity the Cat (1958)⭐⭐⭐ by Johanna Johnston
Johanna Johnston (February 2, 1914-December 14, 1982) was an author and radio script writer. She worked for CBS and wrote for the radio show Let’s Pretend, as well as writing children’s books.
My copy of Great Gravity the Cat is a discarded library book. It was illustrated by Kurt Wiese. It was published by Alfred A. Knopf.
Great Gravity the Cat is a very cute book about a big gray housecat who knows exactly how to handle humans. His mother taught him the SECRET when he was just a kitten. All he had to do was give his couple the LOOK from time to time to keep them under control.
His happy home life is shattered, however, when he wakes up to find his couple is gone. A stray cat acquaintance named The Hunter comes by his window to ask where his couple is going, for he spotted them running away with suitcases. This is no matter to Gravity. They must not be gone for long, because they’d have left food for him if they were going to be away for a while. But soon the couple comes home with a baby, and they are so distracted that it is impossible for Gravity to give them the LOOK, and he is temporarily forgotten and neglected.
Gravity decides that he is going to fire his couple, and go to the ’employment agency’, which is actually the shopping district. The stray cats in the neighborhood always say how easy it is to find hired help, so he goes straight there. Gravity says goodbye to his lovely scratching post, which is actually the couch, and runs away.
The big, gray cat soon learns that life out in the wild is not all it’s been cracked up to be by the neighborhood cats, after all. He gets kicked out of places, thrown the nastiest scraps, and gets caught in the rain. He finally hits rock bottom when he goes into an alley and finds an empty garbage can to get out of the rain. A scraggly, scrawny cat jumps in with him, and they get into a fight. Gravity realizes this is The Bum, The Bum called him by name, and worst of all, he had called him pal. Gravity high-tails it out of there, and blindly runs away, finding himself right back to his own neighborhood. He sees The Hunter, but runs away before The Hunter can really identify him, and Gravity finds himself on the top of a tree. The next morning, his couple see him in the tree and call the fire department to rescue him.
After all this time, Gravity never really had seen the baby. He decides that he is going to give the LOOK to the baby, just once, before he runs off again. This is where Gravity is in for a real surprise. Instead of blinking and submitting to Gravity, the baby has a LOOK all its own. They become instant friends, and Gravity realizes that they can control the couple together. If someone had told him about this, he’d have understood sooner!
I liked this little story a lot. It was in the point of view of the cat without it being first person, and I think it gives you funny insight into a cat’s mind, if a cat could think like people.