Gooseneck Press

Looking through someone else's eyes

The Cat

Written by Jan G. Hansen

Illustrated by Deborah Pryce

A cat comes to the aid of young animals who are in need of a helping hand, and discovers that it feels good to help others.

"I was impressed with the way this story reveals how children touch their foster parents' lives."     ~ Peter Ringrose, Executive Director, Family and Children's Services of the Waterloo Region

"Boy your story was a kick in the pants!  It was great!"      ~ Sejal, student, Clark Blvd. Public School in Brampton

From the book

Once there was a cat.

She was a strong cat.





On a dry summer day the cat met a young rabbit.

"I'm hungry," said the rabbit, "and I can't find anything green to eat. . ."

Children Respond

A teacher read The Cat to her grade 4/5 class.  "They really connected," she said, "I was not prepared for the discussion that followed." Here are some responses:

It reminds me of a story . . .

The story was really something!  I cannot explain it all in words.  It tells you that you're not alone in this world.

I think the story is about love.

The cat gave respect, and then she got it back.

It reflects on me because my nephew is loved by other people and I barely get to see him.  But I know that he will always be in my heart.

A friend will always be there whenever you need them.

It reminded me that there are really nice, kind people out there and without those people I don't know where I would have been when my Mom got sick and I went to foster care.

I had an experience with that.  When my baby cousin was born he was left at the hospital alone.  So my uncle and aunt took him in.  His birth mother is missing all the fun.

This is really sad and hard for me to listen to because it reminds me of my best friend.  She was taken away with her brother.  And that's what the cat is doing, helping them out.

Click here for free teacher and foster parent ideas for using The Cat, colouring pages and translations.


Where did the story come from?

I drove through the dark, knowing that we were late getting home.  Our friend Cathy was doing us a favour by looking after our kids so we could see a show in Toronto.  I wanted to find a way of thanking Cathy for all the kindness she had shown us over the years, but she is better at making cookies than I am.  I though about what I could do that might be special.  I decided to write for her.  Cathy has been a foster parent to several children and eventually adopted two of them, a brother and sister, into her family. Keeping my eyes on the empty road ahead, I started composing a story about Cathy's life. 

The Cat is about caring for others and why people do it.