Hat Cat

Hat Cat
Troy Wilson and Eve Coy
Walker Books

The old man in this story has a daily ritual: he puts peanuts in the crease on the top of his hat, goes outside, and sits, ‘as still and welcoming as a grand old tree.’ Then he waits for the squirrels to come. One day he’s delighted to find a cat emerges as he lifts up his hat and unsurprisingly he names him Hat.

Taking the creature inside, he allows Hat to do whatever he wants other than going out. “If I let you outside, you might leave me. Or you might chase the squirrels … or worse.” So whenever he goes for his daily outdoor sit, the old man closes the back door behind him leaving a mewing cat inside watching from within.

Then one day the old man isn’t there:Hat is alone for days until other people come and feed, rub and talk to him.

Times passes and one day Hat notices that the door has been left open. Seizing the opportunity, out he goes straight onto the decking. Now what will he do?

Nothing is said about why the old man is absent and we surmise that he’s been ill. Happily though there is a happy ending for Hat and for the old man and the other humans who have stepped in.

Troy Wilson’s words and Eve Coy’s soft, warm watercolour pictures work beautifully together showing the deep affection between Hat and his old man in this warm-hearted tale wherein
companionship, trust and love are key.