Thomasina, the Cat Who Thought She Was God

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Thomasina, the Cat Who Thought She Was God
Thomasina book cover.jpg
Front cover of 1989 reprint by International Polygonics
Author Paul Gallico
CountryUnited States
GenreChildren's fantasy novel
Publisher Doubleday
Publication date
1957
Media typePrint (hardcover)
ISBN 0385048041

Thomasina, the Cat Who Thought She Was God or Thomasina is a 1957 novel by Paul Gallico about a cat, owned by a child whose strict father must learn that love is powerful enough to help others. The book was adapted for the 1963 Disney film The Three Lives of Thomasina .

Paul Gallico

Paul William Gallico was an American novelist, short story and sports writer. Many of his works were adapted for motion pictures. He is perhaps best remembered for The Snow Goose, his only real critical success, and for the novel The Poseidon Adventure, primarily through the 1972 film adaptation.

<i>The Three Lives of Thomasina</i> 1964 film by Don Chaffey

The Three Lives of Thomasina is a 1963 American-British fantasy film directed by Don Chaffey and starring Patrick McGoohan, Susan Hampshire, child actor Matthew Garber and child actress Karen Dotrice in a story about a cat and her influence on a family. The screenplay was written by Robert Westerby and Paul Gallico. It was based upon Gallico's 1957 novel Thomasina, the Cat Who Thought She Was God. The film was shot in Inveraray, Argyll, Scotland, and Pinewood Studios, England.

Contents

Plot

Andrew MacDhui, a widowed veterinary surgeon working in Scotland, has a young daughter, Mary Ruadh, who is attached to her pet ginger cat called Thomasina (the narrator of the story). Although Mary loves Thomasina, her father MacDhui only tolerates the cat. The village children talk of a local "witch" named Lori who is said to cure ailing animals through magic. After MacDhui refuses to help an injured frog found by Geordie McNab, the boy takes his frog to the witch and leaves it for her to heal.

Scotland Country in Northwest Europe, part of the United Kingdom

Scotland is a country that is part of the United Kingdom. It covers the northern third of the island of Great Britain, with a border with England to the southeast, and is surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean to the north and west, the North Sea to the northeast, the Irish Sea to the south, and more than 790 islands, including the Northern Isles and the Hebrides.

One day Thomasina falls ill, so Mary takes her beloved cat to her father expecting him to cure Thomasina. To Mary's shock, MacDhui puts chloroform on Thomasina and tells Mary that she's been euthanized. Mary recovers Thomasina's body, and her friend Hughie Stirling suggests giving her the best funeral the village children can arrange. Mary obliges and decides to get revenge on her father by including on Thomasina's headboard that the cause of her death was "murder". Later, Mary refuses to talk to her father during dinner and becomes even more upset when he tries to replace Thomasina with a new kitten. She later confides to the doctor that her father is dead and that she killed him. As time passes, Mary stops talking altogether,

Chloroform, or trichloromethane, is an organic compound with formula CHCl3. It is a colorless, sweet-smelling, dense liquid that is produced on a large scale as a precursor to PTFE. It is also a precursor to various refrigerants. It is one of the four chloromethanes and a trihalomethane. It is a powerful anesthetic, euphoriant, anxiolytic and sedative when inhaled or ingested.

Animal euthanasia is the act of putting an animal to death or allowing it to die by withholding extreme medical measures. Reasons for euthanasia include incurable conditions or diseases, lack of resources to continue supporting the animal, or laboratory test procedures. Euthanasia methods are designed to cause minimal pain and distress. Euthanasia is distinct from animal slaughter and pest control although in some cases the procedure is the same.

When the funeral is over and Mary and her friends leave Thomasina's burial place in the hills, Lori appears, exhumes Thomasina's body and discovers the cat is still alive; the chloroform simply induced a deep sleep. Lori takes the cat to her own cottage to recover. When Thomasina wakes up, she thinks she is Bastet the Egyptian cat goddess, resurrected. The other animals at Lori's cottage don't believe her, especially when she tries to show her powers to them. Thomasina does not remember Mary or her former life. Lori renames her "Talitha" and keeps her.

Bastet Egyptian deity

Bastet or Bast was a goddess of ancient Egyptian religion, worshiped as early as the Second Dynasty. Her name also is rendered as B'sst, Baast, Ubaste, and Baset. In ancient Greek religion, she was known as Ailuros.

Talitha (given name) given name

Talitha is an uncommon feminine name meaning "little girl" in Aramaic, given in reference to the Biblical story in the Gospel of Mark in which Jesus Christ was said to have resurrected a dead child with the words "Talitha cumi" or "Talitha kum" or "Talitha koum," meaning "Little girl, I say to you, arise!"

Meanwhile, Mary has become ill and is eventually confined to bed, refusing to speak. As a result of MacDhui's treatment of Thomasina and his earlier euthanizing of a local's pet pug who suffered from indigestion, many villagers have stopped taking their animals to him and instead are taking them to Lori. MacDhui goes to confront Lori over her taking his patients from him, and learns that she, like him, has experienced the loss of her close family. Lori and MacDhui end up joining forces to shut down a traveling circus that is abusing its animals, and get into an argument and fight with the owners of the circus.

Pug Dog breed

The pug is a breed of dog with physically distinctive features of a wrinkly, short-muzzled face, and curled tail. The breed has a fine, glossy coat that comes in a variety of colours, most often fawn or black, and a compact square body with well-developed muscles.

MacDhui and Lori return to the MacDhui home to see Mary, whose condition has worsened; the doctor says she will soon die. Thomasina, who has been sleeping in a drawer full of lavender at Lori's cottage, wakes up and suddenly remembers her true identity and her past life with Mary. She decides to immediately make her way back to Mary through a rainstorm. When Thomasina arrives at the MacDhui home, the housekeeper lets her in through the window, Lori recognizes her as the cat she rescued from a grave, and MacDhui lets Mary hold Thomasina. Mary is overjoyed to see her cat again and immediately starts to recover. Life returns to normal, with MacDhui marrying Lori and becoming a better father to Mary.

Characters

Adaptation

In 1963 The Three Lives of Thomasina , a film based on Thomasina, was released by Disney Studios.

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