Professor Simon Weaver, distinguished Canadian entomologist, takes a year’s sabbatical from his teaching job in Canada to study European bugs at the University of Nice, on the beautiful Côte d’Azur. Renting a lovely old house in the country, with a swimming pool, he arrives with his wife, Elizabeth, and their cat, Wilfred, named for a former Canadian Prime Minister. Whether it’s the sunshine, the warmth, or the local wine, something has a decidedly un-inhibiting effect on this rather stodgy trio. The variously hilarious antics that ensue are faithfully narrated by the cat, an astute observer on whose discretion his owners rely, perhaps unwisely. Along the way we meet the Weavers’ new neighbours, a cheerful Cockney couple and their cowardly cat, Mister ’Iggins, as well as the Salaberts, who don’t understand how there can be Canadians who speak no French, and who have a handsome, courteous German shepherd, Fritz. The cast of characters includes a pugnacious wild pig, an effete woodpecker, a dyslectic owl, a conniving female cat of dubious reputation, and the massive but regrettably toothless Hound of the Baskervilles. The author: Tony Houghton was once Peter Sellers’ ghostwriter. He now lives with his wife in Kingston, Ontario. He has four daughters, none of whom much likes cats.
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