The Adventures of Mittens
32pp., pbk., RRP $A17.99
Mittens is the most famous cat ever to parade the streets of Wellington, New Zealand with his noble nose and fabulously fluffy tail in the air. Mittens is on a mission to leave no corner of the CBD unexplored, no passerby unsmooched, no business, school or residence uninspected. He naps in shop windows, hails cars, crosses busy roads on the green light and, like any self-respecting cat, he lives for attention – but only when he’s in the mood for it.
The Turkish Angora caught the the attention of the world when, just by being his inquisitive and charming self, his antics cheered up Wellingtonians during the 2020 lockdown. Wellington’s mayor awarded Mittens a Key to the City and HRF (His Royal Floofiness) was even nominated for New Zealander of the Year!
With thousands of followers on a Facebook page, a hit song, and an exhibition of fan art called Floofy and Famous, this book of how he touched the heart of so many building social bridges during his wanderings brings to life has been written by one of his guardians, a family of four, using a days-of-the-week format and rhyming text .Even those who have not met Mittens, and don’t know Wellington but do know cats will resonate with that arrogant, I’m-doing-you-a-favour attitude that emanates from Mittens. For those who detest the idea of cats roaming freely, there are tips for how to keep them at home and the fact that Mittens has raised a lot of money for both animal welfare and mental health charities through his profile, may mitigate that.
Mittens came to fame because of the lockdown in Wellington during 2020, providing a daily connection to people in isolation and thus his story could be the springboard to getting children to talk about their pets, their lockdown connections and how they coped and are coping, perhaps even considering how they can reach out to those in their community even more isolated than they are. Perhaps when restrictions are lifted it can be a time to forge new friendships with all ages…