Book review: All At Sea with Truffles by Sheila Collins

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A cat at sea is surely like a fish out of water ... so why is celebrity tabby Truffles taking a holiday on the ocean wave?

Well, for a start, Truffles is no ordinary cat – in fact she would claim that she is very special indeed – and who could argue with that when she has so often been moved to put pen to paper.

Her observations of the world around her having been winning the hearts of cat lovers for many years and now she and her dedicated owner Sheila Collins are cruising back into our lives with a sparkling adventure on the high seas of the Med.

Cat lover Collins (and provider of Truffles’ every possible need) is also a dedicated cat-watcher and her charming and quirky diaries featuring a superior and sophisticated feline have her adoring readers smiling like Cheshire cats.

In her turn, Truffles’ many years of observing human behaviour, often mystifying and comical, have equipped her with all the wisdom and cunning necessary to use the human environment and its two-legged inhabitants to her best advantage.

Here she embarks on a very different voyage of discovery, finding her sea paws as she sets sail on a luxury ship with cruise aficionado Sheila.

New sights, sounds, smells, tastes and experiences face Truffles at every turn, from the tiresome car journey and undignified customs procedures to the strange and sometimes frightening onboard facilities and activities.

Allowed to leave her cabin, where there is more room to swing a cat than she had originally feared, she tours all the non-eating areas – on a lead with matching collar, of course, and wearing a purrfectly preened catsuit.

Truffles is soon revelling in being the centre of attention, maintaining an outward air of decorum at all times, even when her nine lives are severely tested.

And when she’s not climbing the flagpole and lapping up the sunshine, she’s being turned into a scaredy-cat by two giant birds and listening to fur-raising tales about the potential pitfalls of humans being buried at sea.

But with ship’s steward Eduardo at her beck and call, and plenty of time for rest and relaxation, this cruising lark turns out to be the cat’s whiskers for Truffles...

Collins has a real talent and imagination for seeing human life through ‘cats’ eyes’ and All At Sea with Truffles is the ideal gift for cat lovers and a tantalising taster for those tempted to test out their sea legs on a cruise.

(Apex, hardback, £9.99)