by Paul Gallico
London hasn’t been kind to Peter, a lonely boy whose parents are always out at parties, and though Peter would love to have a cat for company, his nanny won’t hear of it. One day, Peter sees a striped kitten in the park across from his house. Crossing the road on his way to the tabby, he is struck by a truck.
Everything is different when Peter comes to: He has fur, whiskers, and claws; he has become a cat himself! But London isn’t any kinder to cats than it is to children. Jennie, a savvy stray who takes charge of Peter, knows that all too well. Jennie schools young Peter in the ways of cats, including how to sniff out a nice napping spot, the proper way to dine on mouse, and the single most important tactic a cat can learn: “When in doubt, wash.” Jennie and Peter will face many challenges—and not all of them are from the dangerous outside world—in their struggle to find a place that is truly home.
Unalloyed delight.... You should be warned that if you hate cats you'd better not read this story, for it will so entertain you and instruct you in the ways of cats that your interest and liking will be aroused in spite of you.
—Chicago Daily Tribune
When I was 9 years old I plucked The Abandoned from my school library's dusty shelves and fell in love with literature. The adventures that unfolded, reminiscent of The Wind in the Willows and Peter Pan, captured me so thoroughly I knew writing was part of my destiny.
—Naomi Serviss, Newsday
In portraying Jennie, a London tabby, Paul Gallico has given us not only a cat's-eye-view of the cosmos, but also a cat immortal.
—Saturday Review of Literature
This is one of Gallico's best works, making a perfect companion to his more famous Thomasina and telling of a boy transposed into the body of a cat by accident. His life as a cat involves many hard lessons from companion Jennie in this excellent, sensitive story.
—Midwest Book Review
Poetry and fantasy so skillfully impregnate the story that a parable of haunting wistfulness emerges.
—Christian Science Monitor