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Toby The Cross-Eyed Stray

Celia Haddon

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Prose: non-fiction, Cats as pets

Toby is a cross-eyed, bedraggled, ginger stray who enters Celia's life just when she needs him most. As her husband Ronnie's health deteriorates, Celia takes on Toby and soon realises that for both her and Ronnie, this little cat's rehabilitation is vital.

'Hunched among the shoes, half hidden by my dresses, filthy and terrified, he looked like a cat that might be seriously ill. He was toast-rack thin, with all his ribs sticking out, even through his longish hair...'

As Toby's story unfolds, so does Celia's. From her alcoholic exploits as a Fleet Street journalist during the 60s, to the death of her mother, Celia's bond with the feline world becomes stronger. Ronnie, a former war correspondent with an incredible career also finds himself succumbing to feline charms and comes to need Toby as much as Celia does.

This is a story of courage, hope and love in the most trying of circumstances.

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Celia Haddon

Celia Haddon was the Daily Telegraph pet agony aunt whose knowledgeable yet sentimental column delighted cat lovers. She has sold somewhere between one to two million books and is an author recognised by bookshops and the general public. Her manual One Hundred Ways for a Cat to Train Its Human has sold more than a quarter of a million copies so far and her One Hundred Secret Thoughts Cats have about their Humans has sold 147,000. Her first narrative book - Tilly: The Ugliest Cat in the Shelter - sold in excess of 18,000 copies in the UK Trade.

A cat behaviour practitioner with the Centre of Applied Pet Ethology, she has a B.Sc. in applied animal behaviour.

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