Review: The Story of Fester Cat by Paul Magrs


Ultimately, every cat memoir is a love story. And every cat memoir is a story about how a cat changed someone’s life. This is the case with The Story of Fester Cat: How One Remarkable Cat Changed Two Men’s Lives.

From the publisher:

From when he first ambled into Paul Magrs’s yard—skinny, covered in flea bites, and missing all but one and a half teeth—Fester knew he’d found his family. Paul and his partner, Jeremy, thought it was the ragged black-and-white stray, tired from a rough life on the streets, who was in desperate need of support. But clever Fester knew better. He understood that it was his newfound owners who needed the help.

Over the course of seven years, the feisty feline turned the quaint Manchester house into a loving home. Through his fierce spirit, strong will, and calming energy, Fester taught Paul and Jeremy how to listen and breathe, how to appreciate the joys of simply sitting and singing (what Fester’s purrs sounded like to his silly humans), and how to find joy and contentment in life, even when dealing with hardship.

Written in the voice of Fester the cat, this book grew somewhat slowly on me. I’m not a huge fan of books written in the voice of a pet, because so few writers do it really well, so I approached this book with a bit of apprehension. However, Fester’s gentle charm worked its magic on me, and as I kept reading, I realized that Fester had captured my heart somewhere along the way.

This is a story about a cat adopting his humans, not the other way around. It’s a story about what being a family is all about, even if it’s not a family in the traditional sense. After all, sometimes, the families we choose are the best families of all. And it’s a story about what cats can teach us if we allow ourselves to listen with our hearts.

Thoroughly enjoyable and utterly charming (this effect was enhanced for me by some of the uniquely British expressions), this book made me smile, laugh, and cry, sometimes all on the same page.


Paul Magrs is the author of many books, written for all ages and in many different genres, including the Adventures of Brenda and Effie and numerous Doctor Who novels, radio plays, and short stories. However, this is his first foray into memoir. He taught novel writing in the MA program in Creative Writing at UEA, and then at Manchester Metropolitan. Paul lives in Manchester, England, with his partner, Jeremy, and is now a full-time writer. Visit his blog for more information.

Photo of Paul Magr and Fester via Paul Magr’s blog

4 Comments on Review: The Story of Fester Cat by Paul Magrs

  1. Stephanie Mc
    February 25, 2015 at 4:08 pm (6 years ago)

    This book was great! I laughed & cried like I haven’t in ages. If you’ve ever had a cat I can’t recommend this book enough.

  2. Harvey Button
    January 10, 2015 at 4:54 am (6 years ago)

    We cannot recommend this book highly enough. It really is very good. In fact, it is one of the few we have read that stands on a par with Homer’s Odyssey. The same excellent high writing standards and quality. It is moving, perceptive, happy and sad – it is actually a really REALLY good read.

  3. Ellen Pilch
    November 7, 2014 at 7:14 pm (6 years ago)

    I can’t wait to read this book.

  4. Melissa & Truffles
    November 7, 2014 at 11:28 am (6 years ago)

    This book sounds wonderful. It’s definitely going on my Wish List.


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