Fans of Amory's delightful cat books (The Cat and the Curmudgeon,
1990; The Cat Who Came for Christmas, 1987) may find this third and
final volume in the series disappointing: It's really more a memoir
of Amory's college clays and writing career than an account of his
famed relationship with his much beloved feline, Polar Bear. This
isn't to say, however, that Amory's life hasn't been interesting.
As he travels with Polar Bear to reunions at Milton Academy and
Harvard, we find out much about his prep school and university
days. With the help of Katharine Hepburn and her family, he landed
a plum editorial job right out of college with the Saturday Evening
Post and soon was spending a summer in France hobnobbing with
celebrities as a guest of the Duke and Duchess of Windsor. (He was
supposed to ghostwrite an autobiography of the Duchess, but the
project never got off the ground.) Later, Amory achieved his own
fame, spending 14 years as a critic for TV Guide. (The hilarious
excerpts from his 1963-76 column - write-ups on Queen for a Day,
Let's Make a Deal, etc. - are one of the highlights here.) The two
concluding chapters, about the declining health of both Amory and
his cat - they both become arthritic; Amory gets hit by a truck;
Polar Bear develops incurable kidney problems - are the most
compelling, and Amory's moving account of his decision to put his
dear companion of 15 years to sleep is heartrending. Happily, his
eventual adoption of a new waif, Tiger Bear, ends matters on an
uplifting note. Not the best cat book ever - but R.I.P., Polar
Bear. (Kirkus Reviews)
Describes Cleveland Amory's travels with Polar Bear, his cat, to
reunions at Milton Academy and Harvard, recalling his prep school
and university days, a journalistic career and the Presidency of
the American Anti-Vivisection Society and Fund for Animals.
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