The Guest Cat by Takashi Hiraide – REVIEW


Original title: 猫の客 Neko no kyaku

Translated by: Eric Selland

Published: January 28th 2014 

Publisher: PICADOR

Pages: 140


I got this book from my boyfriend as a going away present right before I left for my trip to California. I had seen it in a bookshop and commented on how I was curious about the book, and what a curious little book it turned out to be.

It tells the story of a married couple in their thirties who lives in a quiet village outside of Tokyo. They both work as freelancer from home and something is missing in their lives. Then one day a cat invites herself into their kitchen and suddenly things starts to change. They never wanted a cat, but they find themselves buying toys and treats for this cat and it becomes a big part of their lives.

The Writing

The true beauty of this book is the writing. Takashi Hiraide is a poet and that really does shine through in this beautiful story. The way he explains the tiniest of events with a flow and detail that makes you feel like you want to know more is just amazing.

The Characters

I really did enjoy the quirkiness of the little cat. I think anyone who’s ever owned a cat will relate to the story and recognize a lot of the features that Takashi writes about when it comes to that little charm of a hairball.

There were a few other characters, like the old woman that they’re renting their house from, that fit so well into the story and give it just that little extra.

The Plot

The storyline was good and consistent. It was a treat to read but I think I went into the book wanting more to happen. The story revolves around the beautiful writing in a way and even though I really did enjoy that, I think the book was a little slow paced for my reading preferences.

That being said, it is a beautiful book! A lovely story with a good ending and one that I definitely enjoyed.


I give this book a 3-3,5 stars.

If you want to read something just for the beauty of the writing and love for cats then I definitely think you would enjoy this.

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I hope you enjoyed this review! Tell me what you have been reading lately 🙂