Mutual love of cats celebrated in new illustrated book

Maureen Crisp has teamed up with her friend Angela Davis and they have written and illustrated a boo

Maureen Crisp (pictured) from Sudbury has teamed up with her friend Angela Davis to create a book about cats called Feline Fine! - Credit: Sarah Lucy Brown

The antics of cats have been captured in a lovingly-written and illustrated book that emerged as a lockdown project between two friends.

Jewellery maker and writer Maureen Crisp, from Sudbury, and artist Angela Davis, from Hereford, are both cat lovers and feel passionately the creatures "contribute greatly to our health and well-being".

For thousands of years, felines have been venerated - believed to have started in ancient Egypt - and millions are owned in the world as pets today.

Maureen and Angela hope Feline Fine!, an illustrated book of lyrical verses and stories, will "foster care and compassion" for cats, as so many of us share our homes and lives with them.

The front and back cover of the book about cats.

The front and back cover of the book about cats. - Credit: Maureen Crisp

Maureen, 69, said: "Reading our book is almost as good as sitting with a purring cat.

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"We have poured our hearts out about cats we have known and loved."

Illustrator Angela added: "My cat Casper always knew when I needed some purring therapy."

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Maureen Crisp with her husband Peter. Picture: Sarah Lucy Brown

Maureen with her husband Peter, who helped get the book made. - Credit: Sarah Lucy Brown

However, Maureen first had pooches for pets and then later, with her husband Peter, got Tiger and Lily - who of course feature in the book.

Describing why she loves cats, Maureen said: "It's just they are so independent and they are so beautiful, the elegance with which they walk and the wonderful feeling you get when you stroke one."

For many years, she would chat with her jewellery stall customers at St Peter's in Sudbury about the antics of their cats and noticed the animals made a positive contribution to well-being.

Buster, who is the star of the story Buster Who Came To Stay.

Buster, who is the star of the story Buster Who Came To Stay. He is Maureen's daughter’s family cat that appeared one day and adopted them. - Credit: Maureen Crisp

She thought she would use the Covid-19 lockdown to produce something worthwhile, so asked her good friend Angela if she would be interested in celebrating their mutual love of cats by collaborating on a book.

"It has been quite an effort with me being based in Sudbury and Angela in Hereford," nature writer Maureen said. 

"We have not met up personally in the 18 months we have worked on the book, so it has been a long learning curve to work together at a distance by computer.

Artist and illustrator Angela Davis in her studio.

Artist and illustrator Angela Davis in her studio. - Credit: Laurence Squire

Angela has also contributed some of her own stories in the book, which was formatted by Maureen's husband Peter.

The book, which is intended for all ages, will be launched at the Christopher Centre in Gainsborough Street, Sudbury, when it holds its next community market from 10am to 2pm on Saturday, September 11.

Copies of Feline Fine!, printed  by Colt Press, will be available at the book launch and by contacting Maureen via email.

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