Before I headed out for a long weekend, I wanted to pick up a very short audiobook for the couple of days of commuting to work I’d be doing. When I stumbled upon Highway Cats, I remembered putting it on my GoodReads “to read” list a long time ago, and I was excited to see it was only 2 discs long. It’d be a quick one.
I was wrong.
There is nothing bad about this story at all. A group of cats who live along the highway are going to lose their homes to the greedy politician who wants to expand the highway in order to build more shopping centers. A litter of kittens is abandoned there, as well, and it is the kittens who will ultimately help scare away the construction crew and ultimately shift what happens to the politician in the story. It’s a cute premise with a pretty interesting message about human land use versus animal habitats.
I loved the narrator of this audio, James Jenner. He has a nice commentator voice on this, and he manages to make the politician a source of evil with just slight changes in his tone. His reading style reminded me quite a bit of the style of reading that we have in Hold Tight. Tension is build well.
Weighing in at only 2 hour-long discs, this should have been a very quick listen, but it took me nearly two weeks to listen to it. I had a hard time getting into the characters, and I felt all of the cats who played big roles in the story were one and the same. Highway Cats reminded me a lot of The Underneath by Kathi Appelt. It’s the animals as the main characters and people as the bad forces. Perhaps my problem is it’s hard to listen to that, as well as hard to read it. I’m an animal lover, so hearing a story about mistreated or forgotten about animals makes for a less-than-enjoyable experience for me. I haven’t read a single news story about the oil spill for the same reason.
Highway Cats has an audience, and there is ultimately a positive ending in the story. Fans of Appelt’s story will love this, and this would make for a good family listen. For a quick trip in the car, it’s a worthwhile listen. If for no other reason, listen for Jenner’s great narration and the excellent production — everything is seamless.