One Eyed Cat by Paula Fox

D really wanted a gun for his birthday.  He had enough money but the packaging of the gun said that you have to be 18 years old to buy one.  His solution was that I would buy the gun for him using his money.  I had problems with that idea and enumerated them to him.  He was unhappy. 

I chose to read One Eyed Cat as our next book because it’s about an 11 year old boy (Ned) who gets a gun for his birthday from his uncle.  His Reverend father has problems with that and puts the gun away in the attic.  Ned can’t get the gun out of his mind and sneaks it out of the attic at night.  He accidently pulls the trigger when he sees something moving in the grass.  He’s scared to death that someone knows about his disobedient act and even more scared when a one-eyed cat shows up.  He’s sure that he’s the one who shot the cat’s eye out.  No one addresses him about the shot and he begins to think that if he can just keep the cat alive everything will be alright.  The book moves slowly revealing the weight of guilt Ned carries because of his unconfessed sin.  On top of that he keeps having to lie to keep everyone in the dark about it.  Finally, he feels that his whole life is a lie and that he’s become estranged from his family.  This wasn’t a Christian book but I really appreciated the way the author let us know that to carry unconfessed wrongs and to live a double life is no way to live at all.  In the end, Ned does confess, first to his invalid neighbour who had been helping him take care of the cat and then to his mother who had actually seen him the night he had the gun and known all along.  There is peace in confessing and it opens the door for some confession on the part of his mother as well.

I don’t know if any of this had an effect on D.  He still laments that I won’t buy him a gun but he’s softened a bit and now thinks that maybe a new fishing rod or a science kit might be good investments too.

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