Sunday, July 14, 2019

For He Can Creep, by Siobhan Carroll

★★★★☆ Warm, Delightful, and Uplifting

(Historical Fantasy) A poet’s cat fights fiercely to defend him from the demons that plague him, but it’s much harder to stand against Satan himself. (7,908 words; Time: 26m)

Recommended By: πŸ‘GTognetti+1 πŸ‘KBurnham+1 πŸ‘MHaskins+1 πŸ‘RSR+1 (Q&A)

"," by (edited by Ellen Datlow), published on by .

Mini-Review (click to view--possible spoilers)

Review: 2019.415 (A Word for Authors)

Pro: You’ve got to like a story with a cat who fights for his owner. And, as we all know, a cat can’t beat the Devil by fighting him head on. He needs friends and a bit of humility.

I particularly liked the scene where Jeoffry humbled himself to ask the other cats for their aid, and how Black Tom—normally no friend of Jeoffry—immediately agreed to stand beside him in this cause.

This story is rich with allusions to other stories, including Biblical ones. For example, when Satan offers Joeffry the world if he’ll just worship Satan, that echoes one of the temptations of Christ. When he offers him treats, one of them is Turkish delight, which is what the White Witch used to tempt Edmund in Narnia. And I think the kitten with the butterfly is from “Lucy and the Magic Loom.”

Christopher Smart was a real man, and he really wrote a poem involving his cat, Jeoffry, which concludes with the words “For He Can Creep.”

Con: The victory feels a little too easy. Smart is saved, and no real price is paid.

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4 comments (may contain spoilers):

  1. Your author bio link is returning a 404 error. Here's her website:

  2. I agree with the rating. This is a very good story. The cat is very well drawn, and so are the other cat characters.

    1. We should do a selection of "Outstanding Cat Stories" sometime.