George got to be an American cat in Paris by smuggling away in luggage. His eagerness to know more, to learn what it was like ‘out there’ took him farther than he imagined, freed from a New York high rise to roam the parks, streets and boulevards of Paris.
More reading, related pages:
- Chat Noir, Black Cat in Paris
- Cats In The Window, Inspired by Edward Hopper
- What Are These Cats Doing In Van Gogh’s Bedroom?
Travels With George: Paris, The Story of An American Cat In Paris
Told from George’s point of view, Travels with George: Paris, is a cat story at heart but also one that has a broader message about the freedom to adventure and to experience more of the mysterious, teasing world out there. Although the tale is often whimsical and curious about the oddities of the world, it can easily be read as a more universal lesson in going after your dreams.
The book, which is richly illustrated by Deborah Julian with scenes of George and his tag-along black cat companion, Billy, as they consider their confined lives in New York and, then, discover the famous sights from Paris, delivered in a larger size that easily accommodates the delicious 8 1/2 X 11 pictures.
George, a cat with an ironic view of the people with whom he lives, finds himself at a low point. He enjoys being
pampered, but like a frustrated housewife, he wants more.
In an illustration that sets the tone for the rest of the story, we see George and Billy looking out at a New York City that seems far away, though close, as a window’s thick glass separates them from it. Billy is more contented, but seeing pigeons and other birds outside, not to mention an urban space filled with activity in highways and rivers, George chaffs at the restrictions.
Even after he is able to scare them into frantic flight by jumping up to the window, George envies the pigeons who are free to go wherever they like and for whatever reason.
Inspiration Becomes Desire and Leads to A Cat in Paris
A tipping point soon occurs when George realizes that his people, to whom he is genuinely attached, are packing up for what they call ‘a vacation.’ He doesn’t know anything more about vacations than that they mean long stretches of time with only Billy and the occasional clueless cat sitter. He misses her especially when they’re away, because there is no playing or tickling and zero snacks to brighten the days.
He also doesn’t know what Paris is, although the subject has been coming up a lot lately, so much so that he thought it might be a great new food or, heaven forbid, a third cat.
Travels With George: Paris takes its big, flourishing turn when George decides to find out what a vacation is and ends up discovering Paris and a world out there more vast than anything he had imagined.
An American Cat In Paris
From the shocking moment (shocking for his people) when George springs free from a suitcase in a hotel in Le Marais, this illustrated story, told by an excited cat in Paris, the adventures and discoveries he makes are fun, enlightening and inspirational.
- George and Billy sample the Tuileries, Billy secretly chomping on the flowers.
- They enjoy a bateaux on the Seine.
- A tour of Le Louvre causes George to speculate about his people’s interest in things you can see but neither taste nor smell, let alone touch.
- The cats come long to Montmartre, high up above the bustling city and alive with curvy streets and vendors.
- At long last, as can be seen from the books cover, the make it to a place where George imagined only birds were free: the top of the Eiffel Tower.
The story of American cats in Paris is carefully told and with brilliant illustrations that make it enjoyable for children as well as adults. It’s message is about the importance of discovering new places and feeling free (with limitations). More significant, Travels With George: Paris: A Cat’s Eye Adventure leaves him, as well as the readers, eager for more.
David Stone, Writer