'Four', 'Five' and Oscar --- with their loves and hates, their purring times and their moments of discomfort --- shared an idyllic English country home with Beverley Nichols in the early post-World War II years, when resources were still in short supply. Nonetheless, it was a time when life could be full of joy for cats and people.
'Cats and flowers have played so large a part in my life that I can scarcely think of one without the other', Beverley Nichols reflects in his "Cats' X. Y. Z. This volume details the further adventures of 'Four', 'Five' and Oscar, introduced into the limelight in his "Cats' A. B. C. but also making appearances in others of his books. 'Four' is the black cat who does 'the Act', feigning neglect to attract attention and gain his way. 'Five', with the smallest appetite of the three, is yet round and plump. Though he bulges slightly over the edge, he chooses the sixth step on the staircase on which to lie because a hot water pipe is concealed in the wall behind it. Oscar, on the other hand, eats like a horse yet is lean and lanky; he is also the largest of the three cats, the youngest and the most energetic. The author muses on 'Heat', 'Milk', 'Rain (and Wind and Snow)' but also on 'Autumn', 'Solitude' and even 'Graves and Epitaphs' as he imagines the world viewed through cats' eyes, 'among the most beautiful and mysterious jewels of the animal kingdom'.
'Fs', those who seek the company of cats, and 'non-Fs' alike will wish to revisit the author and his feline companions in his cottage and its garden, so appealingly described in "Beverley Nichols' Cats' X. Y. Z.