Last month I spent some time looking for stories about Israel, as we had to introduce stories related to Israel to kids in the library. It was harder than I imagined, as there were few books about Israel in Taipei Public Library. At the end I finally found one: The Cats on Ben Yehuda Street. The Cats on Ben Yehuda Street is written by Ann Redisch Stampler, who is an American writer. Some of her picture books won National Jewish Book Awards, like: The Rooster Prince of Breslov, The Wooden Sword, Go Home, Mrs. Beekman! etc. Fortunately, this story - The Cats on Ben Yehuda Street - is very cute and I'm glad to have the chance to tell kids about it.



The story starts with cats - lots of street cats and only a cat with a pink collar. The cat who had a pink collar was called Ketzie, and its owner was Mrs Spiegel. Mrs Spiegel had a neighbor called Mr Modiano, and he didn't like cats at all. However (and probably unfortunately in Mr Modiano's opinion), he ran a fish shop! Every morning, when Mr Modiano opened his Tel Aviv Fish Palace, he had to shoo all of the street cats which wait in front of his shop. When the evening came, Mr Modiano took the rest of fish to Mrs Spiegel, and he always reminded her that the fish is for queen, not for cats. Mrs Spiegel would then invite Mr Modiano for tea, but Mr Modiano always said no. As soon as Mr Modiano left, Mrs Spiegel gave her cat Ketzie and Ketzie's friend -  a white street cat called Gatito- the fish to eat. Ketzei always brought Gatito to Mrs Spiegel's house, although the two cats just sat on a cushion. The steet cat couldn't stay at Mrs Spiegel's house after dinner, according to the building's rule.



One day, Mrs Spiegel's cat Ketzei went missing. Mrs Spiegel tried to find her cat, but she couldn't find it. When Mr Modiano brought the fish to her, she wasn't in the mood to eat. That night, she heard the noisy put-putting sounds from a scooter. She went out to have a look, and she saw Mr Modiano. Mr Modiano told her not to worry, and then off he went. She didn't care about where Modiano was going.

日復一日,每日都很平靜安詳,直到某天,Ketzie竟然不見了! Spiegel太太因此茶不思飯不想。當Modiano先生將魚拿給Spiegel太太的時候,他發現Spiegel失去了貓咪,變得多麼消沉。當晚,Spiegel太太聽到bubu聲,她走出去一看,發現Modiano先生正騎著機車,Modiano先生只是跟她說,叫她不用擔心。然後Modiano先生就騎著bubu出去了。當時Spiegel太太還不知道Modiano要去哪,她一心只掛念她的貓Ketzie,一點也不想在乎像Modiano先生那麼討厭貓的人要去哪。


At the midnight, Mrs Spiegel heard the meowing, followed by the put-putting noises! She went outside and was surprised to see Ketzie, which was embraced in Mr Modiano's arms.

沒想到,當天午夜時分,Spiegel太太再度聽到bubu噗哧噗哧的聲音,接著就聽到貓叫聲,還不只一隻貓,而是兩隻貓的叫聲。原來是Ketzie跟Gatito啊! Modiano竟然將Ketzie找回來了!


The very next day, Mrs Spiegel didn't see the white street cat Gatito on the cushion. Just as she was puzzled, Mr Modiano knocked on Mrs Spiegel's house and gave her fish. Once again, Mrs Spiegel invited Mr Modiano for tea, and he refused as usual. However, he invited her to go to his house for a cup of tea. He would also offer a saucer of milk for Mrs Spiegel's cat... Can you imagine what was inside Mr Modiano's house?

翌日,當Spiegel太太回到家,她家門口的坐墊不見了。(平常Spiegel太太的貓Ketzie都會跟野貓Gatito一起坐在坐墊上,等著Spiegel太太回到家。) Modiano先生一如往常將魚送給Spiegel太太。Spiegel太太詢問Modiano先生要不要來一杯茶,Modiano一如往昔婉拒Spiegel太太,不過有趣的是,Modiano竟然反問Spiegel太太要不要去他家喝杯茶? 而且也會提供牛奶給Spiegel太太的貓咪Ketzie喝喔! 你可以想像Modiano家多了什麼嗎?


The white cat Gatito was in Mr Modiano's house, and it was sitting on a cushion. Mr Modiano told Mrs Spiegel not to feel too surprised. He simply didn't want to spend another evening looking for cats ever again!

那隻白色野貓Gatito竟然出現在Modiano家裡,老神在在地坐在坐墊上。Modiao先生對著Spiegel太太說,不用太訝異,他只不過不想要再徹夜尋貓了。 (萬一Gatito也跟Ketzie一樣搞失蹤呢?)


I like the story a lot. Mr Modiano, a cat-hating man, isn't a selfish and cold person as we originally expected. Although in the beginning he didn't like cats at all, he liked to share food with his neighborhood. When he found that his neighbor was sad, he would do anything to help her (or him). In the end he decided to keep a cat as his pet. What a huge change!

我還滿喜歡這故事的。Modiano先生一開始雖然討厭貓,可是不表示他是個冷血人物。他總是他賣剩的魚送給鄰居。當他發現鄰居憂愁時,Modiano先生也會協助鄰居。儘管這件事情不太像是Modiano喜歡做的,畢竟是跟貓咪有關啊! 但是,Modiano先生最後也嘗試收養一隻貓咪,簡直是一大突破。從排斥到接納,多麼不容易的轉變! 而我想藉由養貓,Modiano先生會變得更有愛心呢!


To have a quick look at this book, go to this link:


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