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A year ago I was asked to be Writer-in-Residence at the Savoy Hotel in London. This involved putting on some literary events and staying for three months at the Savoy. My wife Clare and I had a bed the size of Ireland, and breakfast every morning looking out over the Thames. Everyone in the hotel was very kind. We were treated like royalty - which was great!
Then one day, in the corridor next to the American Bar, I met Kaspar, the Savoy Cat. He was sitting there in a glass showcase - a sculpture of a huge black cat - very elegant, very superior. I made enquiries, as detectives do, and found out why he was there.
One day, almost a hundred years ago, thirteen men sat down to a dinner party at the Savoy. One of them scoffed loudly at the suggestion that thirteen might be an unlucky number, said it was so much tosh. Only a few weeks later, he was shot down in his office in Johannesburg, South Africa. Thereafter The Savoy decided that they would never again allow thirteen people to sit down together for dinner. They would always have a fourteenth chair, and sitting on the fourteenth chair, there would be a specially carved sculpture of a lucky black cat. He was known as Kaspar.
My first clue.
My second clue: I came down to breakfast one morning, and was walking down the red carpeted stairs into the River Restaurant, when I looked up and had a sudden sense of déjà vu. The whole decor and atmosphere reminded me of pictures I'd seen of the restaurant on the Titanic. I knew then my story would be about a cat called Kaspar, who would live at the Savoy and become the only cat to survive the sinking of the Titanic.
But it was the people who lived and worked at the Savoy who gave me my last and most vital clue. I discovered that they came from every corner of the globe. And I soon discovered also that their lives were very different from the lives of the guests they looked after. It would have been very much like this, I thought, in 1912, at the time the Titanic went down.
My evidence was complete. A little dreamtime, to make some sense of all the clues, and I could begin my story, about how Kaspar was brought to the Savoy by a very famous diva - an opera singer, a Countess from Russia...
Michael Morpurgo --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
But Johnny didn't expect to end up with Kaspar on his hands forever, and nor did he count on making friends with Lizziebeth, a spirited American heiress. Pretty soon, events are set in motion that will take Johnny - and Kaspar - all around the world, surviving theft, shipwreck and rooftop rescues along the way. Because everything changes with a cat like Kaspar around. After all, he's Kaspar Kandinsky, Prince of Cats, a Muscovite, a Londoner and a New Yorker, and as far as anyone knows, the only cat to survive the sinking of the Titanic ... --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Read it myself before sending it to my niece for her birthday. A lovely story which I am sure she will enjoy.Published 22 days ago by Poppy
It was the best book I ever bought Michael morpougeo you are a artist an this is one of your finest piecePublished 28 days ago by Kindle Customer
I have just read this with my 7yr old and we loved it from the very beginning, beautifully illustrated and written & led to lots of questions about the Titanic so a history lesson... Read morePublished 1 month ago by Penny
Read this to my class and they loved it, has some good twists in it (as you would expect of Morpurgo!). Would recommend it :)Published 2 months ago by Corrine
The touching tale of of Kaspar Kandinsky will excite anyone young or old. As soon as you pick up this beautiful book the memories of the character's become your own. Read morePublished 2 months ago by A. I. F. Mackenzie