Erard is a wandering prince, one of three princes their father sent to the world in quite “meaningless” quests, like in this case, he has to find a special dog, a dog that will earn him his father’s favour. After a wreckage, Erard is ashore, more or less at the door of Druze, a magical cat. Druze walks and talks like an human but he has the body of a cat. As soon as Erard sees him, he addressed the cat like a lady, and that is the first point that made me think twice; my idea is that Erard was attracted by the special creature, and since he has never considered he could fall in love for a man, he automatically assigned to Druze the female gender. Sure this is a self-conscious thought, Erard also is not considering he can have a love relationship with a cat, even if the cat walks and talks. But nevertheless I think he protected his mental peace with that expedient. An Druze decides not to correct him, probably fearing he will lose Erard in that case.
The second point that made me wonder if I shouldn’t be reading some hidden message in the story, is when Erard “finds” out that Druze is a male (truth be told, I’m still convinced he already knew…); in any case Erard seems to be more distraught by the fact Druze is a male than by the probably more problematic detail the other is a cat. Erard almost repudiates the other creature only for his gender, when until the day before, he was almost bonding with “her”, in a cat-shape. Again Erard proved to have some “big” preconception on who he is supposed to be and to love.
So in the end, a nagging idea that the author wanted to include some civil right meaning to this story still lingers, like that, no matter if it’s today, or a fairy tale country, the danger to encounter homophobia is still great, and the happily ever after could be more difficult to achieve than expected.
Amazon Kindle: The White Cat
Publisher: Silver Publishing (October 31, 2011)
Reading List: http://www.librarything.com/catalog_bott