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The Story of Fester Cat was a 2014 novel written by Paul Magrs. The story was a memoir,[1] a mix of fiction and non-fiction,[2] consisting of a retelling of how Paul and Jeremy Hoad befriended the late Fester Cat, combining true and fictional elements. Notably, the novel starred Panda in a supporting role.

The novel was styled to read as if it had actually been written by Fester Cat himself; in the novel, it's revealed that Fester Cat is in fact able to communicate non-verbally, and has the ability to fully understand the English language, although Fester is an unreliable narrator.

Publisher's summary[]

From when he first ambled into Paul Magrs' yard - skinny, covered in flea bites, and missing all but one and a half teeth- Fester knew he'd found his family. Paul and his partner, Jeremy, thought it was the ragged black-and-white stray, tired from a rough life on the streets, who was in desperate need of support. But clever Fester knew better. He understood that it was his newfound owners who needed the help.

Over the course of seven years, the feisty feline turned the quaint Manchester house into a loving home. Through his fierce spirit, strong will, and calming energy, Fester taught Paul and Jeremy how to listen and breathe, how to appreciate the joys of simply sitting and singing (what Fester's sounded like to his silly humans), and how to find joy and contentment in life, even when dealing with hardship.

This is the true story of an extraordinary little cat whose gentle charm and trusting soul turned two young men into a family.

Plot[]

Fester Cat remembers how a few years back, Paul Magrs had asked him to write a review for his blog about one of the books he had read to Fester. Now that he has a taste for expressing himself, Fester plans to write his story.

Before doing so, Fester explains that he's unwell, as he has a headache and his eyesight has gone wrong. He notes that this year has had odd weather.

On Monday, Fester knows that Jeremy's birthday is on Thursday, and Easter the following weekend. The next day, Fester is taken to Mr. Joe in his surgery, as he had just suffered from a stroke. Fester returns home shortly to recuperate until his next appointment later that day. To their horror, the kitchen ceiling collapses, and Paul tries his best to clean up some of the mess, and later, Fester is taken back to the vet for his blood results. That night, as they all go to sleep, Fester sets his heart on telling his story.

On Thursday, Paul, Fester, and Panda celebrate Jeremy's birthday at home, and later, some of his friends pop over for a visit. They take Jeremy out to lunch at a deli, leaving Fester alone at home. Later, after Jeremy and his friends return, different guests arrive.

The next day, Jeremy goes to a meeting about saving Levenshulme Baths and Library, something that Paul and Fester are secretly glad about, as Jeremy had got himself into a rut.

The next day, Fester awakes to find he had a bad night's sleep, so Paul curls up with Fester for a while for comfort, and not too long later they go out into the garden, and Fester is unwell. Knowing that the regular vet isn't equipped to give Fester the help he needs, they take him to another vet in Cheadle Hulme, near the golf course. The drive there is stressful, but Paul and Jeremy remain in good spirits for Fester's sake. The vet does the humane thing to do, and gives Fester an injection that will make him sleep. Fester, now at peace, finds himself running home...

2006[]

This is where Fester's story began.

Aunty Bessy disparages the optimistic Fester, telling him that he shouldn't hope for a better life than he currently has. As he and Bessy, and Korky (they had banded together at the start of 2006) walk down Chestnut Avenue late one night, Paul is shocked to see the cats in such a group.

As Korky still has a home which he goes to often, he is able to bring food for Fester and Bessy to eat. One night, they eat in Smokey's garden. Speaking of, Smokey turns up, and they share their food with him. Smokey gives them some news about the terrace, such as how "the two young gentlemen" (Paul and Jeremy) were robbed a few nights back.

Korky is now very intrigued by Paul and Jeremy, despite Bessy trying to discourage him.

The next night, Korky catches up with Fester and Bessy, telling them that he had just ventured into Paul and Jeremy's home. He had tentatively entered, and had gotten accidentally locked in. While he was locked in, he had been able to observe a few things, but as he had eaten something funny earlier, Korky had pooed in a corner. Paul and Jeremy were concerned about Korky, but he just wanted to leave, so Paul let him out.

A day or so later, some squirrels in Paul and Jeremy's garden rile Fester up, so he climbs up a birch tree, intending to catch the squirrels, but two storeys up, he freezes. He pretends to not be scared, and Paul comes out to see if Fester is okay, and Fester precariously climbs down, and dashes away.

Spring is coming, and days and weeks pass. Fester decides to pay the couple a visit, "flomping" at their feet, and Paul and Jeremy fuss and feed Fester.

That night, Korky tells Fester and Bessy that he visited his owners, and he found out they are moving away, so Korky must decide whether he wants to go with him. The following afternoon, Fester pays Paul and Jeremy another visit.

Over the course of the summer, Fester spent a lot of time in the garden with Paul and Jeremy, and Bessy acts sarcastically towards Fester's new life. The day comes, and Korky is moving away, and he and Fester have a farewell gathering, but Bessy doesn't turn up.
By September, Paul and Jeremy now feel responsible for Fester, giving him a daily meal. Fester spends a lot of time in their home, relaxing with them until they go to bed, where they let Fester leave for the night. He would return every morning, repeating the routine.

A few days later, Fester is relaxing on top of Paul and Jeremy's Škoda, and Whisper and Three-Legged Freddie go by, and then a "Spanish woman" spots Fester, and starts calling him "Paula". Fester realises that this woman was Fester's previous owner.
Later that day, as Paul cooks dinner, he tells Jeremy about the woman, and her reaction to Fester.

Jeremy takes Fester to the vet on Stockport Road, and a vet gives him an examination. Later, Jeremy tells Paul about the results.

Fester now sleeps with Paul and Jeremy on their bed at night, and Fester favours snuggling up to Paul.

On the day of Korky's departure, he looks for Bessy across Levenshulme, but cannot find her. Smokey, Whisper, and Three-Legged Freddie say goodbye.

One night not long after, Albert, a "friend" of Paul and Jeremy, as he's moving into Manchester to take charge of research in one of the universities.

The next day, Paul, Jeremy, and Fester all take different opinions about Albert's visit.

Shortly, Fester spends time with Paul as he writes, and they talk. Fester feels a little Christmassy, and Paul takes a photograph of himself and Fester.

Soon, Paul and Jeremy go to a garden centre in Cheadle Hulme, and purchase a Christmas tree, much to Fester's bewilderment. The couple start decorating the house with festive ornaments, and they tell Fester about the first Christmas they spent together, back in 1996. Jeremy then puts on some festive music.

That night, Fester cuddles up with Paul, who can't get to sleep, so he tells Fester how he and Jeremy met, back in Christmas of 1995.

A day or so later, a hamper arrives from Marks & Spencer, containing Christmas foods and drinks, and Fester is eager to eat the meats inside.

The hamper was sent by Jeremy's parents, Peter and Rita, who are coming to visit Paul and Jeremy. Paul frantically tidies the home, and prepares several dishes of food, and Fester manages to miaow out Paul's name out to alert him that Peter and Rita have arrived.

They eat dinner, and Peter and Rita tell stories, like how they adopted Jeremy.

A few days after Peter and Rita return to Scotland, the couple find the Fester has worms. Jeremy phones his friend Jasmine for advice. Later, she visits them in their home, and Fester isn't impressed.

On Christmas Eve, more people come to visit, and Fester observes the Cat Passeggiata from in the comfort of his home. Later, they put on some festive Christmas television episodes.

Waking up early on Christmas morning, Fester and Paul go downstairs, and it's clear that Santa Claus has visited, although Fester is sceptical. Fester then spots and catches a baby mouse. Paul manages to set it free, much to Fester's dismay.

Paul tells Fester about one Christmas he experienced, in 1977, and how his parents behaved around each other when they separated. Paul concludes his story and begins preparing for a visit from his family.

The visit goes well, but not perfectly. Paul's family are very finicky, and Paul nad his Mam misconstrue each other. Fester goes outside in the back garden and sees Jeremy and Brian are talking.

A day later, and Paul and Jeremy throw a Christmas party (which they will continue to do for at least seven years). Deborah, Jamie, Alicia, Caroline, Nick, Karen, Mark, Albert, Jasmine, Wayne, and Iain all attend this party.

2007[]

As the days get warmer, Paul finds another black and white cat in the garden, who is none other than Bessy. She invites herself into their home, despite Fester's objections.

Over the Winter, Bessy had become smelly, a result of living a rough life. She tells Fester she'll stay until Spring, maybe longer.

Fester isn't pleased with Bessy, but something more pressing comes up. His gums start to swell up, so Fester is taken to Mr. Joe, who tells the boys that he'll need to surgically remove the rotting stumps of the teeth that remain in Fester's mouth.

The boys leave Fester at the vet overnight, and the next morning, the boys return and collect Fester after the successful operation.

When Fester eats, he finds it vastly better than before. Later that night, Fester and Bessy venture out towards the railway, but a lot has changed for Fester, and he just longs to go home. After midnight, he leaves Bessy, and returns home to find Paul waiting for him.

At Easter, Fester is visited by Karen, then by Nick, as Paul, and Jeremy have gone off to Manhattan, New York.

The boys headed to New York, as Jeremy's new job required for him to visit a conference, so Paul went off sightseeing. He also bumps into his first boyfriend.
Later, Paul and Jeremy go to 42nd Street to see a musical, and then to the MoMA.
They then came down with the flu, so they remained in their hotel for several days, before venturing out again.

The boys return to their home early one morning, and while Fester is in a sulk for a while, he quickly comes out of it, asking them to tell him about their trip.

Fester then talks about Panda, who had been present for the entirety of Fester's time living with Paul and Jeremy, but Fester had failed to talk about him... because of how Fester didn't know how to talk about a 10-inch tall stuffed bear.
One sunny day in the garden, Panda tells Fester about some of the homes he and Paul and Jeremy had lived in.

The daytime becomes longer over a span of time, and Paul has been marking his students dissertations, essays, and exam papers. That evening, Bessy decides that Fester's home isn't for her, so she leaves. Over the next few days, Fester sees many of the cats of Levenshulme.

Recently, the Paul and Jeremy haven't been getting along well with each other, as Jeremy has been in his study, receiving phone calls from his boss, who constantly criticizes him. Paul reassures Fester, and both of them are upset over Jeremy's situation. As much work as Jeremy does, his boss keeps giving him overwhelming amounts more (Paul speculates that Jeremy's boss is deliberately trying to undermine him). Paul goes away for a week, to teach a writing course, only to find out that he is expected to do it for free. Subsequently, when he returns, he's furious. Albert visits, but does little to cheer them up.
Soon, Paul is writing his latest novel, worrying about his publisher, and he tells Fester that he's writing books about Brenda and Effie.

On a sunny day, Paul and Jeremy purchase a beach house, which is delivered by some men from a garden centre, who also construct it. Several cats ask Fester what is going on.

At the new Beach House, over an undefined period of time, Paul writes more stories about Brenda and Effie and the Doctor, about how his books share a universe. He also receives messages from various people who ask him to write differently, and Paul refuses.

One day, they hear an awful noise, as an Alsatian attacks Smokey. Smokey then ran into his owner's home, hiding away deep in the basement. Months and months go by, and they finally see Smokey, who looks years younger. They see him once or twice more, but no more after that...

In August, Paul, Jeremy, and Panda leave early one morning to go on holiday to Paris. On the third day, Jeremy turns on his laptop that had resisted using until then, finding several work e-mails from his boss, which got more and more unreasonable. Jeremy only takes an hour to complete what is necessary, but, as Jeremy had been so occupied about his work weeks prior, this tips the scales and creates a gap between him and Paul.

2008[]

The next Summer, Jeremy decides to build a pool in the garden, where there once was a large tree (which was poorly removed by the previous owners). Paul is currently working on two novels and several scripts for Doctor Who CDs. Over the summer, Paul and Jeremy invite many friends and neighbours to many barbecues. By the middle of summer, Fester goes feverish and goes off his food. Paul and Jeremy wait a few days to see if Fester gets any better, but it's soon apparent he's not. The next morning, Jeremy takes Fester to the vet.

Mr Joe takes a blood sample, and Fester remains at the vet while Jeremy leaves. Deliriously, Fester imagines being back home, though he returns to reality within minutes. Fester is accepting the possibility that he might die, so he at least wants to see Paul and Jeremy one last time.

Meanwhile, Jeremy is receiving yet more messages from his boss, and Paul tries to read some books to distract himself but is unable to escape into them as much as he would want. He then tries to write and edit his work but feels it's all rubbish. Paul begins to cry.

At quarter past six in the evening, Paul and Jeremy return to the vet, where they get a diagnosis for Fester's issue. Fester has an infection in his thyroid gland, which is treatable with a daily tablet for the rest of his life. Fester returns home in high spirits.

They try feeding the tablets to Fester, without any luck, as Fester dislikes the taste. They try coating the tablets in chicken liver pâté, and it's enough to get Fester to eat them. Over the next few months, Paul and Jeremy settle into a routine of feeding the tablets to Fester.

Fester then realises that he hasn't seen Three-Legged Freddy or Whisper in a while. The house on Central Avenue that had burned down had now been rebuilt into flats. Fester knew things were changing in Levenshulme. The boys have more barbecues in their garden, and in Autumn, when the kids went back to school, Paul graded many of his students' novels.
Paul starts a Book Club with Caroline, Karen, and Jamie, but Jeremy thinks little of it as they drank and gossiped instead of actually reading. Jeremy keeps obsessing over his work, which causes him to get angrier and moodier.

A few weeks later, after he completed a days' worth of writing, Paul phones up Jasmine, and arranges to stay with her for a few days, as an attempt to get Jeremy to think about something that isn't his job. Paul goes inside to pack a bag, and Fester tries to stop him, to no avail. Paul leaves, catching a train to a station near Jasmine's house in North Manchester. Jeremy only realises Paul had left several minutes later.

The day passes peacefully, but slowly. Jeremy gets a text message from Paul, saying that he will be away for a few days.

Fester tries to contemplate what life would be like if Paul and Jeremy split up, but he can't imagine it.

Fester spends some time in the cellar, catching mice, trying to rid his home of them, convinced it will persuade Paul to return.

A day or so later, Jasmine loses her patience with Paul, so Jeremy goes to pick him up, and they return home, with Fester glad things are back to normal.

Over the Autumn, Paul, Jeremy, and Panda go on holiday as a break from work, and afterwards, Jeremy finds out that his boss has been convincing Jeremy's peers that he isn't doing his job well enough.
Meanwhile, Fester has a rival to contend with. Ralph, a snarky and cocky young cat, moves in near Fester's home, and the two of them get into several fights. Paul initially thinks that Ralph is a sweet little cat, but after Ralph bites Fester on his neck, and it gets infected, Paul takes Fester to the vet to get antibiotics. Ralph now has a vendetta against Fester, and Paul starts tries shooing Ralph away.

2012[]

Christmas passes after a visit from Jeremy's parents. In the middle of one of Paul's Book Clubs, Jeremy bursts in, in tears, telling Paul that his father has just died. Paul and Jeremy go to the funeral in Scotland.

Sometime after they return, Paul goes out to get coffee with a friend in Heaton Chapel. Fester gets a chill, causing him to sneeze a lot, and Jeremy worries that Fester had a stroke, but it turns out he just has an ear infection. Paul and Fester work together at their writing, and one day, Fester catches a blue tit, much to the boys' horror. They manage to free the spittle-covered bird from Fester. When the weather gets hotter as the year progresses, Fester then catches a frog, but instantly regrets it due to just how disgusting it is, slime and all.

After a while, Paul puts in his notice to the university to say that he's quitting. He finishes going through his students' novel manuscripts, and hands them back into the university. On the way back home, Paul invites Bessy to his home, as he can see that she's rather more battered since they last met.

Over the next couple of days, Fester can tell that Bessy is now getting old. She tells Fester that she's finding it harder and harder to find places to live, as many of the empty houses are being renovated. Fester catches Bessy up on recent developments with Paul and Jeremy, and then, after a day or so, bessy leaves for apparently the last time.

That summer, Paul has a Sunday lunch, inviting Albert and Jasmine among others. Later that summer, Paul's family move to Australia, after announcing on Facebook that they have no reason to stay in England, deliberatly ignoring Paul. At Christmas, Fester reminsces over the six years he's spent with Paul, Jeremy, and Panda. Some of Paul's friends from London come to visit, and then the New Year comes.

2013[]

Over January, Fester and Paul take things at a slower pace. Fester becomes, as Paul put it, doddery, as he is continually thirsty and now starts doing his business in places other than his litter tray.
On the Monday before Easter, after the snow stops, Paul and Fester race into the garden. This is the day where things changed for Fester.

This is approximately when the beginning of the novel occurs.

In the Beach House, Fester writes his farewell to Paul and Jeremy, thanking them for giving him the happiest time of his life.

Afterword[]

In an afterword by Paul, he writes about how Fester had trusted them from the very beginning, how they estimate Fester was twelve when he moved in and eighteen when he died, how he and Jeremy had spent the weekend crying.
Paul thinks by writing down what Fester means to him, he could perhaps will him to life on the page. He writes how he's finishing off Fester's novel, before it's too late. Jeremy slept in until midday, when his friends took him out to celebrate his belated birthday.
While Paul was reading The Neverending Story, he noticed a motif, which was, in essence, how each character might share an adventure, but then will go on to have many adventures by themselves. Paul thinks that every character is a spin-off, with no main story or main character.
Paul writes about what Fester taught him and that Fester made everyone happy...

Characters[]

(In order of appearance)

Referenced only[]

References[]

  • Jeremy turns forty-six on his birthday in 2012.
  • Jeremy prints off a map from Google Earth, for directions to Cheadle Hulme.
    • On the journey, Paul and Jeremy sing "Fester's song" to Fester.
  • Three-Legged Freddie lived with motorcyclists.
  • Korky's new home is in Cheshire.
  • Paul and Jeremy drive a silver Škoda.
  • When Jeremy's parents visit, they play KerPlunk, Buckaroo, and Operation.
  • Deborah is a librarian.
  • Scoobie and Rowan are tortoiseshell cats. They live with Karen and Mark.
  • In 2007, Albert gets a new job in the private sector.
  • Albert also says that the "world economy is going to tank".
  • Paul and Jeremy keep Fester's tablets in a small ceramic box, which has a lion's face on the lid. It was one of the souvenirs that they bought in Paris.
  • The neighbours from the house at the end of Chestnut Avenue adopted two children, a boy and a girl.
  • Jamie works at a radio station, where he played music from the 1970s.
  • He also has a cat called Ben.
  • Paul and Jeremy once took Paul's family on a Mediterranean cruise.
  • Paul reckons most writers have a touch of obsessive-compulsive disorders.

Individuals[]

Fester Cat[]

  • Fester Cat is eighteen when he writes his book.
  • Because of how Fester's lip is affected by his lack of teeth, Paul likens him to Elvis.
  • In Fester's last home, he lived with a dog.
  • Paul does "mammy cat ears" to Fester - it's a way of stroking Fester's head so his hand smoothes Fester's ears down backwards, like how a mother cat would lick a kitten's head.
  • Fester was Paul's first cat, as a child, his Mam refused to let him have one, and in his time as a student, he was unable to have one due to him moving to a new house every few years.
  • In 2007, Paul sets up a Facebook account for Fester, which enables him to share his adventures, and to make friends from places he couldn't even imagine.
  • Fester thinks he moved in with Paul, Jeremy, and Panda in September, but he can't remember, as "cats don't measure time as humans do".
  • Fester gets a toy mouse in a Santa hat.

Paul Magrs[]

  • Paul was given a sled for Christmas, 1977. The sled came from Harding’s, the posh toy shop in town.
  • When Paul is grading his students work, he longs to tell them to throw it all away and just write passionately, so Jeremy calls him an anarchist.
  • Paul tries to write twelve hundred words daily.
  • Paul and Jeremy wanted to get married, but the death of Jeremy's father put their plans on hold.
  • Paul's family also started leaving horrible messages to Paul.

Panda[]

  • Albert was embarrassed to talk to Panda, and Bessy thought Paul and Jeremy were "freaks" due to them being friends with him.
    • Most people simply accept that Panda is real, and not just a toy, but despite being shown a significant amount of evidence to show that Panda is a real individual, Fester is still sceptical about him.
  • Panda has lived with Paul and Jeremy since 1999.
  • Panda reviews ballet and opera for broadsheets.

Movies, television, and music[]

  • Paul, Jeremy, and Fester watch the episode from season seven of Frasier, the one with Daphne's wedding.
  • The day after Jeremy's birthday, they watch The NeverEnding Story, Time Bandits, and Willow.
  • Paul put on Radio 2, to discover they were doing a two-hour long special on David Bowie, as the BBC had found some old archived recordings of him from 1977.
    • In those tapes, Bowie talks about his new record called Low, and how he had moved to Berlin to "escape all the bad stuff".
  • Paul and Jeremy listen to disco music, such as Odyssey, Barry White, and Baccara.
    • Paul would later listen to My First, My Last, My Everything by White.
  • At Christmas, Jeremy put on Pinky and Perky's Christmas Album, which coincidentally was Paul's favourite Christmas album when he was a child.
    • Paul's Mam had binned this album along with Paul's other records while he was in college.
    • The album was sung by two falsetto pigs, and one of the songs on the album was a rendition of Santa Claus Is Coming to Town.
  • Wonderwall was performed by Oasis.
  • Step Back in Time was played in CC Blooms.
  • On Christmas Eve, after the guests leave, Jeremy and Paul put on The Nutcracker Suite.
    • When Jeremy was ten, he bought a set of three records in the CBS Masterworks set of Tchaikovsky's Nutcracker Suite as played by the Toronto Symphony, with Andrew Davies conducting.
    • Paul and Jeremy also had a radio on in the kitchen, and Al Stewart's Year of the Cat, Don't Take Away the Music, and You're My First, My Last, My Everything plays.
  • Jeremy also put on the Christmas 1977 episode of The Good Life, 1982's The Snowman, 1981's K9 and Company, the Christmas 1982 episode of Cagney and Lacey, the Christmas 1979 of Crossroads, and The Very Best of Larry Grayson's Generation Game from 1979.
  • Paul and Jeremy play a lot of music by Abba.
  • At Paul and Jeremy's Christmas party, there was a recording of Tina Charles singing Dr. Love.
  • Before going off to New York, Paul and Jeremy put on Annie Hall, Spider-Man, and Valley of the Dolls, to give Fester an idea of what the city is like.
  • In New York, Paul and Jeremy go off to 42nd Street to see Paul's favourite musical, Gypsy.
  • At Peter's funeral, songs by Al Bowlly play.
  • At Christmas, the boys watch Flash Gordon.
  • After returning from a neighbours' fireworks show, the boys watch The Rocky Horror Picture Show.
  • On New Year's Day, Fester and Paul watch The Sound of Music and The Wizard of Oz.

Books, magazines, and newspapers[]

  • Fester once read a cat book, which he found awful.
  • In Jeremy's flat in 1995, Jeremy owned hardbacks of works by Italo Calvino, Alastair Gray, and Günter Grass, as well as having just bought a copy of Paul's first novel from a bargain bin in Waterstones.
  • Paul was given The Disney Annual for Christmas in 1977.
  • When his dad drove young Paul to his flat, Paul focused on reading Alice in Wonderland, to avoid listening to his father cry.
  • Jeremy was reading The Guardian when Paul noticed Bessy in their garden.
  • Panda reads a "Bloomsbury biography".
  • Paul's books sometimes about how one universe links into another.
  • Michael Ende wrote The Neverending Story.
  • Paul owns a copy of The Song of the Wren by H. E. Bates.

Locations[]

Manchester[]

  • It rarely snows in Manchester.
  • Fester's travel case came from Selfridges.
  • Kingsway is a road which links Levenshulme to Cheadle Hulme. Along some sections, there are pizza shops and fried chicken shops.
  • Manchester has an airport.
    • Burnage was located next to this road, and so was the biscuit factory, the Antiques Village, and Newaab Curry House.
  • Bessy hangs out with cats from Brunswick Road.
  • There is a Primark in Manchester.
  • When Bessy used to play daredevil with the trains at Levenshulme railway station, many trains were headed to Heaton Chapel, Stockport, and Alderley Edge.
  • Panda moved in with Paul and Jeremy, in Christmas of 1999. They lived in their flat for a while, before moving to a proper home in Levenshulme.
    • The area was built up around the flat, so to get some fresh air, they had to walk to Castlefield or into town or drive to the countryside.
  • Paul teaches students at the MMU how to write novels.
  • Trains go via Levenshulme to Piccadilly.
Levenshulme[]
  • Slade Lane and Victoria Road are in Levenshulme.
  • There are a lot of black and white cats in the Levenshulme Conservation Area, as the cat families date back to the original farm cats from the 1800s.
  • In 2006, a house on Central Avenue, which had been a drug den, and caught ablaze.
  • Bessy spent time hanging out in the Rat Runs underneath the Levenshulme railway station platforms with the gang from Buckhurst Road.
  • Stockport Road, aka Levenshulme High Street, is mostly filled with discount stores, book makers, and kebab shops.
    • The latter was occasionally visited by Fester when he scavenged for food with Bessy.
  • In his search for Bessy, Korky looks for her on Windsor Road, Buckhurst Road, and Albert Road.
  • Karen and Mark's home is located on Chestnut Avenue.
  • Berkley Avenue runs parallel to the railway, with the far end turning to the right, going under a railway bridge. The other end of the road leads onto Chestnut Avenue.
  • Sycamore Avenue and Beech Tree Road are also located in Levenshulme.
Paul and Jeremy's home[]
  • There is a white rug from Habitat in the upstairs bathroom.
  • Fester has a veranda chair in the garden.
  • There is a Yale lock on the front door.
  • Jeremy has a study.
  • The Beach House came from a garden centre in Macclesfield.
Cheadle Hulme[]

Edinburgh[]

  • Paul and Jeremy spent their first Christmas in Jeremy's flat (located in Edinburgh, near a stretch of mountainous peaks known as Arthur's Seat).
  • Paul and Jeremy had met the Christmas the year before, when their friend Duncan introduced them to each other in CC Blooms.
    • Edinburgh is split into "Old Town" and "New Town".
    • There are two roads, Princes Street and George Street, both of which are long and busy.
    • Paul used to go for drinks in CC Blooms, located on Leith Walk, across the way from a Catholic church.

Durham[]

  • Durham was situated between young Paul's two homes.
    • Old Elvet Bridge, a Cathedral, and a marketplace located on a winding street.

New York[]

Manhattan[]
  • While Jeremy is at his conference, Paul visits Greenwich Village (where he orders coffee and writes in his notebook), bookshops containing books about murder mysteries and gay topics, and when he bumped into his ex-boyfriend, they went to Central Park, wandering through the zoo.
  • After Paul and Jeremy reunite, they visit the MoMA, looking at paintings by Matisse.
  • Paul and Jeremy's hotel are located on Seventh Avenue.
    • Venturing out from the hotel after several days of being in their hotel room, they go to Carnegie Deli for burgers and cheesecake, but they didn't have much of an appetite.

Norwich[]

  • Paul and Jeremy had a home in Norwich before moving to their flat in Manchester.

Paris[]

  • Paul, Jeremy, and Panda plan to be on the Left Bank in Paris by lunchtime.
  • The trio go on this holiday annually, when they can afford it. They visit the same cafés and restaurants, they sit "under the leafy boughs of Notre Dame" and in the "shaded nooks of the Latin Quarter".
  • They visit the same galleries and see Matisse and Picasso in the Marais, mummified cats in the Louvre and Toulouse-Lautrec in the Musée d'Orsay.
  • Paris is mostly closed in the Summer, but that's how they like it.
  • Paul spends hours in a green chair in Jardin du Luxembourg, reading books he got from San Francisco Books Co. Jeremy spends his time taking pictures of unusual things.
  • Some days, Paul's happy standing still in the Tuileries, having ice cream and café crèmes.
  • The trio spend hours on the rooftop of the Arabian Institute, then in a rooftop café (where they drink mint tea and eat Baklava.
  • They spend hours in the Natural History Museum, "paying attention to the parade of stuffed animals and the hall of extinct beasts".
  • At the Museum of Modern Art, they stumble across Paul's favourite painting by accident - a painting of a pink, glamorous room by Raoul Dufy.
  • After Jeremy gone through all of his work e-mails, he and Paul walked around Saint-Germain, before sheltering from a sudden downpour at the Café de Flore, ordering thick and creamy hot chocolate.

Food and drink[]

  • Fester found the pouches of cat food from the vet were sloppier than Whiskas. There is also turkey flavour.
  • Paul drinks a glass of Côtes du Rhône.
  • Paul and Jeremy serve Albert steak and chips.
  • The hamper has Styrofoam packing material protecting the items stored inside, including coffee, wine, tea, smoked salmon, and smoked gammon.
  • Paul cooks Moroccan-style sticky lamb, with dates and pomegranates. He also makes a tarte au citron, which egg whites are an ingredient of.
  • Fester names the turkey that Paul and Jeremy bought "George".
  • When Jeremy was a boy, his teacher did not believe that chili con carne existed, and the teacher sent Jeremy out of the classroom for being rude.
  • One night in 2007, Paul, Jeremy and Fester eat risotto with chunks of sausage.
  • Chicken liver pâté, Ardennes pâté, Brussels pâté, and mackerel pâté are types of pâté.
  • There are a couple of cans Lyle's Golden Syrup in the kitchen.

The Doctor Who series[]

  • During mid to late 2006, Fester began watching Doctor Who with Paul and Jeremy, and Fester began to love it.
  • K9 and Company first aired around Christmas 1981.
  • Paul was given a Doctor Who jigsaw for Christmas in 1977.
  • Paul's Granddad enjoyed watching Doctor Who.
  • Paul is writing scripts for Doctor Who, and Fester gets excited thinking he's writing television scripts, but Paul clarifies that they're for CDs.
    • Every couple of weeks, Paul goes to a studio in London for the production, where he meets cast members and co-workers, including Tom Baker.
  • Tom Baker is Paul's favourite Doctor Who.
  • Jamie is a fan of the series.

The Brenda and Effie series[]

  • Paul believes that the publisher of Paul's Brenda and Effie series will drop him and his books, due to Paul not thinking they're selling well enough.
    • The gothic mystery series is about "the Bride of Frankenstein", aka Brenda setting up a B&B in Whitby, solving supernatural mysteries with her best friend Effie, who lives next door.
    • Fester thinks this is straightforward, but Paul's colleagues think they're "quirky", and they ask Paul when he will get back to writing "serious" and "meaningful" books.
    • Paul was at a cocktail party at the university, when a drunk poet said that Paul wrote "populist" novels, which to Paul, translated as "trashy".
  • Every year, at Halloween, Paul, Jeremy, and Panda head up to Whitby, to meet fans of the series at a bookshop, where Paul does a reading of his Brenda and Effie novels, and then does a book signing.

Paul Magrs' family[]

  • His family have dogs, and they paid for them to be looked after in kennels while they visited Paul.
    • Paul thinks the dogs are sweet, but untrained.
  • When Mam and Louise see Fester, Mam thinks he's a girl, and Louise calls him a "Kitler".
    • As Louise put it, a "Kitler" is "what they call cats with Hitler moustaches". She also said there was a website about it.
  • Paul had his first boyfriend in 1990, who was the same age as him.

Notes[]

  • While the novel is a autobiography written from the perspective of a biography, one would naturally assume that it is not fictitious; this isn't exactly true in this instance, as the book combines both fact and fiction, a fact that Magrs confirmed. Because of this, the book was never released in Britain due to editors finding the book's mixing of genres unmarketable.[2]
  • In reality, Paul, Jeremy, and Fester Cat live(d) on Limefield Terrace, however here, the street was renamed as Chestnut Avenue, presumably not to give away too much sensitive information. Magrs had previously done the same with The Wickerwork Man, also set in Levenshulme. Although since then, Paul has revealed his address to promote the "Levenshulme little library" - a small book exchange outside of Magrs' home.[3]
  • Several portions of the novel are adapted from short pieces on Paul Magrs' blog.[4][5]
  • Paul Magrs confirmed on his blog that Panda in this story is the same as the one from the Iris Wildthyme and The Brenda and Effie Mysteries.[6]
  • Penguin US bought the rights to the book on 14 October 2013. Charlotte Robertson wrote the blurb.[7]

Continuity[]

Paul Magrs[]

Panda[]

Cover gallery[]

External links[]

Footnotes[]