Day 49: William and the Black Cat

The facts

  • Number: 4.9
  • Published: 1924 (1923 in magazine form)
  • Book: William the Fourth
  • Synopsis: William is sent to have his sister’s frail cat put down.


Quite often it’s William who is the subject of a ‘mistaken identity’ plot. But this time it’s Bunker, Ethel’s black cat. When Mrs Brown directs William to take Bunker, old and decrepit, to be put down, he accidentally takes his next-door neighbour’s cherished black cat Luke.

William began to think that if he had to spend every Saturday of his life stalking Twinkie-Luky and conveying him secretly from one end of the village to the other, he might just as well not have been born.

He discovers his mistake, but fortunately the owner of the pet-shop had decided not to put down Luke (who was in fine health) but instead sell him on, under the name of Twinkie.

William therefore decides to kidnap Twinkie from his new owner and return him to the neighbour – for a week, before reversing the operation, in the character of an eternal feline custody-battle.

Then comes a time when he is sitting on a bus, cat-transporting, with one owner sitting to his left and the other to his right…