VATICAN CITY (Reuters) – Chico the cat describes the life of his “best friend”, Pope Benedict, in an authorised biography for children released this week.
“Dear Children, here you will find a biography that is different to others because it is told by a cat and it is not every day a cat can consider the Holy Father his friend and sit down to write his life story,” the Pope’s personal secretary, Monsignor Georg Ganswein, says in the foreword.
“Chico and Joseph — A Cat Recounts the Life of Pope Benedict XVI” is narrated by Chico who took up with the Pope in his native Germany when he was Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger.
The illustrated 44-page book is written by Italian author Jeanne Perego and set mostly in Germany in the years before Benedict was elected in April 2005.
Chico is a real cat who belongs to a German couple in the German city of Pentling, where the Pope lived until he moved to Rome in 1981. The couple are caretakers of the house where Ratzinger had hoped to retire had he not been elected Pope.
Chico tells the story of the life of “my best friend” from his birth in Germany in 1927, through his days as a young man, priest, bishop and cardinal. It ends with his election as Pope on April 19, 2005.
Wow that is one old cat!
Chico recounts how each time then Cardinal Ratzinger returned to Germany for a vacation, the cat would run into his house and sit on his lap as he played the piano.