Thomasina, the Cat Who Thought She Was God

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Thomasina, the Cat Who Thought She Was God
Thomasina book cover.jpg
Front cover of 1989 reprint by International Polygonics
Author Paul Gallico
Country United States
Genre Children's fantasy novel
Publisher Doubleday
Publication date
Media type Print (hardcover)
ISBN 0385048041

Thomasina, the Cat Who Thought She Was God or Thomasina is a 1957 novel by Paul Gallico about a cat who is owned by a child whose father is very strict and needs to understand about how love is powerful enough to help others. The book was adapted for the 1963 Disney film The Three Lives of Thomasina.


The story begins by explaining about Andrew MacDhui, a veterinary surgeon working in Scotland who recently put to sleep Peddie's pug dog who suffered chronic indigestion. His daughter, Mary Ruadh, owns a ginger cat called Thomasina (the narrator of the story) who she is completely attached to. The children of the village talk of a "witch" named Lori (who is a mysterious veterinarian), and Geordie McNab, who MacDhui refused to help an injured frog he was holding. McNab then goes to the witch and leaves his frog for her to heal. One day Thomasina falls ill so Mary takes her to her father hoping he will make her better, but to her shock, MacDhui puts chloroform on Thomasina and tells Mary that she's been put to sleep. Mary takes Thomasina's body with her to the hills. The news of Thomasina's event spreads, leading Hughie Stirling to suggest giving her the best funeral they can arrange. Mary obliges and decides to get revenge on her father by including on Thomasina's headboard that the cause of her death was "murder". When the funeral is over and Mary and her friends leave the graveyard, Lori appears and discovers that Thomasina is still alive when she digs her up. Later, Mary refuses to talk to her father during dinner and becomes more upset when he tries to replace Thomasina with a new kitten.

When Thomasina wakes up from her sleep, she thinks she is Bastet the Egyptian cat goddess that has been resurrected from her long sleep. The other animals in Lori's cottage don't believe her, especially when she tries to show her powers to them. Lori then decides to rename her "Talitha".

Meanwhile, Mary says she is ill, and as explained by Dr Strathsay, suggests she should stay in bed, but then she starts getting worse by not saying anything. Later Geordie and Hughie tell MacDhui that the traveling circus that has come to their village is abusing their animals like the chained up bear also MacDhui decides to talk to Lori because of her taking his patients from him and learns that she has no family so she helps him track down the circus to save the abused animals. They end up in an argument and fight with the owners of the circus and the chained bear escapes but dies. When MacDhui and Lori get back to Mary that evening they see she is really ill from missing Thomasina, then a storm happens in the night, which Thomasina, still thinking she is Bast-Ra, thinks she is the creator of it, and everyone including Geordie, Hughie, and Dr Strathsay who says it won't be much longer until Mary Perishes. Thomasina sleeping in the drawer full of lavender wakes up and remembers who she is so she decides to make her way back to Mary through the storm. Thomasina makes it back to the mansion and the housekeeper lets her in through the window, when Lori recognizes her as the cat she rescued and Macdhui lets Mary hold Thomasina who is relieved to see her again and starts to recover. Things go back to normal and everyone is happy and the story ends with Macdhui marrying Lori and becoming a better father even though Thomasina doesn't treat him any different.


  • Thomasina/Bast-Ra - The main character, a ginger cat who is owned by Mary Ruadh.
  • Mary Ruadh - A seven-year-old girl who is the owner of and really devoted to Thomasina.
  • Andrew MacDhui - Mary Ruadh's father, a surgeon vet who is really strict to his daughter.
  • Hughie Stirling - A young boy who is a friend of Mary Ruadh and organizes Thomasina's funeral.
  • Geordie Mcnabb- A small boy who finds Lori the witch to help his injured frog.
  • Dr Strathsay - The doctor who comes to diagnose what is wrong with Mary Ruadh when she becomes ill.
  • Peddie - The lady who owns a little pug and is upset when he has to be put down.


In 1963 The Three Lives of Thomasina, a film based on Thomasina, was released by Disney Studios.