Many years ago, I got my hands on a few titles from the classic Rick Brant series of boy’s adventure novels. One that stands out in my memory (that I currently don’t have a copy of…) was The Egyptian Cat Mystery. The cat in question is a small stone statuette, the possession of which gets Our Heroes into the usual hot water.
Great fun, and as was typical for the Brant series, the science was both plausible and well-explained. I think it’s the only juvenile novel in existence that gives a decent explanation of how SETI works.
Anyway, a while back I decided that I wanted to have Rick’s cat sitting on my mantel, for the benefit of the six people in the world who might walk into my home and realize what it’s supposed to be. Every time I stay at the Luxor in Las Vegas, I check out the gift shops for an appropriate cat. It needs to be around six inches tall, plain (no gaudy gold paint, please!), and apparently constructed of smooth dark stone.
Imagine my joy when I spotted this in the bazaar last weekend:
Imagine my crushing disappointment when I picked it up and discovered that it was chipped in several places, and was the only one they had. Sigh.
[oh, and this is the first photo I’ve posted from my Motorola V600 cellphone. Reduced to 50% and Leveled in Photoshop to fix the low contrast, I’d say this is fair representation of the image quality.]