“Fuddles” the cat is back again in Frans Vischer’s latest book, “A Very Fuddles Christmas.”
The Glendale resident and Disney animator published his second book in October, telling of the misadventures of Fuddles on Christmas Day.
In the book, Fuddles wakes up as his family is preparing a holiday meal. But when Fuddles attempts to devour the family’s turkey, he’s shooed away. Soon after, he attacks the Christmas presents in the living room, and while he’s left unattended, begins to eat the family’s gingerbread house.
For the past few months, Vischer has traveled to schools and bookstores up and down California as well as out of state to read the book to children and discuss animation and illustration.
“Kids have just been cracking up over it,” Vischer said.
Inspired by his own pet’s antics, Vischer’s books began as sketches, with his cat — named Felix — as his muse.
“All I did was just sketch up what a funny cat this guy is. It gradually just grew into a story idea,” he said.
The 20-pound cat first served as inspiration for the 2011 illustrated book “Fuddles.”
When that book was published, Felix weighed 28 pounds. He lost some of that weight largely following a veterinarian’s suggestion that he eat Science Diet wet food for kittens instead of the dry food he had loved.
Vischer said Felix, now 12 years old, still gets into trouble. He’s known for opening doors and cabinets in their Glendale home, and most recently, Felix ripped open a pound of sugar that was mistakenly left inside a cabinet close to a kitchen counter.
“We’ve had to move cereal from lower cabinets,” Vischer said, because he and his family walked into the kitchen one day to find Felix surrounded by a boxful of cereal he’d pried open and spilled.
About two years ago, Vischer’s family welcomed Jessie, a 2-year-old German Shepard mix, into the home. The two pets must be fed separately, however, because of Felix’s healthy appetite and his interest in Jessie’s food.
“I’ve caught him repeatedly staring at the dog’s food,” Vischer said.
Lately, Vischer has been dreaming up sketches for a new book about a family who gets a new puppy.
He’s also keeping readers informed about Felix’s real-life adventures in his Wordpress blog called “Pampered Fat Cat,” in which he posts photos of Felix disappearing into an empty bag of dog food for any crumbs he might find. Other photos show him sitting contentedly in Visher’s lap in his studio.
In the meantime, Vischer enjoys spending time with Felix and sharing the books that the feline inspired Vischer to write.
“I feel very blessed with him, and to be able to do what I love,” Vischer said.
Follow Kelly Corrigan on Twitter: @kellymcorrigan.
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