25 Sep / The Complete Chi’s Sweet Home (Part 1) by Konami Kanata, translated by Ed Chavez
Wandering out with Mommy Cat and two siblings, this little one gets lost. She’s woofed at by a dog (thankfully leashed), and narrowly misses getting run over by a car. No other creature seems to know where ‘home’ might be, and she eventually collapses in the park in utter exhaustion. She opens her eyes just long enough to look into the tearful face of a little boy who’s fallen down hard. When the kitty finally wakes fully, she’s surprised to find herself surrounded by a family of three: Mommy, Daddy, and Yohei (also interchangeably spelled Yohey).
Her longing for her furry family (so heartachingly drawn!) slowly begins to fade as she bonds with the human replacements. As she and Yohei potty train together, she earns the name ‘Chi’ – a childish onomatopoeic interpretation of shikko (‘urine’ in Japanese), not unlike ‘pee-pee’ or ‘wee-wee’ in English.
In an attempt to adhere to the strict no-pets policy in their apartment complex, Mommy tries to find Chi a welcoming home. Luckily, Chi has no takers, and the family goes through all manner of precautions – from picnic baskets to stuffed animals – to keep Chi safe.
Chi and Yohei are virtually inseparable. Mommy gives Chi a bath, oh no! Daddy brings home food and toys, although Chi is happiest with just the plastic bag. Daddy takes Chi to the vet, double oh no and oh yuck! Chi loves kitten milk, but Daddy’s coffee not so much. Chi insists on being the center of attention as often as she possibly can. Chi makes a new friend of a giant overgrown kitty named Blackie. Chi manages to avoid nosy neighbors and grabby playmate Juli. For now …
The new Complete editions in English translation (thank you, Vertical, Inc.) combine multiple volumes for maximum entertainment: here, book 1 gathers volumes 1-2-3 of the original series, with more combo-editions forthcoming in 2016. Say ‘hello, kitty’ to Chi … her meows are calling your name!
Readers: Middle Grade
Published: 2004-2006 (Japan), 2015 (United States)