The cat's name might have been "Barney"
February 9, 2009 5:01 AM   Subscribe

Help me find this book I read as a kid. I remember a fair amount of it, but I just can't get the right Google combination to find it.

I believe the main character's name was Jesse. He lived in New York City. These are the two anecdotes I remember in particular:

There was a photoshoot that was happening in Jesse's house, for a dollhouse. It was supposed to be raining in the photo, but they couldn't get the rain machine to work, so Jesse's father suggested painting the windows with (mineral oil? something) to make it look like it was raining on film. The distinct line I remember is that Jesse was not supposed to say anything during the shoot, but when they asked if anyone had a paintbrush, he said "I've got one".

There was a girl (in his building? that he saw on the subway quite often?) named Veronica. She would always talk about how her cat was half-Persian, half-Siamese, half-whatever, and half-something-or-other. Eventually Jesse calls her on it, saying "if that's the case, then you have two cats!", and she gets all upset and embarrassed and all that.

So I've tried Googling all sorts of different combinations of the facts I remember and it seems like all I get are Veronica Mars sites.

Please help!
posted by Lucinda to Media & Arts (8 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
I remember reading this book too. Just to add some more details: I remember reading it around my Judy Blume and Lois Lowry stage, which means it was probably published prior to 1989. I don't think it was a new book though, so it was probably closer to the late 70s/early 80s.

Wikipedia has a List of children's books set in New York City, but none of those seem right to me.
posted by donajo at 6:09 AM on February 9, 2009

I also remember this but I can't remember what it was called, either. I do remember there was a little sister.
posted by millipede at 6:20 AM on February 9, 2009

donajo > I read it in the early 80's.
posted by Lucinda at 6:39 AM on February 9, 2009

I remembered more. The little sister is an actor and the thing they are shooting is a commercial for a dollhouse. There's a special sweater for her to wear.

This has been driving me nuts all day. I asked my friend who is a librarian to see what she can find. Will update accordingly.
posted by millipede at 1:42 PM on February 9, 2009

I'm having a hard time finding a decent plot summary, but could the Veronica character be Veronica the Show-Off?
posted by donajo at 3:46 PM on February 9, 2009

Nancy K. Robinson, author of Veronica the Show-Off, also wrote Just Plain Cat. The synopsis is: Changes at school, his father's photography business, and his kitten keep Chris busy. I definitely remember reading these as a kid, but I can't find enough info online to be sure these are the right books.
posted by donajo at 5:04 PM on February 9, 2009

Just Plain Cat is it! I remember it now. (Sorry about misremembering the main character's name.) It's out of print but it looks like our library system has many copies.

Thank you, thank you donajo and AskMe!
posted by Lucinda at 6:25 PM on February 9, 2009

Got the book from the library - Veronica's cat's name is "Gulliver".

*man*, I misremembered that book.
posted by Lucinda at 9:03 AM on February 13, 2009

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