The Novel I wrote when I was Ten — “The Cathedral of Cats”

This is Part III of the book I wrote in middle school. If you want to start from the beginning, go here.

In 1999, when I was ten, I wrote a book. It was called The Hero on Foot: The War of the Bowl and it was the worst thing ever written. Some twenty years later and I’ve recovered that particular manuscript from my parent’s attic—and out of my immense generosity, I’ve decided to review, summarize, and post excerpts for your general amusement.

The book was a poor imitation of Lord of the Rings with the One Ring to Rule Them All replaced by kitchenware. Tolkien’s decision to use a ring makes sense. A ring is ceremonial, has intrinsic value, can represent the union of souls, has a sense of permanence and significance. Today, we wear rings to show our devoted love, or alma mater, or sport’s team, or membership in a secret society. A bowl? I guess you use it to eat cereal.

There’s a delight in watching bad movies. I hope y’all will equally enjoy bad literature.

Chapter Four

If you’ve missed the story so far, all you need to know is that our hero is badly injured and lost in the woods. That’s really all you need to know. Seriously.

Javis Kyle is discovered by an ogre named Lars. Apparently my ogres are smart, compassionate creatures.

And this is what ten-year-old-me thinks smart people sound like:

By the way, Lars is dressed like a gentleman scholar. I hired an artist to recreate this.

The ogre heals Javis Kyle with the Mi-Spiral sticking out of the boy’s pocket. To make the scene work, I hit the thesaurus. Hard.

Chapter Five

The two go their own ways. Literally, the entire point of Lars was to show up and save the main character.

Javis hikes through the woods until he chances upon a cathedral. Actually, it’s a cathedral, monastery, and tavern (for when the pope wants to chill). I’m not making this up.

The cathedral is devoted to cats. I’ve had an artist recreate the stained glass in the foyer.

We are introduced to a new side of Javis Kyle’s character. He’s an asshole.

Javis hits the bar and gets drunk. It’s very important to ten-year-old-me that I include the names of the drinks. Mad Dog Ale, Crossbow Corner Mead, Dragon’s Milk. Javis puns on each of these names, telling the bartender to “give me a bite,” “give me a shot,” and “give me a hot squirt.”

While Javis is day drinking, a monk named Boots deduces that boy is the prophetic savior mentioned in the Pope’s “Redemption of England from Germanic Barbarians.” (We are supposed to believe that Lord Dawson and his knights are German invaders. You know, because of Germanic surnames like Fernando and Venice.)

Without a description of Boots, I’ve decided that he’s just a normal-looking Monk who wears a boot on his head.

An artist was paid good money to visualize the character:

When Boots figures this out (in a scriptorium where monks translate the Bible into a meow-based language), holy noises and lights seem to confirm his hypothesis.

Of course, the savior’s identity should have obvious from the get-go, because Javis Kyle’s name is referred to directly.

In a scene ripped out of Harry Potter, Javis awakens in his bed to the sight of a wizened, old man. This is the Abbot of the Cathedral of Cains. But I write Abbey because I don’t know the difference.

The Abbey offers to answer any of Javis’s questions, and then doesn’t.

You think I’m joking?

Ten-year-old-me tosses in this delightful gem.

And the chapter just ends.

Join me next time, specifically July 22nd, for Part IV — “The Only Fucking Battle in the War of the Bowl.”

Silver Bowl and Ogre by María Lucía Escalona

Stained Glass Cat by Nazareno Gonzalez

Boots by Hari Nezumi