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  • Alison O'Leary

The Real Aubrey



I was asked recently whether there was a real Aubrey and, if so, how he had come to be named. The answer is yes, there was a real Aubrey and he was given his name because my husband, John, was reading John Aubrey’s Brief Lives at the time. Aubrey always said he was grateful not to have been called Brief.


Aubrey came from a rescue centre and, just like his name sake in the book, was an inmate for longer than any of the other cats. It was probably because he was a very large male cat and, next to the kittens, he just didn't look cute. He had been found wandering the streets and picked up by a helpful stranger, although once we got to know him we suspected that he was found before he was lost. Wherever he had been, he had certainly been well looked after. From the very first, he was affectionate and loving although it would be true to say that he never missed a food opportunity.


The idea for the book came from John observing one day after watching Aubrey strolling about the garden, "that cat always looks as though he's got a bit of admin to sort out". Or, possibly, a crime to solve.


©2019 by Alison O'Leary