Middling Industries recently conducted an observation on what its famous cat does in a day. This was charted across a duration of 1 month, in the house of R.S. Vern (owner/ writer of Haee). At the end of it, we asked Haee if he feels happy and contented doing the things he does everyday. This was what Haee said:
“Although I go through a standard and comfortable routine everyday, it does not mean I am totally happy with what I do. Although I am well-fed and never have to worry about going hungry, it does not necessarily mean I am fully contented. I often wish I have more time in a day. If I could have an extra 2 hours everyday, I would choose to exercise and get fit.”
We believe what Haee meant by exercising is simply wandering around the house. But this is based on our assumptions only.
Newly launched book “Haee’s Quest for the Greater Prairie” received another 5 star book review rating from Readers’ Favorite. Read and reviewed by readers, this 3rd book from trilogy series “Haee and the other middlings” is an endearing and poignant story about a cat’s life in a middling city. Through the eyes of black cat Haee, this final book sums up what many of us experience in life’s various stages – our constant thirst for the extraordinary mostly, out of boredom and curiosity; only to culminate in a much poignant view on a somewhat very un-extraordinary middling life.
This is the simple but poignant story of Haee, a cat with a crooked tail who lives a comfortable and worry-free life with his loving family.
One day, curious Haee goes exploring in a black hole and gets lost. Haee is discovered by Tom and Jane. Tom and Jane take Haee home and give Haee everything he could possibly need or want. Though they appear to be a perfect couple living a perfect life filled with good jobs, exercise, organic food, sleep, a nice car and everything they need, Tom is secretly dissatisfied with the busy urban life and wishes for clean fresh air and Jane wishes she were a bird and could fly away and see the world.
Haee, in spite of his pampered life, treats and his part in making the house run smoothly, discovers that he, too, is missing something. So one day Haee decides to go play with the cats in the alley and make friends with Whie – the one cat that all the other cats ignore because of her big red nose. Haee enjoys being with Whie so much that he does not return to Tom and Jane.
The first in a trilogy, this story centers on the themes of need versus want, self-fulfillment and motivation. Author R.S. Vern introduces the concept of “Middlings” to the reader in the introduction, explaining that Middlings are those who appear to have it all, are independent, respect non-conformists and the environment but feel “apart from it all”. They also often ask themselves: “Are we not as happy as those who are much better off in this world?”
Haee, Tom and Jane are all Middlings who appear to have everything they could possibly need and want to be comfortable. But, as the evocative and enticingly detailed pen-line illustrations show, there is an underlying sense of dissatisfaction that grows in spite of all “needs” being met. Realizing this, Haee acts on his desires leaves the comfort of home in search of more satisfying life.
The ending comes somewhat abruptly, leaving a sense that the story is incomplete, however Vern does effectively brings to light the question about whether or not having it all is really the paradigm for the middle class working Tom and Jane, and whether Haee, or any other Middling, is really living more if they are less “comfortable”.
Vern’s story is engaging on many levels and the mostly-black-and-white illustrations add a contemporary and stylish elegance to the clean, crisp layout of the ebook that also features pop up text boxes when narrative is double clicked.
HAEE is a beautifully illustrated and thought-provoking modern-day allegory suitable for older children and grown-ups alike.
Reviewed by Maya Fleischmann for IndieReader. To read more, please go to http://indiereader.com/2013/02/haee-the-cat-with-a-crooked-tail/.
What would it feel like to see the world through the green eyes of a cat? No need to guess, just read “The Unconventional Life of Haee” by R.S. Vern. The story made me keep turning the pages till the very end, as the writing generates beauty through its simplicity. The protagonist is Haee, a cat who prefers the eventful life in the back alley to the monotony of the role of a domestic ‘pet’. Rejecting the safety of a routine life, Haee takes the hard path and encounters several other cat-characters who display a wide and a very interesting diversity of attitudes and behavior. The story is all about how Haee reconciles with this society.
The plot bears features of an allegory, as it contains several levels of understanding. “The Unconventional Life of Haee” can be read and enjoyed as a simple tale woven around an alley-cat, although it has a deeper layer of ideas inter-twined in it. The themes are not made lessons. They are presented just as parts of the world it describes. The cats who appear through the pages of the book epitomize certain stereo-typical characters in human society. They have deep-rooted norms or conventions. Some differ from the majority and live silently. Then there are trouble-makers, like Haee, who change, and who wish to change their immediate world as well. What happens when unconventional attitudes meet standard conventions? R.S. Vern tries to analyse it through her fiction. It being the second book of a series, the writing denotes wit, subtle humor and even cynicism towards the absurdities found in the human world. The story is strewn with illustrations which contribute considerably to the artistic value of this piece of writing. Read “The Unconventional Life of Haee” and enter into the bizarre world of Green Alley, where cats are vegetarians.
Reviewed by Gayani Hathurusingha for Readers Favorite
“Like all cats, Haee is a curious cat. One day, he decides to venture out of his comfortable home.”
When Haee, the cat with the crooked tail, comes across the black hole, he is overcome by curiosity. As he conjures the infinite roads the black hole can lead to, he decides to enter. After hours of exploring, one turn after another, Haee’s hunger sparks a desire to return home. There’s just one problem: He’s lost and terribly frightened by the darkness. Vern appears to use Haee’s adventures to show his audience, mainly children, the consequences of curiosity.
The second part of Haee’s adventures begin when Tom and Jane free him from the black hole and provide him with a worry-free, comfortable life. Rather than playing with other cats, Haee spends the majority of his time sun bathing. After several years of living in Tom and Jane’s home, he notices that his human friends engage in the same activities at nearly the same time everyday. Though both are happy, each has his or her own insecurities, aspirations, and desire for freedom from the routine activities of everyday life. Surprisingly, Haee is required to follow a daily plan like Tom and Jane, and is rewarded when he is successful.
Perhaps this second part of the book resonates strongly with adults. As children, they are allowed to roam free and explore the world. As grown-ups, they must abide to stringent schedules and deadlines, while constantly running the risk of feeling mechanical. When Haee’s restlessness grows, he leaves Tom and Jane’s home, and builds a new world with a bullied, red-nosed cat named Whie.
Throughout the story, Haee’s display of curiosity and courage are remarkable. When he wants to break free from routine, he simply does. Haee’s excursions will not only capture the imagination of children, but will also get a laugh out of adults as they anticipate the release of the next book in the Haee series.