Whiskers Abroad: Ashi and Audrey’s Adventures in Japan immerses readers in an unforgettable tour of the land of the rising sun, where they can experience the culture, cuisine and countryside through the eyes of a wanderlust-filled human and her steadfast cat companion.
Author Carrie Carter has travelled to Japan 14 times, and she tapped into her real-world experiences to fill Whiskers Abroad with authenticity. Carter includes photographs of real places and travel tips to inspire other intrepid adventurers — with the added twist that Ashi, the cat, provides his own running commentary on the trip.
“A cat travelling through Japan and talking about it — he keeps a diary about it — that’s way more interesting than a woman travelling through Japan, don’t you think?” Carter quipped in a recent interview.
The story opens with Audrey, who dreams of traveling the world, but her finances — or lack thereof — tell another story. Then, as if it were written in the stars, an opportunity to travel to Japan and write articles for a magazine lands in Audrey’s lap. Not wanting to leave her beloved feline behind, they both board a plane en route to Tokyo. What could possibly go wrong?
Whiskers Abroad is a charming travelogue that traces the unlikely pair’s 12-day trip to Tokyo, Wakayama, Shirahama, Kyoto and Miura Peninsula — with Audrey and Ashi both providing commentary. Food is of great interest to both, as they sample typical Japanese dishes from ramen to sushi to tuna specialties. They also explore Japanese culture, including food markets, a family farm, temples and Tokyo nightlife.
Adventures abound, from Audrey losing Ashi in the fish market to Ashi slipping out of the hotel at night to go to a cat café, where he meets an alluring feline. Audrey is still trying to find her place in the universe, while Ashi views himself as a cat in shining armor who saves Audrey from one certain disaster after another. Audrey is a dedicated reader of her horoscope, and the prediction for each day offers tantalizing clues as to what’s in store for the pair.
Beautifully designed by Stacy Vickers, Whiskers Abroad is both an amusing travel story with unforgettable characters and a useful guide with real-world travel tips, including how to get from the airport to central Tokyo, how to purchase a rail pass, what to visit in Tokyo and what to eat. Highly visual with graphics on every page, Whiskers Abroad aims to delight readers’ eyes and sense of adventure.
About the Author
Carrie Carter has a profound love for Japan, cats, sumo, dioramas and eating unusual foods. She has traveled with her husband, Jim, to Japan 14 times, so her numerous holidays across her favorite country were the inspiration for Whiskers Abroad. Carter has run multiple marathons, including the Tokyo Marathon, and as expected, she and Jim live with an adorable cat named Frenemy, who was unhappy at not being selected as the model for the book. She started and has been playing in an ’80s cover band, Molly and the Ringwalds, for over two decades. She lives in Houston and graduated from the University of Texas at Austin. At home, she loves to cook, design/create Halloween costumes, daydream about meeting Jacques Pepin and watch Elvis movies, although not necessarily at the same time. She dislikes the overly dramatic music used in reality TV shows. Carter is currently writing a sequel to Whiskers Abroad.
Whiskers Abroad: Ashi and Audrey’s Adventures in Japan
Publisher: Bayou City Press
Release: Kristen Smithers, News 21 AM, Friendswood, TX, United States