1. Taking the Cat's Way Home - Chapter 1

Jane's cat Furlong walks to school with her every day, then he finds his own way home. When William, the new boy in the class, threatens Jane, its seems as though the only way she can escape him is to take Furlong's secret path.

A story in six chapters read by Mr Barrett

Chapter 1

Still image for this video
Listen to this first chapter from Taking the Cat's Way home by Jan Mark. When you have finished it move on to these activities that go with it. You can pick and choose which you do and in what order or you can even have a go at inventing your own activities linked to the book.
Mr B

Activity 1:

On the first page we are introduced to Furlong and his very unusual name.


“What a strange name for a cat,” people said.


Rude people said he looked like a feather duster.


Use Google to research what a feather duster looks like.

Do you think they just meant the feathery end? I do!












Look at all the different shapes the dusters come in, now invent your own animals using these shapes for different bodies. Once you have drawn a selection think of imaginative names for them.


William is very rude, “… it’s a loo brush,” he says. Why do you think William chose these words to describe Furlong?

Activity 2:

Look at pages 10 and 11 or listen to section starting at 1 minute 5 seconds.

If Jane is 8 years old, how old do you think Andrea is? And how old do you estimate Furlong might be?


Visit the Blue Cross website.



Research the life of cats. Do you think your estimate of Furlong's age was a good one?

Activity 3:

Using your research, write a fact file about cats.


Blackie Whitie

Activity 4:

In Chapter 1 we hear how Furlong follows Jane and Andrea to school everyday. He rushes ahead and stops at each corner before rushing ahead again.


Think about your journey to school, by car or walking, can you draw a map/diagram to show your route?


Can you think of any landmarks? (post boxes, zebra crossings, supermarkets, roundabouts, shops, libraries, bus stops etc) Don’t forget to label your picture.

Activity 5:

Llanishen Fach Primary School’s postcode is CF14 6SS. Use this to help you find our school using Google Maps



Using the Directions option, find the best route to school.



Experiment with the different ways of travelling option. I come to school by bike, if I click on the bike Google Maps suggests a different route than if I come by car.


The distance is in miles.

To convert from miles to kilometres search Google for “convert miles to kilometres”.


How far is your journey by car? Walking? Bike? (In kilometres)

Activity 6:

At the end of the first chapter the author, Jan Mark, writes how everyone knew Furlong and how one day he put his muddy paws on Mrs Kumari’s pink skirt.


“Jane was afraid she would be cross, but Furlong smiled in his fur and purred, and Mrs Kumari forgave him.”


Try drawing a picture of this scene and include speech bubbles to show what you think the characters might say to each other.