Tomcat Blue Eyes' Diaries (original Czech title Z deníku kocoura Modroočka) is a classic of Czech children's literature.
Blue Eyes is a little inexperienced Siamese tomcat with big blue eyes who decides to keep a diary and tell his readers what has happened to him since he was born, and continues writing about his adventures. Readers find out about his first days with his big two-legged creature (to whom he later refers as "my human" because cats don't have masters), about meeting other cats in his town neighbourhood like she-cat Green Eyes or gorgeous tomcat White Whiskers Rusty, about his adventures in the countryside cottage, about his encounters with various animals, and much more.
Written in 1965 by Josef Kolář, a biologist, teacher and radio journalist who wrote programmes mainly for children and youth. According to Kolář, the book was based on his real cat and his adventures. The book was illustrated by Helena Zmatlíková whose cute and charming pictures are a staple of Czech literature aimed at children.
It was adapted many times to various media: a radio broadcast, a puppet movie, live-action TV movie, several theatre performances, several audio books read by well-known actors, and an audio book narrated and sung by several actors and singers. Especially the last one was a huge hit when it was released, but none of the adaptations is so well-loved as the original book.
- After-Action Patch-Up: Blue Eyes has a serious (live-or-die serious) fight with a mean yellow cat who wanted to hurt Kiki, a young kitten. Blue Eyes tries to lick his wounds, but it hurts terribly. Kiki comes to help him, and Blue Eyes notes that her tongue is much softer and her purring is soothing as well. He also mentions that Kiki looks exceptionally well and realizes that She Is All Grown Up now.
- Animal Naming Conventions: Lots of the cats have descriptive names like "Blue Eyes", "Green Eyes", "White Whiskers Rusty", "Tore-his-li'l-ear" or "Yellow".
- Babies Ever After: The book ends with Kiki and Blue Eyes having four cat babies.
- Big Brother Mentor:
- The first mentor that Blue Eyes (the hero of the story who is a small tomcat) gains is a stray she-cat Green Eyes. She's kindly and teaches Blue Eyes how to climb trees and other useful thing, for example that two-legged creatures are actually called humans. She later becomes distant though.
- White Whiskers Rusty is a tomcat who is older that Blue Eyes and he takes him under his wing. They meet when White Wiskers saves him when he got stuck in a fence. He teaches him about the world and their local cat society. Blue Eyes listens to him, adores him and generally is glad that he has so great a friend.
- Blue Eyes takes the mentoring role when he takes care of Kiki. She's a small kitten that got lost and Blue Eyes and his human decide to adopt her.
- Big Brother Instinct: Blue Eyes saves Kiki from Yellow. She spoiled his chicken-stealing and he wanted to punish her for it. The fight between Blue Eyes and Yellow was extremely tough and Blue Eyes notes that it was his first real fight that might very well have been his last one as well.
- Canon Illustrations: Blue Eyes and Kiki are both explicitly identified as Siamese cats so they should be silvery or white with various forms of darker point colouration. Helena Zmatlíková's illustrations depict them as blue-gray cats, similar to Russian Blue or British Shorthair Blue, albeit with blue almond-shaped eyes. The charming illustrations are included in all editions of the book and all cover art of audio books so most people imagine Blue Eyes and Kiki as the grey kittens.
- Cat Concerto: The cats from the neighbourhood regularly meet for concertos on a big roof. Green Eyes is their choir leader and is very strict on tom-cats who sing out of tune. Blue Eyes' first concert is ended by some uncultured human who threw a broom among them. Other times Blue Eyes sings alone in the wood, or he sings a song to Kiki about his victory over Yellow.
- Cat Up a Tree: From the cat's point of view and told retrospectively. Blue Eyes was chasing a squirrel and was having great fun, until he got too high and was afraid to climb down. He was mewing very desperately and naturally his human came to his rescue. He was trying to get him down, but finally had to go for him, but fell down when the lean bough broke. The human got injured very badly and desperate Blue Eyes could climb down rather easily after all. The human was taken to hospital and Blue Eyes was left alone, crying sadly the whole time. At the end of the chapter, the human is brought back home and Blue Eyes cuddles with him in his bed. Blue Eyes decides to never ever chase squirrels, not ever again.
- Cats Are Superior: Blue Eyes is horrified when he meets a dog who belongs to his human's friend. He cannot understand how the dog can be so submissive and so satisfied taking orders. Eventually they become somewhat friendly but still, he's not Blue Eyes' favourite animal.
- Cats Hate Water: Blue Eyes certainly does. He mentions that he hates baths and that he always cries when his human washes him. One night he falls into a pond and nearly drowns, but finally figures out how to swim and saves himself.
- Cool Cat: Most of the cats in the story think they are all that. Most often they are.
- White Whiskers is a very experienced and elegant cat. Blue Eyes befriends him and admires him very much. He thinks he's the coolest and extremely clever.
- Blue Eyes when he grows up a bit tries to be cool and doesn't much like when his human laughs at him, for example when he tries to climb on the roof.
- Mici Angorra is very proud, haughty and arrogant because he "played in a movie". Blue Eyes is unimpressed, though, and not only because he doesn't know what it means to "play in a movie".
- Cute Kitten: Kiki, a grey blue-eyed Siamese cat. She's a small kitten who got lost, and Blue Eyes and his human save her from kids who are about to torture her. When they find out she has no home, they decide to adopt her. Blue Eyes is quite surprised that Kiki is allowed to do stuff he is forbidden, but he figures out it's because she's still little and such a cutie. He's sorry about it at first, but once he realizes that his, or rather their, human loves them both, he figures out he need not be jealous.
- The Cutie:
- Blue Eyes is the most adorable kitten ever when he is small, and he's very loving and very affectionate. He shares his food with an alley cat without home and tries to be polite to other tom-cats he meets. When he meets other animals, he tries to befriend them if possible.
- Kiki is a cute lil' ball of fur when they get her and very sweet. She enjoys the privilege of being cuter than a now-grown-up Blue Eyes but she really likes him and has a good heart too.
- Dude Magnet:
- Green Eyes is the only she-cat in the neighbourhood, so all the tomcats are crazy about her.
- Kiki once she grows up. When Blue Eyes and she arrive home, the tomcats take a liking to her. Green Eyes is naturally jealous and hostile towards her.
- Facepalm: Cat variant, so facepaw. White Whiskers Rusty runs his paw over his face when Blue Eyes says cat's whiskers are for looking pretty and dolled up.
- Fuzz Therapy: Blue Eyes and his owner often cuddle. Blue Eyes likes to be petted or brushed, and enjoys purring into his human ears.
- Hold Your Hippogriffs: Czech proverb "measure twice, cut once" is changed to "measure twice, pass through once". It is White Whiskers' advice to Blue Eyes when he got stuck in a fence.
- Innocent Blue Eyes: Blue Eyes has big bright blue eyes. The story starts when he's just a bigger kitten starting to discover the world, and he's inexperienced and not always very sharp in understanding. He's extremely sweet and kind-hearted to other cats, especially to homeless cat Green Eyes or to White Whiskers Rusty who both become his mentors. He later becomes a mentor for little Kiki.
- Innocently Insensitive: Blue Eyes and White Whiskers Rusty go to visit their mutual friend, cat Green Eyes, who has just had babies. Blue Eyes is always a very friendly, affectionate little tom-cat — almost a kitten himself. He says to Whiskers that Green Eyes' babies are real ugly and the horror, even blind. Green Eyes gets angry and swats him twice with her front paws and runs away with her babies. Whiskers tries to explain to him that every mother is sorry when somebody shames her children and he tells Blue Eyes that he was not prettier when he was born. Blue Eyes doesn't believe him and is sure that he was never blind.
- Intimate Hair Brushing: Intimate fur grooming. When Blue Eyes' human and Blue Eyes find a lost kitten and bring her home, she falls asleep curled up without washing herself. Kindhearted Blue Eyes starts cleaning and grooming her fur and thinks how he'll have to teach her proper cat ways. And that't how Kiki became part of their little family.
- Intimate Healing: When Blue Eyes finds his own tongue too harsh, Kiki licks Blue Eyes wounds with her tongue and soothes him with her purring.
- Kind Hearted Cat Lover: Blue Eyes' human. He appears to have no family, just Blue Eyes, and he's very loving towards him. The cutest moments happen when he holds him or lets him purr into his ears.
- Jerkass: Yellow tomcat whom Blue Eyes meets near his cottage is very mean and immediately wants to fight with Blue Eyes. The latter tries to be polite and eventually decides to hold a respectable distance from the Yellow one.
- Mama Bear: Green Eyes is a kindhearted cat, but when Blue Eyes insults her kittens (he says they are real ugly and, the horror, even blind!), she swats his face twice and runs away with her kittens and grows distant towards Blue Eyes.
- Name That Unfolds Like Lotus Blossom: One of the tom-cats from Blue Eyes' neighbourhood in the city is called "Tore-his-li'l-ear". He's a bruiser who loves to fight, but Blue Eyes also notes that he sings exceptionally well and with lots of feelings.
- Proud Beauty: Like most cats, Blue Eyes is well aware of the fact that he's really adorable and really good-looking. When White Whiskers scolds him for getting stuck in a fence, he asks him whether he knows what the purpose of cat's whiskers is. Blue Eyes' answers: "To look beautiful of course!"
- Sick Episode: Blue Eyes eats "ew stuff" in chapter four and gets very ill. He's taken to the vet, but always spits his medicine. His human is really sad and Blue Eyes decides to die. Eventually he's so sick that he doesn't care what happens to him and lets the human put the pill in his throat. He figures it doesn't taste so bad, and after a time gets well.
- What Beautiful Eyes!: Blue Eyes admires a horse's eyes though he notes that they are extremely sad. He finds out why. It's because horses must serve humans and their work is unspeakably tough. He tries to set the horse free, with disastrous results for him. The horse's master strikes Blue Eyes with a whip.