A Close Relationship

Novel, Catch Us If You Can - A Close Relationship

Using details from the novel you have studied,
•  describe a close relationship between two characters
•  explain why you would consider them to be very close.
Support your answer with close reference to the text.


In the novel “Catch Us If You Can” by Catherine MacPhail, Rory McIntosh and his grandfather share an inseparable bond.

According to Rory, they are “like a double act”. His father abandoned his mother and him, so when his mother died, he was taken care of by his grandparents. The death of his grandmother had left him with his grandfather. He called him „Granda‟ and Granda had looked after him all his life and now it was his turn to look after Granda. However both of them were incapable of looking after themselves because Granda was too old and sick while his grandson was too young to shoulder the responsibility of looking after himself and his forgetful and sometimes disorientated grandfather. Whatever the difficulties, Rory and Granda refused to be separated. Rory argued that sending Granda to a home would kill his grandfather and forcing him to stay in a children‟s home would be unbearable. That showed how close they were and how emotionally dependent they were on each other.

Rory loved Granda so much that he was prepared to make a lot of sacrifices for the old man. He let go the chance to be in the school football team because he needed to look after Granda. He had to run home from school during lunch break to bring Granda lunch. On several occasions, Granda had unwittingly „lost‟ or „misplaced‟ Rory‟s homework and that had earned him the wrath of his teacher, Mrs Foley. Besides all these, he had to think of the little precautions to take to keep Granda out of harm. Still, he did not want to part with his Granda who would have been better off in an old folks‟ home. Granda felt the same also. The bond between the two was a special one. However, events took a decisive turn when Granda accidentally caused a fire in the kitchen of their flat. Granda was taken to hospital and then to Rachnadar, a home for the elderly. Rory ended up in Castle Street where he met the troubled Tess and fought with her.

He was miserable there. Granda fared no better at the home. Rory felt that they had been cheated by his social worker, Val Jessup. He plotted on the run while the police launched a hunt for them. The news of the runway pair was everywhere on television but they managed to evade the police with the help from sympathizers along the way. They suffered a lot of discomfort while on the run and the old man‟s condition worsened but they seemed happy. Being together has become a source of strength to them. They were finally persuaded to go and see Rory‟s long-lost father, Jeff McIntosh, who had been traced to Liverpool as a result of the publicity. But before they could do this, Jeff came for them. They ended up together again, and this time in a flat near where Jeff and his new family lived. Jeff was finally ready to assume responsibility for his father and his son.

Rory and Granda were inseparable. It looked as if only death could separate them. Nothing mattered as long as they were together.