|That wee daisy just gives The Bear a certain je ne sais quoi, you know? |
My cats would freak out … and then eat the flower.
I don’t know how long I followed @mysadcat on Twitter before I realized there was a “proper person” behind it or that person was Tom Cox, columnist for the Guardian, but when I did I (of course) went hunting down his books. The Good, the Bad, and the Furry was the first one I stumbled across and the cover alone was enough to make me snatch it off the library shelf and start gobbling it down at lunch.
The Good, the Bad, and the Furry is a delightful episodic collection of misadventures in catpacity. Some of the episodes are poignant and sad (Janet!), but most are just absurdly funny. Indeed, I found myself laughing aloud quite often while reading this book and I took to reading it, a section at a time, just before bed (with one or two cats snoozing beside me) as mood-booster and guarantee against bad dreams.
Mind you, I currently have four cats and am, therefore, strongly inclined to enjoy feline-theme nonfiction like The Good, the Bad, and the Furry and James Herriot's Cat Stories. Obviously, if you aren’t that keen on cats, then your level of enjoyment may vary. Which is not to say The Good, the Bad, and the Furry is 100% cat. No, it’s just as much about parents (his weird-but-wonderful dad TALKS LIKE THIS and keeps a toad in his shoe), his falling-apart house in Norfolk, and love. But the cats knit it all together.
My only complaint about The Good, the Bad, and the Furry is that I wish the publisher had splashed out a bit for glossy, full color photos. The black-and-whites are, frequently, too small and grainy for good detail. Surely handsome, condescending Ralph deserves a high-quality fashion shot?
Cox has written two other books about his cats, Under the Paw: Confessions of a Cat Man and Talk to the Tail: Adventures in Cat Ownership and Beyond, but neither are available at a Connecticut public library... and they’re already out of print in the US. You know what that means, right? My January 2016 end-of-the-no-book-buying-challenge Book Depository shopping binge just got that much bigger. Hooray.
The Good, the Bad, and the Furry: Life with the World’s Most Melancholy Cat by Tom Cox (St. Martin’s Press, 2013)