I’m not a cat person. I come from a family of dog people and was always taught that cats were the enemy. Even if we weren’t dog people, we had rabbits, guinea pigs, frogs and birds in the garden and cats have a really unfortunate tendency to kill things.
Despite my views on cats as a collective, I’m a big fan of @MYSADCAT on twitter. Maybe because the Bear looks like he’s doing penance for the sins of cat kind. Having grown tired of being shown every picture the sad cat account tweets, my boyfriend got me Tom Cox’s The Good, The Bad and The Furry for Christmas thinking it was a happy fusion of things I like. Now, don’t get me wrong, I love the twitter account, I even like his Guardian articles, but can you really string out a series of what are ultimately in-jokes about your pet cats into a book that’s worth reading?
It turns out you can and he has. And it’s a really fun read. While there was a lot of material that stuck close to the theme of the blog with cute pictures and funny captions, the book was so much more than that, talking about Tom Cox’s life, relationships, family, hopes and fears… just with his cats as a way in. There are actually some really sad and moving moments in the book, even for a non-cat lover, fortunately there were a lot that had me laughing so hard that I was worried that my ribs were going to break. I think the worst of these was when he was describing his friend who, burying her recently deceased cat, accidentally dug up it’s dead brother and was stood with a dead cat in one hand and a skeleton cat in the other crying her eyes out. I know that shouldn’t be funny, I know that it makes me a very sick person, but seriously, it’s the way he tells it. The only real problem with Tom’s writing in the book is that it makes me feel Shipley deserves his own twitter account to vent at the world and I don’t think he has one.
Check out Tom’s writing in this article about the pros and cons of adopting stray ginger cats and add this to your gift list for cat lovers.