Book Review: Breaking Cat News

Breaking Cat News:  Cats Reporting On The News That Matters To Cats, by Georgia Dunn

This is a hilarious book, if you like witty cat humor that seeks to view what is newsworthy from the point of view of house cats.  Obviously, I am fond of cat humor [1], and many other people are, and I was happy to finally see this book available in my local library system as I have been waiting for weeks to read and review this book.  What separates this book from most of the books I have read that deal with cat humor is that the author here is exploring the goofiness and silliness of cats and is not trying to score a larger political point in the guise of looking at cats.  One sees the people here (the author includes herself and her husband and her child) show a great deal of patience and a fair amount of exasperation at the antics of cats and seek to view the cats as rational if somewhat quirky creatures.  This generally sympathetic view of cats makes this book especially enjoyable to read for those who like cats and cat humor, and one hopes that the author has a lot more on this vein to write in the future.

At its core, this book is written from the perspective of three cats, Lupin, Puck, and Elvis, who serve as anchor and field reporters, respectively, for an imaginary cat local broadcast.  This conceit is explained by the author, who gives the genesis of her genius idea of how to treat cats like reporters on the beat of the goings on of their house, and then the rest of the book shows these cats providing their skewed but hilarious perspective on everything from the horrors of moving to the joys of package envelopes to the role of pizza boxes as belly warmers to races around the house at night to dealing with hunger to enjoying the cuteness of babies.  The author has clearly done a good job at placing herself in the point of view of the cats she writes about and in writing knowingly from her own personal experience as well as her wellspring of sympathy for the perspective of cats and that makes this book a hilarious and enjoyable one to read for people if they have any interest or sympathy in the perspective of cats.

And it is this aspect of the book that I find the most insightful.  There is a great deal to be gained when one writes a book from a point of view of sympathy with the perspective one is dealing with.  All too often cats are seen as a funny way for a writer to try to smuggle in some kind of political or cultural agenda without seeming offensive.  This author, though, chooses to view cats from the point of view of someone who happens to have them as pets, and in writing from one’s knowledge and writing well about a small and consistent group of entertaining and odd cats who share common qualities such as enjoying empty boxes and behaving in ways that are consistent but definitely odd, and that gives this book a human and a humane touch.  In reading books like this, one gets a feeling of great enjoyment, as this book can be enjoyed by those who are young and those who are young at heart and those who enjoy pleasant stories without everything having to be freighted with political arguments or attempts at smuggling ideas illegitimately in the work, and that makes this book one worthy of being enjoyed openly and honestly.

[1] See, for example:

https://edgeinducedcohesion.blog/2018/05/14/book-review-bad-cat/

https://edgeinducedcohesion.blog/2018/05/14/book-review-the-devious-book-for-cats/

https://edgeinducedcohesion.blog/2014/08/13/book-review-how-to-tell-if-your-cat-is-trying-to-kill-you/

https://edgeinducedcohesion.blog/2011/03/04/adventures-in-catsitting/

About nathanalbright

I'm a person with diverse interests who loves to read. If you want to know something about me, just ask.
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