Book Review: I Could Pee On This Too

I Could Pee On This Too And More Poems By More Cats, by Francesco Marciuliano

If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.  Obviously the author found a great deal of success with the first volume of cat poetry that he wrote (which I read and reviewed shortly before reading this volume) and equally obvious he decided not to tamper with a successful formula.  And the fact that this is an enjoyable collection of poems just like its predecessor validates his decision to write humorously about cats [1].  Cats are animals whose humor is pretty easy to see, and the author clearly showed a gift for capturing what was both funny and also endearing about cats in his first volume, and so we have an inevitable sequel to review that is just as enjoyable as the first one was.  If you liked the author’s first book in the series, there is no reason to dislike this one as he manages to vary the tone and broaden the perspective of his cats while maintaining a deft touch with both humor and more poignant emotional registers relating to cats, something that many people are likely to appreciate whether they have cats of their own or not.

This particular collection also contains numerous cute kitteh photos and a bit more than 100 pages of material divided into four sections.  Here the sections include various “official” cat writings of one kind or another and are labeled as our people, our home, our thoughts, and our rules.  Here too the author states that there was apparently some sort of contract that was found that was related to further poems, and one wonders if the author continues this conceit through the rest of his volumes.  These poems look to the forgetfulness of cats, their stone-faced emotional register, the silly names they give their owners, possessiveness, curiosity, efforts at controlling one’s world through limiting communication in as cute a manner as possible, the jobs that people have in taking care of cats, the humorous behavior of cats that includes eating money and being strange kinds of ambiverts as well as the fondness of cats for sleep and light.  Again, the poems show a wide deal of variety of emotional registers and tones, all of which makes for interesting and enjoyable reading even when read back to back with the previous volume, ample demonstration that the author still has more to share.

One thing I noticed here, and it is likely not accidental, is that the author is making shrewd observations about people through writing from the perspective of cats.  Are human beings distractable?  Do we waste money as efficiently as cats do through simply eating twenty and fifty dollar bills?  Do we call other beings by ridiculously silly names?  Are we self-absorbed?  It is easy to make fun of cats for this sort of behavior but a bit more pointed when the author implies that this humor is equally ridiculous in human beings as it would be in cats, which encourages a reply that is more complicated than simply laughing at cats, but also reflecting on our own humanity and what it means.  The ability that some readers (myself included) will have in empathizing with these animals and their purported poems comes from our understanding of ourselves and our ability to see what we are like in the eyes of others.  Those who cannot see cat behavior as relevant to human behavior are likely not to look at this book or seek to understand it anyway, and so such people are likely to miss the serious point of all of this comedy.

[1] See, for example:

https://edgeinducedcohesion.blog/2018/05/04/book-review-how-to-take-over-teh-wurld/

https://edgeinducedcohesion.blog/2018/05/04/book-review-teh-itteh-bitteh-book-of-kittehs/

https://edgeinducedcohesion.blog/2018/06/27/book-review-breaking-cat-news/

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

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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