9.08.2009

Holy Mackinaw! It's a CATastrophe!

We spent Labor Day weekend at the Barton cabin. Since the cabin does not have TV or the internet, I usually make sure I bring a good book to keep me entertained while we're there. This weekend, however, in our rush to leave, I forgot. Of course there has been a stack of random novels on the fireplace mantle for years, including some Tom Clancy and a copy of Moby Dick. When I realized that I had forgotten to bring any reading material, I looked forward to a weekend of slogging through Moby Dick. However, upon our arrival, I was confronted with the awful truth: Moby was gone... along with all the other novels. Well, all of them except for The Cat Who Had 14 Tales by Lilian Jackson Braun. Left with no other choice, I cracked it open on Friday night and read the first sentence aloud to Dave:
"Phut Phat knew, at an early age, that humans were in inferior breed."
I quickly shut the book and we spent the rest of the evening playing UpWords. The next day, we went to Midway for Swiss Days. When we got back to the cabin, I was once again wishing for a book to read. So I decided to give 14 Tales another chance. In an effort to spread the joy and convince all of you to pick up your own copy of this delightful compilation of cat-themed stories, here is a brief synopsis of some of my favorites:

"Phut Phat Concentrates"

Cat witnesses a theft. Cat concentrates. Crime is solved.

"The Weekend of the Big Puddle"

Brash Americans inadvertently summon boorish ghost loggers. Loggers destroy 7-layer torte. Cat is blamed. Cat's reputation is forever tarnished.

"The Hero of Drummond Street"

Cat drools. Cat smells gas. Cat becomes hero. Drooling problem is addressed.

"The Dark One"

Man and cat have disagreement. Cat trips man. Man falls into ravine and dies.


"A Cat Named Conscience"

Cat makes man feel guilty. Man kills himself. Man's mistress kills cat.

"SuSu and the 8:30 Ghost"

Cat takes a shine to crazy man. Man mysteriously disappears. Cat sees man's ghost. Cat solves crazy man's murder.

"Stanley and Spook"

Evil witch midwife casts spell on human baby and cat. Baby and cat share souls. Cat later dies. Boy goes back to normal.

As you can see, this book is a veritable treasure-trove of fantastic feline fiction. So, if you are a fan of cats who star in ridiculously contrived stories, this is the book for you.

Next on my reading list:

5 comments:

Kristina Carter said...

whenever I hear situations like this I always want to know who saaw that at the book store and thought it was good enough to pay money for. Then I want to know what publisher heard the idea and thought, "Let's do it we'll get rich off this one."

Dave said...

My mom is the one that bought it. She said she just picked it up with a few other books at a used book store in an effort to stock the cabin with some reading material.

If she had known how thoroughly Kristen and I were going to mock it, I imagine she would have thought twice about her purchase. Our laughing was directly solely at the book and not her, so hopefully we didn't make her feel bad.

Hali said...

My mom LOVES these books, the author has actually written a whole bunch of the Cat who books. My mom has tried to get me to read them but alas I am grateful that I have not. Thanks Kristen! :)

Krissy said...

I wonder if the full-length novels are any better quality than the short story collection. I know I'm certainly not going to find out!

Ben said...

I just want you to know that my mom owns every last one of these books. Growing up, birthday presents for her were a snap; just by the next "Cat Who" book.