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Book Review: Cats with Attitude by Nicole Hollander

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“Cats always like what you’re eating better than what they’re eating,” says Nicole Hollander in her hilarious cat humor book, Cats With Attitude. This book is actually two books in one, as Hollander’s publisher decided to combine Everything Here is Mine and My Cat’s Not Fat, He’s Just Big-Boned in one edition.

What’s best about Hollander’s work is that it’s impossible to turn a page without bursting out in laughter. Cat owners can recognize many of the behaviors Hollander describes in their own cats. For example, Hollander describes how she tried to train her cat to use the toilet, instead of a litter box. It brought back memories of the time I purchased a kit designed for this purpose, a sort of seat one was instructed to line with plastic wrap and sprinkle with cat litter.

When my then-kitten didn’t quite respond, I placed calls to the technical support number listed in the instructions. At first, whoever answered the phone told me that the person I needed to speak to was out of the office. Many calls later they finally broke the news that the kit was a sort of gag gift, not to be taken seriously.

Hollander, apparently, had better luck. Yet she discounts this sort of training for one key reason: cats don’t flush. Worse, once trained they expect their own bathroom. Of course, all cat owners – especially owners lucky enough to have marble bathroom floors – know that cats are quick to appropriate this room as their own.

In my new apartment, I decided to take the master bathroom and designated a guest bath for the cat. Of course, the cat decided she liked the cool marble floor and elegant fixtures of the master bath, so we sort of had to tough it out. Hollander also has a chapter on cats and the law.

The fact that cats love luxury is a recurring (re-purring?) theme in this book – which every cat owner knows. Hollander states that in California, if one leaves a cat alone in a car that is neither a convertible nor a BMW, the owner may be liable for a heavy fine. How true!

A very funny section concerns the astrological signs of cats. A Gemini cat, for example, is “easily bored” and must be kept amused with toys or games else they get edgy and look for a new home. A Virgo cat is meticulous and critical. “Keep their litter ox clean or they’ll get even.”

All in all, Cats with Attitude is the perfect gift for a cat-loving friend, or a book to read whenever you feel down. Just one caveat! Don’t let your cat catch you reading this! They prefer to think that no one, least of all humor writers, are onto their secrets.

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