Tuesday, December 13, 2005

BOOKS: We Cats May Be Cryptic, but We're Not Morons

(Today's book review is provided by guest blogger Puck, age 14-and-a-1/2.)

From time to time, I can't help paying attention to the books that the large hyoo-mans read to the small hyoo-man.

Not normally, as I find most of them puerile beyond all belief. The one about the rabbit who does nothing but say goodnight in tedious detail to every object in the room? You've got to be kidding me. And the one about the cat who wears that ridiculous hat and proceeds to cut a swathe of destruction through the house? Well, that's just plain insulting.

But my ears perked up (well, one ear, anyway) when I heard the biggest hyoo-man start to read about a cat named Mog and what I'm assuming was Mog's first Christmas. Great, I thought to myself, how will cats' intelligence or ethics be maligned in this no-doubt intellectually stultifying tome?

I didn't have to wait long for the answer.
One day Mog woke up and nothing was right in her house.
Fair enough. We've all been there. For me, it started five years ago when the hyoo-mans brought that big, stupid, shaggy asshole into our house, so I can relate.
Everybody was busy.
Debbie was busy.
Nicky was busy.
Mr. and Mrs. Thomas were busy.
Yeah, well. That can be annoying, granted. But if they're all stupid enough to be busy when they could just as easily choose to, say, lie on the heat register, that's their nevermind.
And there were too many people in the house.
There was a jolly uncle
...and two aunts on tippy-toe.
I gotta sympathize with Mog there. Not much pisses me off more than a houseful of peo-- wait a minute. What the christ? "Two aunts on tippy-toe"? What kind of freaky-deaky shit is that?
Mog thought, "I don't like it here."
She went and sat outside on the window-sill.
There was nothing to do and no one to play with, so after a while she went back to sleep.
See, here's where Mog starts to go wrong. Sure, going back to sleep is always an option I like to explore, but if she's already outside on the window-sill, why not play a few rounds of a little game I like to call I'd Like to Go Outside, No Wait a Sec, I'd Like to Come Inside, No Actually I Think I Want to Go Outside Again. Even if your heart isn't 100 percent into the game, it's important training to remind the hyoo-mans that relentless scratching on the windowpane is their cue to open the door. Make sure not to hurry to the door too quickly when it opens. You have your dignity to maintain. In fact, it's never a bad idea to stop halfway across the threshold and attend to an itch on your back, just to remind the hyoo-mans of whose timetable we're all on.
Suddenly she woke up.
She saw something.
It was a tree.
It was a tree walking.

Mog thought, "Trees don't walk. Trees should stay in one place. Once trees start walking about anything might happen."

She ran up the side of the house in case the tree should come and get her.
This is where the story totally falls apart. I've met some stupid cats in my time. In fact, I live with a dim-witted specimen who breathes new life into the expression "dumber than a sack of hair," and even she knows better than to run in terror from what's obviously just a stupid Christmas tree.

Here's what's wrong with Christmas trees:

Needles everywhere that stick to your fur and prick your feet... check.
Weird-tasting water in dish at the base... check.
Getting in trouble when you climb them... check.

But to my knowledge a Christmas tree has never gone on a murderous feline-targeted rampage. Though maybe one has. I don't know. I don't read the papers.

Now, I'm on to you hyoo-mans and your penchant for telling stories through the "naive gaze" of animals, aliens, and Faulknerian idiot man-children. I get that it helps you see afresh all the hypocrisy and weirdness in the world. You've even given it a fancy name: Russian formalism. Fine, sure, whatever. Do what you've got to do to reconcile yourself to your tiny place in your meaningless universe. Just leave us cats out of it.

Now, if you'll excuse me, I have to go lick the butter dish.

Author photo by hyoo-man #2


Mike said...

After abandoning Elizabeth Kostova's The Historian (Really, Elizabeth? It took you 600+ pages for that?), I'm even more aware of intentional author photos.(Elizabeth appears to be luxuriously stretched out on a divan.)

I love that Puck has chosen to pose next to both Aristotle and Plato.

Tammy said...

Well, he likes to cover his bases. Or, as he's always going around saying, "The sign of the advanced mind is its ability to hold two opposing thoughts simultaneously." I don't know where he gets these crazy ideas.

He much prefers the ancients to more contemporary thinkers. He flies into a rage if he enters a room and even suspects you've been talking about John Stuart Mill. We had to give away our copy of On Liberty because Puck said that either it went or he went. "Greatest good for the greatest number"? Puck prefers "Greatest good for Puck." All cats are, de facto, opposed to utilitarian ethics.

landismom said...

DG, you are my hero. Funniest. Post. Ever.