Saturday, September 21, 2013

REVIEW & KITTY STUFF: A CAT CALLED DOG by Jem Vanston

Title: A Cat Called Dog
Author: Jem Vanston
Publisher: Troubador
Publication Date: July 1, 2013
Genres: MG, Humor
Reviewed by: Books4Tomorrow
Source: NetGalley
My rating: 5/5

SUMMARY

Dog is a cat - the only problem is he doesn't behave like one. Instead he wags his tail, sticks out his tongue and yaps in a manner distinctly puppyish. Something has to be done; the pride of cats is at stake!

Against his better instincts, George, an old ginger tom, decides to take on the enormous task of teaching the confused kitten how to behave like a proper cat. In the company of the cheeky Eric, the mysterious and exotic Francois and the elegant Miss Fifi, George commences his teaching of the cat curriculum, including lessons on the feline 'Holy Trinity': eating, sleeping and washing. 

But things do not go smoothly. Maybe Dog will find it impossible to change and unlearn all his bad habits?



REVIEW

There’s no use cutting off your tail to spite your bottom.

I read this entire short novel with my mouth set in a permanent smile. I bet I looked like a freak, grinning like the village idiot; but trust me when I tell you it’s nearly impossible to read this cute little story without smiling the whole time or laughing out loud at the snark and puns so generously sprinkled throughout A Cat Called Dog. The title alone had me grinning!

Two things I noticed right away. The first is that it’s very much written in the fashion of Roald Dahl’s books, and secondly, for some strange reason I had Neil Gaiman narrating the story for me in my head. Go figure!

A cat must behave like a cat, not like a dog-it is the way things are. And the way to achieve a change, and to help this kitten become a cat, is education.

Being un-heducated never done me no ‘arm, muttered Eric.

That’s a matter of opinion,said George-rather cattily, Dog thought.

The characters each have their own distinct personalities, quirks and traits, and easily made their way into my heart. From George the sophisticated old ginger tom, Francois the well-traveled, refined tabby with a French accent, Eric the “un-heducated” stray, to a she-cat called Fifi. With their personalities at opposite ends of the spectrum, the laughs just kept coming. And, of course, the star of the show: Dog – a little kitten-cat who wags his tail when he’s happy, pokes his tongue out puppy-fashion, and whose brave is much bigger than he is. Together, this ragtag group of felines sets about to save the day, and in the process become the best of friends.

A Cat Called Dog is a delightfully charming read suitable for both cat- and dog lovers of all ages. It also makes for a wonderful bedtime story for younger readers. For the novice cat-person, this book can serve as a guide jam-packed with interesting cat facts and tidbits, albeit in the form of an entertaining story. I highly recommend this novel for anyone looking for an uplifting read that will brighten up their day and leave them with a different perspective on people (or two-legs, as humans are referred to in this little gem) and life in general, through the eyes of a feline. Though the story itself merits a four-star rating only, the author’s knowledge of cat behavior ups the aforementioned rating to a well-deserved five stars, which makes this a definite must-read!



This review forms part of my three-month participation in the NetGalley Knockout Challenge for 2013.


 PURCHASE LINKS


MY FAVORITE CAT QUOTES

Because I’m a cat person through and through, I want to share a few of my favorite feline quotes. Plus, I added in some LOLcat pics because…well…because I can. :)

This particular image speaks to me. :)



Of all God’s creatures, there is only one that cannot be made slave of the lash. That one is the cat. If man could be crossed with the cat it would improve the man, but it would deteriorate the cat.
- Mark Twain

I have studied many philosophers and many cats. The wisdom of cats is infinitely superior.
- Hippolyte Taine

Everything I know I learned from my cat: When you’re hungry, eat. When you’re tired, nap in a sunbeam. When you go to the vets, pee on your owner.
- Gary Smith

When I play with my cat, how do I know that she is not passing time with me rather than I with her?
- Montaigne

Thousands of years ago, cats were worshipped as gods. Cats have never forgotten this.
- Anonymous



Thank you to CatQuotes.com for these awesome quotes! More can be found on their website here.


KITTY TIDBITS

Did you know?

When well taken care of, a cat can live twenty or more years.

A cat cannot see directly under its nose, which is why a cat cannot seem to find tidbits on the floor.

Most cats have no eyelashes.

Cat “kneading” behavior is left over from kittenhood when they kneaded their mother’s belly for milk. The “marching” or “kneading” means that the cat is happy.

Nearly 10% of a cat’s bones are in its tail.

A cat spends nearly 30% of its life, grooming itself.

A cat can recognize its owner’s footsteps from hundreds of feet away.

More of these interesting kitty tidbits can be found here.



1 comment:

Alisa Kepner said...

I so have to read this.