By Fin and Meg S. Hart
You can have your “bad cats,” cats with stuff on them and “cheeszburger” cats — I’ll take a memoir any day. A good non-celebrity memoir creates a bond between author and reader. It offers a window through which readers can share, and identify with, the author’s most intimate and revealing moments. The memoir shows up only rarely in feline literature; the last notable effort was The Silent Miaow, by a mid-last century kitty named Cica and translated by Paul Gallico. Now we have a new memoirist in our midst — Fin, from the blog Housecat Confidential. At the age of 15, Fin is a good age to sit down and write a memoir — she has a lot to look back on, but she is still active enough to reap the rewards that come with a successful release, and this is a book with a well-deserved reputation that has already spread throughout the Cat Blogosphere. Housecat Confidential, the book, is down-to-earth, honest and even a bit juicy in parts (yes, I’m specifically referring to the “Mousey” chapter). Like many cats, Fin’s life had somewhat murky beginnings, but brightened considerably once she found a good human family. Of course, there were some kinks that needed to be worked out (human training, the temporary appearance of a creature known as the Infidel, etc.). Along the way, Fin also dishes up fun tidbits that both cats and humans will find enlightening: the various meows and their meanings, pet peeves, and The Secret of Life.
Reading this book is like sitting down and sharing a sun patch with a good friend. Fin is wise, but never preachy. She always keeps it real. My only complaint? I would have loved there to be a table of contents… but then, maybe there aren’t many cats like me, who like to flip back and re-read favorite chapters (“A Day in the Life” immediately comes to mind). That is a minor quibble, however, for a book that is a fine feline summer read.