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.
Paul Gallico had some sort of otherworldly (for a human) affinity for cats – he also wrote Thomasina, the Cat Who Thought She was God, which was made into an enchanting Disney film called The Three Lives of Thomasina, back in the early 1960s. We have a copy on DVD, and it’s one of the few films I will sit almost all the way through (you know how hard it is for a kitty to sit still for long periods of time!).
We’re putting it on our wish list!
P.S. If you liked “The Silent Miaow”, you might like “The Abandoned” also by Paul Gallico (he was a sportswriter who loved animals) Our human really liked it – it made her cry, but it’s a good book.
Sweet Praline says
Thanks for the review. Mom needs to get this book and soon!
Oh Sparkle thank you so much for the excellent review. I’m so pleased you enjoyed it. A cat of your calipurr is hard to impress.
PS I told Mom we should have a table of contents!
That sounds like a really good book! We’ll have to get mommy to get it for us and we’re still waiting on her getting your book for us too.
Eric and Flynn says
We have got Fin’s book too and we think it is great.
The Island Cats says
We got Fin’s book too…and mom started reading it to us. But she’s been busy the last few days and hasn’t read any to us lately. We can’t wait for her to read more!!! We love Fin!
Sniffie and the Florida Furkids says
Great review!! We have to steal Mom’s credit card and buy a copy!
Sniffie and the Florida Furkids
Siouxsie, Thomas and Dahlia says
Sounds like we’re going to have to walk back and forth in front of Mama while she’s trying to work on the computer … until she gets the hint that we want a copy!
I agree, that it is a very good book. I enjoyed it a lot especially since Fin can be very funny. It is well written and a great read. Good review.
Terrific review! I am still learning how to do that. tee hee
Huffle Mawson says
My favourite story was the training of the Infidel. I don’t think I have laughed so much in years.
I’m embarrassed to say that we haven’t gotten a copy of Fin’s book yet……I think we’ll have to take care of that detail.