A Guest Literature Post By My Cat

Those of you who are Facebook friends of mine know that I post a short video most mornings of my cat Misty (above) taking his daily leashed/harnessed walk on the grounds of my garden-apartment complex. Misty’s strolling expeditions have helped make him a very smart cat, and now he’s asking to take over my literature blog for this week. So, here goes…

“After my human read the latest Jack Reacher novel last week, I read it, too, and let me tell you the impressive Reacher clearly has more than nine lives after again surviving many fights. That book — The Sentinel — is the first of the 20-plus Reacher novels co-written by Lee Child’s brother Andrew Child, and it was interesting to see how it differed from Lee’s solo efforts. Jack seems more talkative, and there aren’t any of the romantic interludes found in many other Reacher books, but The Sentinel is certainly still satisfying. (< That’s a-litter-ation.) The novel does lack cats, but, heck, even Margaret Atwood’s Cat’s Eye isn’t feline-focused – and there isn’t an ophthalmologist in…ahem…sight.

“I’ve also read Of Human Bondage, which I figured would have something to say about the small subset of humans who put harnesses on their cats for outdoor walks. But, no-o-o, W. Somerset Maugham’s novel was about a guy who wanted to become a doctor — not a veterinary doctor! — while finding himself embarrassedly enamored with an abrasive waitress who didn’t even serve Fussie Cat wet food to her restaurant patrons.

“Jane Austen? Her decision to write Persuasion rather than Purrsuasion is troubling, but it’s more believable for humans rather than cats to get married at the end of a novel. The expectation is that Austen’s more appealing humans will live ‘happily ever after,’ which is not always the case when one coughs up hairballs.

“I’ve read All Quiet on the Western Front, too, and found it rang true until things got noisy on the western front of my apartment complex. Now I’m having doubts about the believability of Erich Maria Remarque’s book title, even though I myself created the western-front-of-my-apartment-complex noise by pawing around a dumpster.

Steppenwolf? Well, I did see a fox step in (my line of vision). I Hesse-d…um…hissed at it.

“When not spotting foxes, deer, squirrels, chipmunks, and birds during my walks, I like to munch on grass. Ironweed was a problem until I decided to use it as floss. Thanks, William Kennedy.

“The titles of A Tale of Two Cities and The Tale of Genji both misspell “tail,” but Charles Dickens and Murasaki Shikibu didn’t have the benefit of online dictionaries. I’m amazed that Shikibu’s novel was written a thousand years ago — that’s almost as long as it’s been since I was last fed. Or maybe it just seems that way; I was actually fed about five minutes ago.

“Windows are like TV for cats, which is why I’m always happy when novels are turned into TV miniseries. Alex Haley’s Roots, L.M. Montgomery’s Anne of Green Gables, George Eliot’s Daniel Deronda, Marcel Proust’s In Search of Lost Garfield the Lasagna-Loving Cartoon Cat

“My human is telling me that the Proust title I just cited doesn’t exist, but you gotta admit lasagna is a more substantial meal than madeleines.

“I will now step off my human’s laptop keyboard and let a bunch of monkeys try to write a Shakespeare sonnet. Bananas are on the house.”

Misty’s musings were a bit disjointed, but…

My literary-trivia book is described and can be purchased here: Fascinating Facts About Famous Fiction Authors and the Greatest Novels of All Time.

In addition to this weekly blog, I write the 2003-started/award-winning “Montclairvoyant” topical-humor column for Baristanet.com. The latest piece — in which school buildings (the brick-and-cement structures themselves) talk about when they should reopen during COVID — is here.

139 thoughts on “A Guest Literature Post By My Cat

  1. Okay Misty, I just finished reading The Sentinel, okay I am more like you truely tech challanged.

    Reacher is more chatty, playing more of a mind game and all in Nashville ?
    Ha….lived in Nashville for 8 years and who knew ?

    So Dave, I have to flip the pages again to understand the book better, for now closed the book as Jack just left town .
    Where ?
    We shall find out in October.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thank you, bebe! Great that you finished “The Sentinel”! I definitely agree that Reacher was more talkative — and nice that there was that connection with a city you lived in for eight years (about seven years and 11 months longer than Jack stays in most places. 🙂 ).

      Liked by 1 person

      • Wish he’d made more of his time in Nashvegas!

        As JD Hackensacker III said so memorably in Preston Sturges’ 1940 movie “The Palm Beach Story”:

        “That’s one of the tragedies of this life – that the men who are most in need of a beating up are always enormous.”

        Reacher might have, given his own size, fought locally against this tragedy with both fists!

        Come to think of it, the setting could be anywhere…but then, I am unfamiliar with everywhere and its inhabitants, but I grew up in Music City.

        Liked by 1 person

        • Thank you, jhNY! Reacher spent a lot more time in a small Tennessee town than in Nashville in “The Sentinel.” Would have been nice to have had more scenes in Music City. Must have been an interesting place for you to have grown up in! I haven’t been there, though I’ve visited Memphis (for a few days) and Knoxville (briefly).

          Like

  2. Ah Dave, You played with Misty for me!
    It’s good to know that your cat has read only a few books I haven’t. Yes, I admit that I too, was disappointed that there were no cats in a Cat’s Eye. None that I remember, anyway, mostly I remember camping and trees.
    When I realized there was not going to be any actual bondage in Of Human Bondage, I stopped reading it, so I get Misty’s annoyance!
    I did read Steppenwolf, many years ago. I seem to remember thinking it should have been titled Steppencat.
    Now there would be a book a cat could be cool with!
    I really enjoyed this post, Misty. I want you to know I am a cat person, 100%. So, I picked out some mewsic for you! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lJXLqAutql4x

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Apropos of cats, and the recent blizzard, now settling in, and in piles–
    I just read a comment on another blog site:

    ‘My new neighbors adopted a dark grey kitten they named Snowball. They’re from Chicago.’

    Liked by 1 person

  4. After reading TS Eliot’s The Naming of Cats, my cats (Scraggly and Peppercorn) were very curious (but of course) why I didn’t give them 3 names at which point I reminded them I did, though I wasn’t as strict as Eliot re: the rules ergo Kitty Kitty Kitty was the best I could do. In addition, I’m somewhat embarrassed to admit that their reading tastes are rather sophomoric.They much prefer Catzilla books to the classics *sigh* Thanks for a lovely post Misty. xo, Susi

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Misty has excellent taste in literature, Dave. Some of my favourite books have been mentioned here. Anne of Green Gables was one I read several times, but I can’t cite it as a favourite, because I have so many favourites. I wonder if Misty is familiar with Der Struwwelpeter (“shock-headed Peter” or “Shaggy Peter”) by Heinrich Hoffmann. I loved my copy as a girl and bought this for my own boys. I found this really creepy YouTube video of The Dreadful Story About Harriet and the Matches ORIGINAL HD

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Misty, though she has gathered plaudits here for her readerly and writerly ways, is but the latest feline to master reading and writing. The earliest book by a cat that I know was authored by ETA Hoffmann, The Life and Opinions of the Tomcat Murr”, written around 1820.
    Murr lived with a philosopher and after some time stretching out over dusty tomes, began to take peeks at the interiors, and eventually taught himself to read. Writing soon followed (though the mechanics of how he managed it now escape me), and naturally, given the magnificence of his accomplishments, an autobiography was the inevitable result.

    At the printer’s, an unfortunate mix-up of pages caused Murr’s great work to become mingled with the manuscript of a man, Johannes Kreisler, who was music and entertainments master for a tiny German principality. The result is is a humorous, provocative yet engaging mish-mash in two volumes, so popular among his readers that Hoffmann planned to write a third. But then, his own tomcat Murr, inspiration for the books, died, and Hoffmann abandoned the project. It was his last novel, and as a piece of experimental fiction, predates post-modernism.

    Today, Hoffmann is best known as the author of the story “Nutcracker and the Mouse King”, which inspired Tchaikovsky’s ballet.

    …..My own favorite all-time cat writer is Krazy.

    Liked by 2 people

  7. Misty, you’re a natural with this. My cats Kitty and Sgt. Stubby read your reviews and they completely agree. Their favorite book is “a Tale of Two Cats,” and they live it out every day. Sometimes calm enough, but most days dramatically… 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thank you, M.B.! Yes, cats are often dramatic, and we wouldn’t want it any other way. 🙂 And I love the Sgt. Stubby name — both in of itself and because it reflects your interest in and writing about military history!

      Liked by 1 person

      • He got the name because he only has a little stub tail – the people at the shelter told us a coyote got him! Poor little guy – so we gave him the name after the famous military mascot to boost his confidence 🙂 And while he’s still a little skittish, he’s doing much better these days.

        Liked by 1 person

  8. Hey, David, how about you’re cajoling Misty, whose knowledge of literature and seemingly all the authors in the limelight, into having a look-see at my humble poetry scratchings for an opinion and possible helpful council…? For our two cats, Zoey and Zak are as yet too young and far too busy, literally flying around our home chasing each other or looking for mice in this century plus, plus year old house full of hiding places. Thus so for sitting around reading a good book as does Misty, to offer helpful advice to their slaving benefactors, seemingly at their constant beckon-call. Did indeed enjoy your article, and by such a well versed personality!

    Liked by 3 people

    • Thank you, Jean-Jacques! I thoroughly enjoyed your great/funny comment. 🙂 Given that Misty seems more interested in novels than poetry, I’ll take another look at your blog for him.

      It sounds like your cats are living the good life! One reason we started giving Misty outdoor walks was because we’re in a modest-size apartment and he was getting bored. Now he’s virtually king of the whole apartment-complex grounds. 🙂

      Liked by 2 people

  9. Knowing that cats have a penchant for world domination I’m concerned that this take over of your blog will only lead to something more sinister. As an employee of my cat, Edward, I try and limit his reading material, although I saw the other day he had a copy of ‘Where the Wild Things Are.’ I’ve had to hide ‘Master and Margarita’…I don’t want him being influenced by Behemoth! Who knows how that might turn out??

    Liked by 3 people

    • LOL, Sarah! That’s an absolutely hilarious comment! 😂 Well done!

      Misty is not one of those driven, ambitious cats seeking world domination. He’s content with national domination, or maybe all of North America…

      “The Master and Margarita” is a truly amazing novel!

      Liked by 2 people

      • I think you’re fairly lucky he’s chosen to limit his sights! In an ill-advised moment I chose to name Edward for a pirate, and not just any old pirate, but Blackbeard! Edward hasn’t quite discovered the seven seas just yet, but we are moving to the coast shortly…so watch those shores!

        ‘The Master and Margarita’ is excellent! It reminds me of a holiday a few years ago in Italy – reading this, whilst overlooking the town of Sorrento with Vesuvius in the distance.

        Liked by 2 people

        • Ha ha, Sarah! 😂 Being named for a famous pirate can indeed go to a cat’s head. I hope he doesn’t wear a (not-necessary) patch over one eye…

          “The Master and Margarita” evokes all sorts of things! Glad it evokes amazing Italian memories for you!

          Liked by 2 people

    • It may cheer your Edward to know that the author of “Master and Margarita”, Mikhail Bulgakov, also wrote “Heart of a Dog”, concerning a freezing, homeless canine, first rescued, then enmeshed in the ambitions and scientific diabolisms of a gifted surgeon, who makes a human out of him, until the man who was once dog becomes tediously and vehemently political, at which point he is returned to lowly dog status, the social experiment having gone awry. Any cat knows that a dog’s life, even with a brief human intermission, is not a life worth living.

      Liked by 2 people

  10. My opinion is that your dear Misty really does us all extremely well, because it makes us laugh and think!
    We have always had cats, but the last one was really highly efficient in bringing home all the rats it caught, so that in the morning when we got up there was always some prey to appraise! I can’t just think of any stories where cat’s are fighting with rats, but Hemingway’s “The old man and the Sea” comes to my mind, where the old fisherman fights with a big fish and that story still touches me.
    Have a good day, dear Misty, and thany thanks for having entertaines me so well:) Martina

    Liked by 3 people

  11. Dear Misty, you have been a great inspiration to me. You have the strategic mindset of Sun Tzu ( you and I know that it was his cat that gave him his ideas), the charm and wit of Puss in Boots, and the cunning of the cat in the Town Musicians of Bremen. I knew it was only a matter of time before you had your own column. I look forward to more words of wisdom from the “paw” of Misty….

    Liked by 7 people

  12. Dear Misty,

    I can’t tell you how much I needed this chuckle today. And I’m so glad to see that your human got you reading one of my favourite books Of Human Bondage. I’m sorry there were no cat harnesses in it though.

    If you write any future blogs, or do any interviews, can you please let us all know why there is so much joy in knocking things off tables? I’ve had a go at it a few times myself but it just seems to make a mess. Though, I guess I don’t have a human to clean it all up for me. Maybe that’s where the fun lies?

    Thanks, Misty. I hope your human lets you onto the keyboard again in the future ❤

    Sue

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you, Sue! Loved your comedic comment! 😂

      Re W. Somerset Maugham, he did write a late-career novel titled “Catalina” — perhaps a peace offering to felines? 😉

      Cats knocking stuff off tables is indeed an interesting phenomenon, though it has some uses: I once saw a brief video clip on Facebook of a cat knocking a Trump figurine off a table with a majestic swipe…

      Like

  13. Misty is in the catbird seat this week in your blog! If he decides on watching a play, “Cat On A Hot Tin Roof ” film version with Paul Newman and Elizabeth Taylor is recommended. Misty does not need catnip with his in depth book knowledge,no other tripping needed, the light fantastic is through the written word,a good saucer of milk and a cat nap.🐱

    Liked by 3 people

    • LOL, Michele! 😂 Great, very funny comment. 🙂 Thank you! There’s actually a tin-like “roof” (at ground level) atop a stairwell in my apartment complex that Misty has frequently walked on. That “roof” is rather cold at the moment, though.

      Liked by 2 people

  14. Dearest Misty, I was heartily glad to see you never made any comment on how To Kill A Mocking Bird, did not actually contain any tips, as I have seen memes along these lines and how boring that book is to the average cat. Of course I can see you are anything but. Which is why you never mentioned the Tale of Tom Kitten, as let’s face it obviously Tom Kitten has one. As for Jemima Puddleduck and co well they would just look silly.

    Liked by 3 people

  15. Dave, you simply MUST read this fantasy novel someday! It is written from the perspective of Fritty Tailchaser, the title character. I know I’ve mentioned it before.

    Liked by 3 people

  16. This was hilarious, Dave! Loved it, especially the puns 🙂 Thanks for letting Misty take over your blog today. And for the first time ever, I finally paid attention to the link for humor column. Can’t believe I’ve missed it all these times!

    Liked by 3 people

    • Thank you very much, Mary Jo! 🙂 Misty is so into writing now that he might put together a grocery list…

      And thank you for reading my latest weekly humor column! Mostly local, but I’m lucky to live in a town that never leaves me short of material.

      Liked by 2 people

  17. So Misty, you liked the chatty Jack Reacher eh ?
    I do agree it is a great book, I preferred Reacher chatty then going out to kill at random.
    I read more than half of the book hoping to finish this week.
    Too may distractions in life.

    Liked by 4 people

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