You’ve been warned…

Author:  Matthew Inman

how to tell if your cat is plotting to kill you cover (198x255)I’ve lived with cats my entire adult life, yet I still find that the feline mind is a thing of deep mystery.   While searching for answers, I came across How to Tell If Your Cat is Plotting to Kill You, a graphic work by Matthew Inman, creator of theoatmeal.com and author of 5 Very Good Reasons to Punch a Dolphin in the Mouth (and Other Useful Guides).

The book is loaded with all sorts of tips that will prove useful for any cat owner, including proper petting technique, correct interpretation of feline expressions and behaviors, even how to tell if your cat is a “raging homosexual”.  Until you’ve seen Inman’s depiction of a cat in rainbow thong you haven’t actually lived.

Sandwiched between advice on proper cat litter usage and analysis of cat ear positions is a graphic novella, entitled The Bobcats about a week in the life of two cats – both named Bob – who work at an advertising agency.   Whether they’re disrupting meetings by chasing the laser pointer or by lying on the conference table asking for a tummy rub, Bob and Bob are consistently hilarious in their efforts to cause turmoil at the office.  They also have fun on the weekends, drinking beer, watching football and torturing squirrels.

Eyes of death?

Eyes of death?

Inman does a fine job of exploring all the finer points of cat existence, relying on what is clearly extensive experience with the beasts.   From the incessant crotch licking and toilet paper antics to the vile reality of feline flatulence – a topic that rarely receives enough press – he covers it all.  While his writing is consistently funny, it’s really the outrageous graphics that I find most appealing.  Even with a simple computer based technique he’s able to convey the panoply of feline expression with remarkable precision and to great comic effect.

Unfortunately, I’m concerned that it may be perilous to recommend How to Tell If Your Cat is Plotting to Kill You.  While the potentially lifesaving advice that Inman provides may prove invaluable, I’m afraid that once your cat figures out why you’re laughing, his or her homicidal tendencies may become dangerously heightened.  One of them is actually looking over my shoulder right now and she doesn’t look very happy.  Overall, a very funny book about a deadly serious topic.  Be brave and always keep them guessing.

— D. Driftless

cat photo by Alvesgaspar

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