In between pumping out his countless Discworld novels, Terry Pratchett (may he rest in peace) also found time to pen this delightful little oddity. It’s more or less a novelty book, perfect to read in short bursts if, like me, you can’t eat breakfast without leafing through a book or staring at your mobile phone. You probably need to like British humour and cats to get the most out of it, but if you enjoy both or, better still, own a cat, you’ll be cackling like crazy in recognition while reading this gem.
Far too many people these days have grown used to boring, mass-produced cats, which may bounce with health and nourishing vitamins but aren’t a patch on the good old cats you used to get. The Campaign for Real Cats wants to change all that by helping people recognise Real cats when they see them. Hence this book.
The 2001 film adaptation with Renee Zellweger is one of my favorite romcoms, so when I spied the original novel on the book shelf at my Mum’s I decided to give it a go. With some reservations, as I’ve read a couple of other books my favourite chick flicks were based on, which turned out to be very disappointing. I ended up gulping down the book in a space of one evening, while waiting for the drying machine to finish its business, it was that readable. Like the movie, it chronicles a year in the life of Bridget, an adorably neurotic 30-something woman living in London, who obsesses over her weight and her rakish boss Daniel, and makes a New Year’s resolution to sort her life out. It’s written in the pronoun-skipping diary form and each entry begins with a daily tally of alcohol, cigarettes and calories (and occasionally coffee).
The only thing that’s better than a limerick is a cat limerick!
There once were two cats of Kilkenny, Each thought there was one cat too many. So they fought and they fit, And they scratched and they bit, Till, excepting their nails And the tips of their tails, Instead of two cats, there weren’t any.
I’ve just re-read The Collected Dorothy Parker. To be honest I prefer her short stories over her poems, partially because poetry is such a particular form I find I need to concentrate much more in order to take it in. Especially with the poetry written in my second language. But she sure wrote some sharp poems and her sarcastic/cynical wit is totally up my alley.
In youth, it was a way I had To do my best to please, And change, with every passing lad, To suit his theories.
But now I know the things I know, And do the things I do; And if you do not like me so, To hell, my love, with you!
Being a recovering people-pleaser, this does resonate with me quite a bit.