Monday, December 9, 2013

GUEST BLOGGER--Truman the cat

GUEST BLOGGER—Today we welcome a guest blogger, Truman the Barone Cat. 

Thanks for having me. I'm shy. I know a lot of bloggers like you have guest writers, but you've seldom done that before. It took you a long time to convince me to do this, goes--

Humans don't think like cats. I can't tell you how cats think. It would be like trying to explain life on an unknown planet.

What humans do is they put their own thoughts in cat's minds. I've been told they even have a name for that kind of thing, but I never bothered to remember it.

So Shirley Rosseau Murphy fakes it in Cat Telling Tales. She puts her own thoughts in her talking cat character Joe Grey's mind. That doesn't bother me too much (though she gets a lot of it wrong). Shirley loves cats and knows so much about cats. She promotes things like trapping feral cats, vaccinating and neutering them, and releasing them. She even has a caring vet who traps and releases feral cats.

She explains the difference between feral cats and house pets tossed into the world. Sometimes our owners can't afford us any longer. They have lost jobs or are in the process of losing their houses. They just let us go.

I know how terrible that is. I got out once, at my other home.

I came from a loving family who adopted me when I came up to their door. You don't know how desperate I would have to be to go up to a human's door. I'm a tortoise shell-colored cat. Tourtise shell-color is tri-colored. Tourties are female. (I sent a picture so you could see what I look like.)

The vet explained to my owners (They were too dense to know themselves) that Tourties are shy and hiding. Kit in Shirley's book is a Tourtie.

For the first few months after I came to my second new house, I hid under the bed and only came out at night to eat.

I do things on impulse. I'm an indoor-only cat. At my other home, I escaped, shot out the door unexpectedly, and ran away for two weeks. My family had been looking for someone to adopt me because one family member had become allergic to cat hair. When I found my way back, I gobbled food. You could put two day's worth of food in the bowl, and I would eat it all at once. I ate like a cat who didn't know where her next meal was coming from. But that's over now. I know loving human families regularly feed their cats, in my case dry food they get from the vet. It's not so bad.

So Shirley Rosseau knows and loves cats. That makes her my kind of human even if she doesn't really speak my language.

One other thing—You might wonder about my name. Humans aren't very good at telling the sex of kittens. When I showed up at my former home, they thought I was male. Being a black, red, and gold Tourtie, they named me after Missouri University’s mascot Truman the tiger. Later when the vet told them I was a female they just kept the name.

That means I have a great heritage. My namesake was named after a certain president many people still admire. So no matter how little my people understand me, they still love me and want me to have an important name.

I know you want to know about this story, but I needed to talk about the important stuff first.

The story is a good one. Rosseau fills the book with wonderful cat characters. There's the main character Joe Grey, and Joe's girlfriend the library cat. She is Dulcie.

I already told you about Kit. There are also two out-of-town cats, Misto and Pan.

The good-character humans are pretty good too. They all love animals—cats, horses, dogs.

Someone kills a homeless old lady apparently lying drunk in her shack. She has been raising her grandson. He is an illegitimate child of one of her daughters. 

(SPEICAL NOTE: “Illegitimate” is a human word. We cats don't have that concept. If you let us, we can have hundreds—maybe thousands-- of children and grandchildren over several years, and we aren't (what do you call it? Magnanimous?). 

The old lady's death leads to all kinds of other stories. There is a real estate scam. There is a problem with methamphetamine production in our tourist town Molena Point, California. There are two homeless women (one living in her car). And there is a lot more.

I wish the book had been shorter. Shirley gets to describing things. She goes on and on. I have to confess, I skimmed some of those parts. But otherwise, I liked the book, especially the cats.

So that's all I have to say except...well...maybe my owner Joe Barone puts words in my mouth too. Maybe he's like almost all the other humans I've known. I remember the word now. Anthropomorphic. 

Anthropomorphic is putting your thoughts in some animal's mind. Kind of egocentric, isn't it? But maybe Joe does that sometimes. Of course, he wouldn't do that for the world in a blog like this. This blog represents my own cat point of view in my own words. I swear it does.

Thanks for having me. You might invite me again if you want me to review another good book like Shirley Rousseau Murphy's Cat Telling Tales.

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