As a slightly cat-crazed librarian I couldn’t pass this book up. There have been an abundance of dog-related memoirs in the past however many years, so it was nice seeing one that focused on cats. Bob and his wife Linda live a unique life in Michigan. They don’t just have six cats, they have numerous birds, rabbits, ducks, geese, and (unwelcome) mice. There’s no question these two are animal lovers.
Bob takes us through what life is like in his world. We see how his life changes when it goes from a one-cat household to a six-cat household – somehow he and his wife become known as the people to call if a cat is about to be handed off to a shelter… they can’t bear the idea when they could just as easily accommodate another feline in the house. I can’t even imagine having 6 cats… (except I can – perhaps one day… ;))
As cats tend to do, the six cats that come to live with the Tartes (Agnes, Frannie, Moobie, Maynard, Tina, and Lucy) eventually find a way of “running” the household. We see the love and effort that goes into making sure the cats are well-fed and content. Even if that means making a giant litterbox out of two kiddie pools (a necessary project after one cat decides she only wants to pee OVER the rim of the litterbox). Or if it requires remembering not to pet a certain cat until they ask for it – if you decide YOU are in the mood to pet this cat, you’ll find yourself nursing a wound…
This was an enjoyable read because it’s clear how much Bob loves his cats. He sees his personality reflected in each of them and he respects them for the intelligent and loving (each in their own way) creatures they are. Yes, cats are very different from dogs. They require a different level of understanding. But if you take the time to get to know them, you’ll find they suck you in quickly. As I was reading I had to keep putting the book down to go squeeze my two cats. Not to mention there were a number of times I found myself laughing out loud at some of Bob’s descriptions.
P.S. If you want to see pictures of the cats featured in this memoir, go here 🙂