How to Live with a Neurotic Cat


How to Live with a Neurotic Cat

By Stephen Baker
Illustrations by Jackie Geyer

Gramercy Books, imprint of Random House, 1985

“And then God created a furry lump which for lack of a better name He called the Cat. He looked at His creation and shook His head. It wasn’t exactly what He had in mind….With no a moment to spare upon its arrival on earth, the cat curled up and went {back} to sleep.”

Chapter 1 – What Makes a Cat Neurotic? Why, humans, of course! Funny chapter – I laughed out loud at the descriptions of a cat and a human sleeping in bed; my favorite is this:
“6:02 a.m. – Owner shoves cat off the bed. Cat bounces back like a rubber ball, landing smack on owner’s face.”
Oh, and this one:
“6:40 p.m. – Owner sits down in his easy chair to read the evening paper. Cat parks himself across the center spread;
6:41 P.M. – Owner pushes cat off;
6:42 p.m. – Cat jumps back;
6:43 p.m. – Owner pushes cat off;
6:44 p.m. – Cat jumps back;
6:45 p.m. – Owner pushes cat off and moves to couch hoping for a chance to read his paper.
6:46 p.m. – Cat follows him and jumps in his lap
6:47 p.m. – Owner pushes cat off.
6:48 p.m. – Cat jumps back, tearing paper in half.”

Is it any wonder we are neurotic?

Chapter 2 – Keeping Your Neurotic Cat Amused – the playthings that our humans by for us are not what we really want – “Of all the toys available, none is better designed that the owner himself. A large multipurpose plaything, its parts can be made to move in almost any direction. It comes completely assembled and it makes a sound when you jump on it.”

Chapter 3 – Training the Neurotic Cat – Among the many ways to train us most involve food and play to our strengths. In this chapter are training techniques for “come,” “sit,” “stay” and so on. Here’s one of my favorites:
“Step one: Pick up your cat.
Step two: lift cat gently over obstacle. Say “Jump, cat.”
Step three: Put cat down.”

Chapter 4 – Sleeping Habits of the Neurotic Cat – Here are some helpful hints for your cat:
-Don’t waste your time shoving your cat off the bed. He will return anyway.
-Most beds sleep up to six cats. Ten cats without the owner.
-Try not to snore and disturb the cat.
-Beds designed for pets are alright for dogs or human infants. Cats require real beds.
And finally, on the average, cats need 24 hours of sleep a day. Some need more than that.

Chapter 5 – How to Feed the Neurotic Cat – Humans and cats have very different ideas of what to feed the fascinating feline. According to the author, a human’s idea of a cat’s menu is: Kibbles, Water. AS IF! Here is the cat’s idea: Squid Sashimi; Crabmeat Mousse with Beluga Caviar; Salmon Soufflé; Tuna Fish Sherbet; Stuffed Baby Quail with Crayfish Tails; Foie Gras Truffles with Crème Fraiche. Yes, that is definitely more like it!

Chapter 6 – Grooming the Neurotic Cat – Baths are the ultimate confrontation between Man and Cat, according to the author. Here are the steps to accomplish this:
“Step 1 – Put on a strong waterproof apron or a wet suit complete with face mace, or if available, armor.
Step 2 – Fill about half the sink with water. Cat will fill up rest of space.
Step 3 – Take a deep breath.
Step 4 – Now go and look for cat.
Step 5 – Find cat.
Step 6 – Take cat to sink.
Step 7 – Now wash cat. Try keeping him in the sink for several minutes. Wash all parts: (1) face, (2) paws, (3) tail. You will need soap; use it before he eats it.
Step 8 – Should your cat pry himself loose, don’t give up. Track him down. Just follow the wet pawmarks.
Step 9 – Ignore his objections and dry him vigorously.
Step 10 – Take care of your injuries.”

Chapter 7 – Your Dog and the Neurotic Cat – Some suggestions for those unfortunate felines who must live with a dog (which I, unlike my other fellow feline reviewers, am free from) here are some tidbits from the author:
• Dogs often pretend they are beside themselves with joy at being noticed by their masters. Cats find such unabashed displays of emotion beneath their dignity.
• In trying to look good, a dog ends up making a fool of himself. He does what is expected of him and becomes a yes-dog in the process. There are no yes-cats
• If your home is not big enough for both your dog and your cat, you have two choices. Get rid of the dog. Or move into a bigger home.

Chapter 8 – How to Analyze Your Neurotic Cat at Home – Instructions on how to give therapy to your crazy cat at home. Usually the causes are you the human, a dog, maybe another cat or the food you feed the cat. There are also different tests to administer, like Depth Perception, Reflex Reaction (which involves stepping on your cat’s tail – I DO NOT recommend this one!), and Alterness test.

Chapter 9 – Can the Neurotic Cat Be Cured? – No.

Rating 4 paws out of 5 for being really funny, well illustrated and written with a definite feline bias. I loved it!

jack 12 25 14Reviewer: Jack

 Stephen Baker

  4584290 3684932

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