Monday, 26 August 2013

Review: Lost Cat by Caroline Paul, Illustrated by Wendy MacNaughton

At the risk of getting kicked off the internet, I have a confession to make: I'm not a cat person. I mean, they're cute and all, and I'm sure they make great pets... for other people. But I prefer the loyal adoration of dogs over the hot-and-cold independence of cats. That's just me.

What drew me to Lost Cat was the possibility of finding out what pets do when their owners aren't around. In humorous, touching anecdotes and adorable and clever illustrations, Lost Cat reveals how the author, Caroline, dealt with the disappearance and reappearance of her cat and the feelings of loss, betrayal and hope that went along with it. It also explores her depression as a result of an injury and also her grief over another type of loss. It sounds like heavy stuff, and there are some very sad moments, but more than anything it's a funny, heartwarming tale. I think this comes down to the first-person, conversational language. Caroline isn't afraid to poke fun of herself and her outrageous behaviour - like using spycams and GPS to track her "cheating" cat. Her affection for her little family is also incredibly clear, and the feelings of betrayal at the disappearance of her cat, the grief over the loss of another, and the ultimate acceptance that a cat's gotta do what a cat's gotta do, are beautifully rendered.

Lost Cat is a quick and enjoyable read, and the illustrations, drawn by Caroline's partner Wendy, really enhance the story. I liked Wendy's inclusion in the story - she wasn't a cat person, either - until Caroline converted her. I'm still not quite converted into wanting to actually own a cat, but I was nevertheless affected by this story. A pet is a pet at the end of the day, and no matter what animal it is, the love and affection you feel for them is the same. They are with us for such a short period of time and it makes you think WHY DO WE DO THIS TO OURSELVES - until you remember that they create more awesomeness in 10 years than some people create in 100. That, more than anything, is what Lost Cat is about.

Rating: 3.5/5

Fine Print
Published: 2013, Bloomsbury
Source: Netgalley
Get It: Book Depository

And now for a cat gif party, because reasons...

OK, I may be a little bit converted.


  1. Hee, those gifs are adorable! One of mine still paws like the one giving the other a massage :)

    This sounds like such a lovely, sad, and hopeful story, Belle! And I'm glad you gave it a go despite not being a cat person.

    I promise that when you own a cat, their affection for you is unlimited and they defo will seek you out and want to be with you, but they are different from dogs (as I type this I have 2 cats on my lap and the third beside me :))

    1. How cute! Your cats sound lovely. I was so scared you'd hate me forever when I admitted to not being a cat person. ;)

  2. I've always been a dog person, personally but I can see the appeal of this book. I think you said it best, regardless of what type of pet person you are, the love that we hold for our pets remains the same --- limitless. And that's a storyline I can always get down with.

    FYI: Since you're a dog person, you should check out "Things Your Dog Doesn't Want You To Know," it's a funny anectdotal tale about dogs.

    1. Oooh that sounds fun, I'll have to check it out.

  3. Oh man, cute overload.

    I wasn't a cat person AT ALL. I was allergic to some, and I just preferred dogs. But apartment-living isn't really ideal for dogs and eventually I just wanted something to love on and cuddle, so we got our cat Gabby and SHE IS THE BEST. Like, I'm totally converted now. She's easier to take care of, and she basically acts like a dog anyways - she meets us at the door when we come home, and she follows us around room-to-room because she just likes to be near us. It's adorable.

    I do still want dogs, too. When we get a house. But yeah, I think some cats can totally win you over ;-)

    OH and adding this to my TBR now. I've been debating whether or not to get one of those GPS things put in Gabby...

    1. Oh wow! If I ever own a cat I'm sure I'll be converted. I think my problem is we had feral cats in our neighbourhood when I was a teen and they'd get into fights and spray everywhere. I'm sure a pet cat would be nice though.