A review of “How to Tell if Your Cat is Plotting to Kill You” (3.5 out of 5 Stars)
By Ashley Parker –
The book “How to Tell if Your Cat is Plotting to Kill You” by comedy author Matthew Inman is humorous, but it tends to fall flat, making it not worth the $15 you may pay for a paperback copy at Hastings in town. It may be more entertaining for those who do not own cats and do not know how cats naturally interact with humans, since the entire middle section of the book seems to be based on things no feline would ever be caught doing. With this small drawback noted, there are some segments of the book that would leave any reader (even perhaps one who hates cats) at least giggling for the hour it may take to complete the illustration-laden piece of literature.
Inman includes an extremely lengthy comic series going through the week of what appear to be “business-cats.” Just the sheer length of the comic hints that it will be a flop, and it is. It goes on for far too long, portraying cats acting in manners that are not true to the nature of anyone’s pet. If something is going to be considered funny, it must be believable, and this comic is in no way believable. It insults cats, making them seem stupid and unable to act on intelligent thought. As the owner of my own furry feline friend, I have definitely seen evidence of the opposite. Humor with no real merit tends to not be funny.
On a positive note, most of the rest of the book will leave anyone laughing, since the remaining sections speak to the true nature of cats and their odd behaviors, attributing these behaviors to a desire to be dominant over humans (which most owners believe to be true). Most of the behaviors mentioned, such as your cat batting your nose in the middle of the night, are things that almost all cats make a habit of, and the author gives hilarious explanations for these natural activities, making the humor in these sections believable and therefore entertaining.
Overall, the book is a general success, but has its distinct drawbacks. For cat owners who are defensive of their cat’s behavior or do not enjoy humor that has no merit, this is not a book for you. It pokes fun at almost everything that cats do on a normal basis, and lots of things that cats would never do, and attributes those behaviors to completely outrageous causes, such as a desire to kill its owner or take over the world. If you enjoy speculating on your cat’s odd actions, such as running out of a room at top speed for no apparent reason, you will enjoy the blurbs of ”How to Tell if Your Cat is Plotting to Kill You.”