Home Arts Everybody wants to be a cat

Everybody wants to be a cat

by The Concordian November 8, 2011
Everybody wants to be a cat

A cat getting into trouble is nothing new. It’s a (cat) fact. But what is refreshing is experiencingthe life of a feline exactly as you would want to. In Sherwin Tjia’s You Are a Cat!, this ‘pick-a-plot’ novel (reminiscent of the choose-your-own-adventure book craze in the ’80s and ‘90s) allows readers to truly see what cats see and lets them go wherever their domesticated hearts desire.
Want to chase that pesky squirrel in the backyard? Or would you prefer taking a nap in thesunlight? How about following the man – an alcoholic – you live with around the house? If youthink a cat’s life is dull and uneventful, this book will prove otherwise.
I started my nine lives by jumping from one tree branch to another, trying to catch a squirrel. I quickly failed and came crashing down to the ground. I didn’t land on my feet but the nice girl Ilive with came to my rescue. The girl brought me inside and I found my way upstairs in searchfor the perfect spot for an early morning snooze. My name is Holden Catfield.
Later, my cat curiosity led me to the top of a bookshelf where I spied on the woman who lives with me. She was sitting in front of the computer screen as I watched her slowly lick her fingers and – Hey! I’m a cat! I didn’t know what she was doing but I know she does it often. I went back in search of the girl and found her making dinner. I then followed her to her room where she sat on her bed and cried.
Though a cat’s life may seem redundant, Montreal-based artist Tjia delves into the idea of people confiding their innermost problems to their pets. Talking to a cat, in this case, can be a release and assures us that we will not be judged no matter how twisted our thoughts. It comes as no surprise that some rather dark material is covered in this fluffy work of fiction, but that makes you want to not only continue reading but to pick it up over and over again.
The illustrations, drawn by Tjia, are nothing short of dramatic and give a unique cat’s eye view of the world.
There are dozens of cat-ventures to experience and You Are a Cat! purr-fectly places readers in any situation a cat could possibly get into (and the possibilities are endless!) Each experience is personalized and something new awaits you every time you re-read the novel. There aren’t many things better than a book that practically re-invents itself every time it’s opened. Save maybe for cat nip.

You Are a Cat! is being launched at Drawn & Quarterly (211 Bernard St. W.) on Nov. 10 at 7 p.m. For more information, check out www.drawnandquarterly.com.

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