“Most of the time she’s sleeping in an empty cardboard box or mashing her head on a plastic bag, and usually a book only gets her attention if it has a shiny cover and casts a reflection on the wall.”
I really tried to get my cat, Minky, to help with this. It’s about her, after all. But she wouldn’t participate because she doesn’t like most people, and she doesn’t like most books. Most of the time she’s sleeping in an empty cardboard box or mashing her head on a plastic bag, and usually a book only gets her attention if it has a shiny cover and casts a reflection on the wall. So all we have to go on are the few times she’s decided to share her opinion with us.
Minky loves Julio Cortázar; she feels his strangeness reflects the nonsense of the world. She loves Jenny Diski’s casual, searing insight. We think she likes Thomas McGuane and Lorrie Moore because we’ve caught her sleeping on top of their books. And she told us once that the ending of Tristes Tropiques (that human beings might grasp “the essence of what it was and continues to be… in the brief glance, heavy with patience, serenity and mutual forgiveness, that, through some involuntary understanding, one can sometimes exchange with a cat”), though it sounds pretty, is flawed and totally one-sided as it does not consider the cat’s perspective.
When I asked her if she could elaborate and help us understand the cat’s perspective, she tried to bite me.
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Gabe Habash is the author of Stephen Florida (Coffee House Press). You can find him on Twitter at @gabehabash.