Every once in a great while a book comes along and makes you want to stick the barrel of a gun into your mouth.
WHAT: Dancing with Cats HOW MUCH: $16.95 WHERE: Garden-variety, left-leaning bookstoreI’m struggling to find the words. Groping and bumping my head against a thousand walls. How, exactly, can I relay just how disturbing Dancing with Cats truly is? For instance, I was planning to use that as my first sentence: Dancing with Cats is truly the most disturbing book I’ve laid eyes on….but nah, still doesn’t convey it.I guess I’ll just back up and explain the book’s premise. I’m going to rely heavily on the book’s own text here, because, honestly I still don’t have a fuckin’ clue as to what the authors were trying to do here. So, let me re-print a snippet from the inside leaf .Ahem….
”While researching their ground-breaking book, Why Cats Paint, Burton Silver and Heather Busch discovered another phenomenon that seemed to merit further investigation—people who dance with their cats. Or, more accurately, cats who dance with their people. All around the world today, people are rediscovering the ancient practice of cat dancing, tapping into this remarkable method of channeling feline energy… A brave leap forward in the history of human-feline relations, Dancing with Cats will have you and your cat jumping for joy—and cutting a rug—in no time.”
Point Number One: There is no world-wide trend of cat dancing. If there was, the nightly news would play reels of it non-stop. We’d never see another shark or pitbull attack again. No more coverage of the war in Iraq. There’d be no Brad Pitt-just-knocked-up-Angelina Jolie coverage. Just lots of manx and tabbies fox trotting into TV eternity. If Ted Turner and the combined satanic forces of NBC, ABC and CBS haven’t already fabricated this story, it simply doesn’t exist. Seriously.
Point Number Two: There is no such thing as “the history of human-feline relations”. There is no relationship with a cat—if by the word “relationship” we mean a give and take between two partners who either care for each other or provide one another with services. Here’s the deal: cats are the Ike Turners of the animal kingdom. They use you for food and shelter. They ride on your coat tails. They don’t love or even like you. Yes, cat owners, try hard to construe certain actions as signs of affection, but the same cat owners invariably come into work every other week with a gash on their face or arm, blubbering “I must have done something wrong. I was cuddling with Mr. Paws and suddenly he got up and flayed open my cheek. Now I have tetanus and the doctor is going to have to cut off half of my jaw. I’m so worried about Mr. Paws! Why did I have to anger him? Why didn’t I give him more space?” Something along those lines. Cats don’t love people. They are just biding their time. Eating your food, fucking the neighbors Siamese, spraying your favorite couch because, shit, why the hell not? It’s not like they care about you. The moment you grow weak, they’re on top of you. Eating you alive. I’m dead serious here. True story: In Buffalo they brought a woman into the hospital whose toes had been nibbled clean off by her four cats. The old lady suffered some kind of stroke while on the crapper and sat there for two days, with her pants around her ankles and her cats gnawing on her feet. It wasn’t like it took a month for the cats to turn on her—we’re talking about less than 48 friggin’ hours! Think about it. You may take my ranting as just pure cat-hating rhetoric. While it’s true that I’m a fan of dogs, it’s not that I actually hate cats. I just respect the fact that they’ve never allowed themselves to become entirely domesticated. They’re basically small versions of mountain lions. If they could take you down, they would. Minus the opportunity, they’ll just eat your food and destroy your house. I’ve got in-laws like that. I don’t hate them for it; I just don’t invite them to live with me. Know what I mean?