Wednesday, October 30, 2013

A Cat Called Dog - Jem Vanston

I received this book from the publishers in exchange for an honest review.


Dog is a cat – the only problem is that he doesn't behave like one! Instead he wags his tail, sticks out his tongue and yaps in a manner which is distinctly puppyish. Something has to be done; the pride of cats is at stake!

Against his better instincts, George, an old ginger tom, reluctantly decides to take on the enormous task of teaching the confused kitten how to behave like a proper cat. In the company of the cheeky Eric, the mysterious and exotic François and the elegant Miss Fifi, George commences his teaching of the cat curriculum, including lessons on the feline 'Holy Trinity': eating, sleeping and washing. But things do not go smoothly. Maybe Dog will find it impossible to change and unlearn all his bad habits?

Favourite Lines

"And now we shall consider the purr - which falls, rather neatly into two distinct categories - the anticipatory purr and the thankful purr."

Dog had no idea whatsoever what 'anticipatory' meant, but thought it might have something  to do with ants, of the type that sometimes walk all over your fur and itch you when you're asleep.  This sounded very odd indeed and nothing much to do with purring.


*SQUEES* Oh the adorableness!!! I don't think I've ever read cuter, funnier story than this. 

A Cat Called Dog is a perfect book for all ages.  Literally.  It's perfect to read to your children who are old enough to have interest in being read chapter books (and they will laugh, and laugh, and laugh), it's perfect for children who are an intermediate level of reading, and it's perfect for adults.  It's like the best kid movies - kids think they are the BEST, and adults love all the subtle humor that goes over the kids' heads.

At first it only seems like entertaining reflections on cats (and their thoughts on humans).  Honestly that probably would have been enough to me because the fluffiness distracted me from other needs in a book.  But if you do need a plot - give this book time and you'll get a surprisingly action-packed storyline with plenty of crafty plotting on the cats' parts.

There's an ensemble cast, primarily of cats, and have I mentioned yet how much I love ensemble casts (oh I dunno...only  A BILLION TIMES).  There's Dog - a strange adolescent cat that has the mannerisms of a dog, George - a loveable old ginger tom who has decided to take Dog under his tutelage, and Eric - a hilarious stray, and Francois - a cat who has traveled all over the world.  These are the cats that make up the main cast.  They are joined by The Lady, who is George's two legs and who he absolutely adores, as well as The Man (who absolutely does NOT have The Lady's best interests at heart!)  Not only must the cats help teach Dog how to act like a cat, they must save The Lady from The Man's dastardly plans!

I think part of the reason I love this story so much is that I have a big ginger tom who I love very much, and in many ways resembles George.  When I was in high school, my mom adopted another rescue cat because she's always wanted a tuxedo cat, and he seemed like the perfect fit for us.  (I think she would probably recant that statement now, but he is a very sweet cat!  He's just ridiculously a bit skittish....and shaped like a bowling ball).  I am sure they took ages to get along, but I can't remember that bit very much.  They adore each other.

  Murphy, my ginger, grooms him every day.  They sleep curled up next to each other.   Wherever Murphy goes, Tristan goes.  (It's also why I think I am the only human being Tristan will come hang out with.  He gave up his vendetta against me because he finally acknowledged I was a worthy human for his elder brother).  And in this book, it was so easy to see Murphy in George and might be a stretch to imagine Tristan as Dog, but I can see the mentor relationship anyway.But sorry, I got on a personal tangent.

Here's why you should read this book:

1. It's adorable.
2.  It's about cats.
3.  It's very insightful about both cats and humans.
4.  It's hilarious.
5.  It's clever.
6.  YOU DON'T NEED A REASON, JUST GO READ IT.  Especially since the author mentioned in the intro that he would be interested in writing more books about the cats if interest was shown!  So go show interest!  I want more cat books!  (And if they aren't about Dog and George, you might break my heart, Mr. Jem Vanston)


  1. It took a week for Murphy and Tristan to bondish. Of course it took about that long to get Tristan out from under my bead as well :) Can you save this book for me? Sounds like fun.

  2. Unfortunately it's a book I got from the publishers...which I forgot to add to the post. *Goes to edit that right now...*

  3. Haha this book sounds absolutely delightful! I will definitely have to check it out, cat books are always fun :)

  4. Yeah I'm definitely biased towards cat books! I had a Christmas Carol books with all the words changed to cat inspired things....I still don't know the real words to most carols hahahahaha

  5. Awwwwww, I'm going to take your word on this, because I have a big ginger boy who I love very much. Also, I'm sort of obsessed with how awesome cats are, and I also love when a cat acts like a dog or a dog like a cat. Sold!

  6. I have to say, I'm not sure everyone would give it 5 stars, but I don't give a crap. IT'S FLUFFY AND ADORABLE. That's all it took to sell me haha


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