Drawn in by the title, when I ordered this book, I did so with the idea that it would be a cute cat picture book with some silly poems, ostensibly written by cats. I found much more than I expected among the poems, including kitty angst, subtle but sometimes nearly savage humor, sarcasm, and (almost) unconditional love. After reading this delightful book cover-to-cover (twice), I was astonished to discover from his Amazon Bio page that "I Could Pee on This" is the first book written by this award-winning writer.
I truly hope it is not his last.
How the Book is Organized
The book is dedicated to the memory of Boris and Natasha, two beloved cats whom Marciuliano considered family members. Kudos to him for that.
The author promises that by the time you've finished the book you will not only have a complete understanding of your cat's every thought, every action, but that you'll applaud him as a result. I would echo the same promise for the cannily complex mind of the author.
The author gives the usual acknowledgements and thanks to family members, friends, and the Chronicle folks who helped with the book. One point stood out: the fact that they let "Pee" remain in the title. No small concession for a publisher of family-friendly books.
But I confess, the title, along with the innocent looking young cat on the cover drew me into purchasing it - along with thousands of other readers. "Urinate" wouldn't have had the same effect, and the other "P" word is just plain offensive.
The reprint policy of the publisher is strict, and to be able to quote even a sentence from one of the poems would require a written request, then a wait of several weeks for (possible) permission. Therefore, it is necessary to hint broadly at some of the more humorous, provocative, or poignant bits of prose, in order to write a review of more than a paragraph or two.
Although I liked most of the poems a lot, there were several that produced un-ladylike guffaws or caused me to spurt my soft drink all over my shirt. Here's a sampling:
Have you ever had a cat leap or pounce from a great height or distance, and land squarely on your crotch with needle claws akimbo? I think you get my drift.
This cat is royally P O'd because he came back from the veterinarian with two treasured intimate parts missing! Ouch!
MY LIFE IS RUINED
Most of us have posted humorous stories and photos of our cats on Facebook, Google +, or other social media. You know, one of those sweet or tender moments cats and their humans share. Well, this cat is hurt and angry. He suggests nis human get a good lawyer, and demands an agent for himself.
THIS. WILL. NEVER. END.
A guy has been fired from his job. Why? Because he brought out a feather wand and now he and his cat are destined to spend Eternity playing with it. (They really are addictive, at least to the cats.)
I COULD PEE ON THIS
A word or two about the title poem. The poem describes various items the cat could pee on with reasons expressing the cat's angst because of various humans' neglect or outright rejection of him. One might conclude that cats pee out of the box primarily out of anger, or to "get back" at their humans for slights, imagined or not. I think differently, but I won't go into that here.
The truth is, I wouldn't change a word of the poem. It is a perfect flagship poem for a purrfectly delightful book.