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BOOK REVIEW: "Men With Cats" by David Williams is purr-fect

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BOOK REVIEW: Men With Cats: Intimate Portraits of Feline Friendship by David Williams (Quirk Books) 2016

Mark Twain is quoted as saying: “When a man loves cats, I am his friend and comrade, without further introduction.

I tend to agree. Since becoming a “cat person” some decade or so ago, other cat fanciers I’ve met are fine folks. Mark Twain was right about that.

Let me start off by saying that I did not grow up with pets. Not really, anyway. We had a dog for a short while when I was 13, but gave it away when we moved. And later, when my parents got another dog, I had already headed off to college.

And for a number of years, before I was married, I was rarely around pets, other than friends with dogs. I just didn’t have the time it required to take care of a pet. And for the longest time I presumed I was a “dog person” because, well, it’s drilled into the minds of our “culture” that men tend to be "dog people" and women tend to be "cat people." But that notion is as dated as Crystal Pepsi.

But then I met Rosco. He was a big white and gray cat that belonged to my wife, and had belonged to my wife’s college pal before that. He was big enough that we called him – jokingly – a “teacup snow leopard.” It was Rosco who won me over in the cat department. He was “cool” and had a devil-may-care – typical for a cat, I learned – personality.

And while I like dogs, I love cats. I realized that I was a cat person. I liked being around them, although it wasn’t always clear if they liked being around me. But that didn’t matter. They were on their own schedule.

Sadly, Rosco got diabetes and died in early 2012. But other cats have come into my life, including a stray cat called Talisker and a black cat named Dalwhinnie. Yes, I love Scotch. We call them our “Scotch kitties.”

Anyway, as time progressed, I began buying cat magazines and learning more about my feline friends. And they continued to eat, sleep and hang around. I love ‘em for it!

So, while at a local book shop, I found a photo-centric hardbound book simply titled Men With Cats and subtitled Intimate Portraits of Feline Friendship. This was a book about different men around America who love their cats and have their pictures taken with them in their homes.

It’s a simple, coffee-table-styled book of an idea that works well. It reminds me of a book I’ve loved for years called Bumper Sticker Wisdom. A woman went around the country and photographed people standing by their cars and focusing on a particular bumper sticker on the back of their vehicle. It gives a little insight into the person – humor, political interests and so forth.

And so does Men With Cats. Book creator David Williams explains at the beginning of the book (complete with a photo of him and his cat Margot) explains how he had his own cat and ran into punk rock types with beards and tattoos – men who loved cats. He began photographing these men - some young and some older - and it led to the creation of this charming book.

Williams hopes that folks simply enjoy this simple book. A man and his cat. One of the men featured, Haley (along with his son Henry) puts it this way: “I consider myself a cat person, but I’ve never really known why. Maybe because I’m a Leo, I never really believed too much in that stuff.

I’m a Leo as well. Perhaps there is something to it …

Andrew Griffin, hanging out with Dalwhinnie, a black cat. (Photo by Shelly McInroe)

Oh, and Margot, David Williams’ cat? She was rescued after Hurricane Sandy hit New York. Williams also hopes more people will consider rescuing cats in need.

As Williams puts it: “(Margot) has helped me more fully understand the bond that we humans have with our pets. I would do anything for my cat, and I know that every guy in this book would, too.

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About the Author

Andrew W. Griffin

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Andrew W. Griffin received his Bachelor of Science in Journalism from...

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Red Dirt Report was launched July 4, 2007 as an independent news website covering all manner of news, culture, entertainment and lifestyle stories that affect and interest Oklahoma readers and readers outside of our state. Our mission is to educate, promote civic engagement and discourse on public policy, government and politics. Our experienced journalists provided balanced in-depth coverage of news stories that affect Oklahomans. Our opinion/editorial stories come from a wide range of political view points. We carry out our mission by reporting, writing, and posting news and information. read more

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