The UHQ Nasanta reporting for duty, GR buddies! Transitioning slowly, one review at a time.
The Cat Did It; He Made Me Cry Review
3.5 - 4 stars
Narrated by Renée Raudman
I really liked this book. I fell in love with Homer from the moment of the vet's introduction, and fell even deeper in love with each story about Homer.
The author had a fluid and clear voice. I found many of her concerns relatable, and felt that I could empathize with her on many occasions. She did a great job describing each cat's personality, aided by injecting what she thought each cat was thinking at the time. While this particular style was cute and did help shape each cat's personalities, it did become a bit intrusive and annoying at times. It was clear how much love and affection the author had for her cats. I became so engrossed and invested in all three of her cats that I became anxious and tense for them whenever something bad happened, especially during 9/11. I also went hunting for more information about them on the author's website way before I even listened to the first half of the book.
The author also made it easy for me to visualize each scene, and adroitly conveyed the emotions she felt during that time. I found her desperation and anxiety particularly affecting as she described her efforts to rescue her cats from her apartment after 9/11. I shared her worry and anguish as I imagined how frightened her cats might have been as they waited in an empty apartment, and just as she started to cry, overcome with emotion as she tried to convince the military and cops to let her rescue her cats from her apartment, tears came to my own eyes. Her pet-sitter sounded absolutely wonderful and devoted to his clients.
This wasn't just a book about Homer, but also about how Homer had affected the author's life. Therefore, it didn't bother me to learn more about what was happening in the author's life as she tried to relate its impact on her cats, especially Homer's. However, I did think that the weakest part of the book was when the author started listing all the qualities which made her future husband the best of men. Even though she tried to be fair and list a couple of his flaws, the effect was weakened by her defense of his flaws. I wasn't particularly interested in hearing about what a great man this future husband was which made this particular section of the book seem longer than it probably was.
I would also have liked to have heard more about Vashti and Scarlett. Although the subject of the book was Homer and thus made sense that the focus was on him, I still kind of got the sense that poor Vashti and Scarlett did end up suffering a little from the attention-on-the-handicapped-sibling phenomenon and made me feel a little bad for them. This concern might have been alleviated a bit had the author described more about what she did to make sure that all three cats got equal amount of attention.
Finally, I sometimes find that it sounds a bit forced when authors try to tell a story and say, "Here's what I learned from it!" It sounded less forced in this book but these "lessons" did not sound completely natural either.
I thought that the narrator did a decent job. Her voice didn't sound especially polished or controlled but perhaps it just fairs poorly in comparison to Davina Porter, a narrator whom I had been listening to for the past month or so. The narration was just fair, nothing amazing. Her male voices were not particularly cringe-worthy but they weren't the greatest either. There was some voice-acting and some attempt at differentiating the voices.
At the end of this audiobook is a brief interview with the author and her husband. I think that this was a recording of a public interview. While I heard the author very clearly, her husband's voice was a bit muffled as if a bit farther away from the microphone. It was hard to hear him, especially at times when the two spoke over each other. The interview also ended suddenly which made me wonder whether that was all there was to it or whether it was just cut short. Having heard her lively voice, I wonder what it would be like to hear this story as narrated by the author.
The author mentioned that one of the things she hoped readers would take away from the book was that adopting a blind cat - even a black, blind cat - was ultimately doable and not as unsurmountable as people might think. Based on her own experiences it did seem so, and I too became interested in adopting a blind - or handicapped - cat. Perhaps one day, depending on how severe my cat allergies are....
I borrowed this audiobook from the library. I do want a copy of my own - print or audio, I have not yet decided. I am also interested in checking out Love Saves the Day, a novel in a cat's POV whose main character is based on Scarlett.