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How to Be Your Own Cat

What is the difference between you and a cat?  If you have to ask, you’re not a cat.  And so this book—agile and quick, mysterious, surprising and sly as any cat—is not for you.  It is for the cat that you are, the cat that you can be.

Of course you want to be your own cat.  If you were your cat, you’d know that you’d always wanted to be your cat.  But each of the cat’s nine lives is lived in nine dimensions and so this book is an introduction to feline physics, a mouser grimoire, a grimalkin guide, a siamese travelogue, a numinous catalogue of the non-Cartesian, a Manx how-to, a tabby joke book of recipes and kitten lore for the aspiring puss or tom, domestic ocelot, jaguar or lynx.

Yes, perhaps by now it is clear why you want to be your own cat.  In this book, the erudite Professor Oddfellow, already always part shimmering and inscrutable cat, explains how.  The only question, now, is when?


“A great deal of fun!”  —Dr. Larry Hass, philosopher

“Purring with happiness!”  —Abigail McBride, magician

“It’s commonly known that you can be your own best friend or your own worst enemy.  It”s even well established that you can be your own grandpa.  But it takes a Professor Oddfellow to teach you How to Be Your Own Cat—and isn’t it about time?”  Jonathan Caws-Elwitt, author of You Call This Hospitality?!

“What fun!  And what confusion!  I have a bias against responding to a cat as a human.  And against responding to a human as a cat.  I guess that I assume that both of these approaches are one-way deals.  But I now suspect that they must always be two-way deals.  Neither creature can go it alone.  Each needs the other in order to become the other.  Who knows my inner cat better than Max?  And who knows Max’s inner human than I?  So the two deals become one deal.  This leads to spiritual silliness beyond the Martin Buber ‘I and Thou’ relationship.  And maybe it is even more honest.  To meet the other is to become the other as well as remaining oneself.  Empathy is not just walking on the shoes of the other, but borrowing the feet as well.  Well, I guess the Buddha is not only that meditative frog on the lotus, but the cat basking in the sun in crazy positions.  Or to rephrase some metaphysical positions as well, the ground of the cat and the ground of the human are one.  This is sunny basking.  Let the sun grant us fun.”  —Robert Neale, author of The Magic Mirror

“A charming and subversively ‘innocent’ book that delightfully combines pro-feline sentiments and self-awareness.  For those who have become jaded by decades of ‘visualization techniques’, shifting the perspective to ‘cat consciousness’ is both ingenious and refreshing.”  —Ken Clinger, recording artist

“I don’t particularly like cats, but after reading this book, I want to be one for myself.  Now that’s a magical accomplishment!”  —Gordon Meyer, author of Smart Home Hacks

“Well-thought and whimsically delivered, How to Be Your Own Cat by Professor Oddfellow puts you in touch with your inner feline.  Along with carefully chosen, classic illustrations, this guide is reminiscent of an early 18th century manual.  Each passage is a contemplation that is a door to a Zen practice.  While we are reminded of our baser animal selves, we are also reminded of the Zen nature of our being.  Our feline friends remind us of our true essence and stillness.  A delightful book that reflects on our spiritual core in a playful, catlike way.”  —David Manley, puppeteer

“This is paws-down best cat book ever ... because it’s not cutesy.  Though obviously playful in tone, the tips are actually serious, and they honestly DO work!  This book goes straight to the heart of what makes a cat tick, allowing anyone to genuinely become his or her own feline.”  —Donna Clark

“I have carefully read this manual and can attest that every single exercise is spiritually correct and—when performed correctly—is guaranteed to be productive of its intended result.  Every fact is punctiliously, empirically, ergonomically anchored.  Every illustration has that inner vibration one would expect of any mandala of higher truth.  Your results may (gloriously) vary.”  —William Keckler, author of Sanskrit of the Body

“As someone from astrological feline sign I can say that I identify with many elements of this book.  It was a wonderful read and I look forward to keeping it by my bedside to have it on hand.”  —A., chef

“Whether you’re allergic to dander, or residential regulations prohibit pets, or your lifestyle doesn’t allow for responsible care of vulnerable creatures, the simplest answer is to be your own cat.  I wondered if the claim of ‘instant results’ could possibly be true, but you become your own cat during the very first exercise you perform.  You can do the steps in any order you wish.  I skipped around, and the results weren’t adversely affected.  There were lots of good laughs along the way, and I thoroughly enjoyed it.”  —Cassandra Farley, Univ. of Florida

Copyright © 2020 Craig Conley