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Posted December 6, 2001
The Cat¿s Pajamas!
Cat lovers will treasure this book! The New Yorker¿s staff has created a second volume of cat cartoons by adding more recent cat cartoons since the first book came out as well as some older cartoons. As before, the 86 pages bristle with humor about our relationships to cats, a cat¿s eye on our world, and the usual switching of cats and people into each other¿s roles. To my taste, over half of the cartoons were outstanding, and all were good. Here are some of my favorites: Man visiting bare-chested yogi on a ledge outside a cave entrance is surrounded by cats. ¿The meaning of life is cats.¿ Sam Gross; Wall of books with signs above them ¿Travel, Science, History, Fiction, Cute Cats.¿ A well-dressed man is standing in front of Cute Cats holding a book with an illustration of a cat. Sidney Harris; ¿Dog Days¿ is the caption for a subway car filled with dogs looking hot, with their tongues hanging out, wearing disheveled suits. A lone cat in the middle is neatly dressed and is definitely the cool cat of the illustration. William Hamilton; Cat executive sits behind a large desk that covers an aquarium filled with very large fish. Bernard Sshoenbaum; Cat speaks to a bird in a tree. ¿Hey, let¿s do lunch.¿ Robert Mankoff; Man and woman in a restaurant find themselves staring at a cat sitting in the middle of their small table for two. The water explains, ¿We¿re out of flowers.¿ Danny Shanahan; Four panels of a man and woman. In the third panel, a cat walks through and both stop to beam happily at the cat. Joseph Farris; Cat with a television playing in the background is outside of a mouse hole. ¿Jeopardy is on.¿ Sam Gross; Lawyer has cat on shoulder and holds out an envelope to a dog. ¿We¿re slapping you with a stress suit . . . .¿ Danny Shanahan; Cat is driving a taxi cab and speaks to human passenger, ¿Yeah, I was into the pet thing for a while, but that scene wasn¿t for me.¿ Eldon Dedini; Cat holding a smoking gun as a dead bird lies outside the window, ¿What . . . was I supposed to do? I¿ve been declawed.¿ Frank Cotham; General arrives home and sees cat in the foyer, ¿As you were.¿ Mick Stevens; Cat to owner near cat door, ¿I¿m going out. Do you need any voles? Sam Gross; Fortune teller holding woman¿s hand, ¿A wonderful cat is coming into your life.¿ Edward Koren; Cat is bed waking up, while the alarm goes ¿Tweet, tweet, tweet, tweet.¿ Arnie Levin; Two dogs are looking at a cat walking by, ¿Are we talking about life style or orientation?¿ Peter Steiner. The book¿s weaknesses are two. First, it lacks an essay to tie together the humor and deepen your appreciation of it. So it¿s more like a scrapbook of cartoons than a book of cartoons. Second, the dog-cat humor was not nearly as good as in the first book of New Yorker cat cartoons. You would think that there would be an endless supply of outstanding work available . . . but I guess not. The positive aspect of the book is to realize how much better most of us relate to cats than to other people. Keeping that same wonderful cat relationship, how can you improve your human connections? How about bringing along a cat to enjoy with others? Love a cat today! Donald Mitchell, co-author of The 2,000 Percent Solution and The Irresistible Growth Enterprise
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