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My Cat Spit McGee

My Cat Spit McGee

4.3 16
by Willie Morris

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With endearing humor and unabashed compassion, Willie Morris—a self-declared dog man and author of the classic paean to canine kind, My Dog Skip—reveals the irresistible story of his unlikely friendship with a cat. Forced to confront a lifetime of kitty-phobia when he marries a cat woman, Willie discovers that Spit McGee, a feisty kitten with one


With endearing humor and unabashed compassion, Willie Morris—a self-declared dog man and author of the classic paean to canine kind, My Dog Skip—reveals the irresistible story of his unlikely friendship with a cat. Forced to confront a lifetime of kitty-phobia when he marries a cat woman, Willie discovers that Spit McGee, a feisty kitten with one blue and one gold eye, is nothing like the foul felines that lurk in his nightmares.

For when Spit is just three weeks old he nearly dies, but is saved by Willie with a little help from Clinic Cat, which provides a blood transfusion. Spit is tied to Willie thereafter, and Willie grows devoted to a companion who won't fetch a stick, but whose wily charm and occasional crankiness conceal a fount of affection, loyalty, and a "rare and incredible intelligence." My Cat Spit McGee is one of the finest books ever written about a cat, and a moving and entertaining tribute to an enduring friendship.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Funny and endearing." —The Washington Post Book World

"[Willie Morris is] one of the most beloved writers of the modern South." —The New York Times

"Remarkably engaging. . . . Morris poignantly captures the deep, elusive kinship between man and kitty." —Entertainment Weekly

"In this lovely sequel to My Dog Skip, Morris shows that old dogs can learn new tricks." —Southern Living

Library Journal
Morris follows up his popular My Dog Skip with this paean to the one cat he came to love. Copyright 1999 Cahners Business Information.
Charles Winecoff
In this remarkably engaging sequel to My Dog Skip, the confirmed "cat misanthrope"—who died last August—recounts how he did a pet 180, thanks to his feline-loving wife (a.k.a. "Cat Woman") and Spit McGee, a white kitten with mismatched eyes...Morris poignantly captures the deep, elusive kinship between man and kitty.

Entertainment Weekly

Kirkus Reviews
The pleasurable confessions of a dog man gone ailurophile—that is, become a cat man—from Morris (The Ghosts of Medgar Evers, 1997, etc.).

Product Details

Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
Publication date:
Edition description:
First Vintage Books Edition
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
5.20(w) x 8.00(h) x 0.45(d)
Age Range:
14 - 18 Years

Read an Excerpt

I would be sitting in my chair at the house at Northside and Normandy and his habit was to approach the chair, position himself between my feet and look up longingly at me. Then he would climb my leg into my lap. A dozen or more times a night he would do this. That was when I started trying seriously to talk to him, as he sat in my lap on these evenings. I would talk to him about my dogs Skip and Pete, or what
I had done that day, or an Atlanta Braves game I was watching on TV, and he would stare at me, and blink his eyes, and make the incomprehensible movements of his tail and whiskers. This might suggest how radically far I had come, to be actually trying to converse with a kitten.

Then one night after playing outdoors, he did not come home. He was gone for several hours. I had read somewhere of the high mortality rates of kittens and young cats: killed by dogs, run over, lost far from home, wounded by sadistic Homo sapiens. We had purposefully decided to let him, as with his mother, Rivers Applewhite, go outdoors on his own, and now I was disturbed by that decision. He had almost died at birth, and then most certainly would have done so two weeks later had it not been for Clinic Cat, and this now was the third of a succession of traumas we would have with him over time. I walked from house to house in the neighborhood. I got in the car and roamed the vicinity looking for him. I remembered with lucid anathema how Skip had disappeared in Yazoo City, Mississippi, in 1944, and Pete in Oxford, Mississippi, in 1982, and I wanted none of that now. When I was getting down to writing about this, the Cat Woman reminded me of the episode in searing particulars: "You wouldn't speak to me. You told me it was my fault because I'd gotten you involved with a damned cat and you couldn't deal with him. You said you didn't begin to understand cats and were sick and tired of them. You closed yourself in your room. Just like anytime anything happened to one of our cats later on, you were nuts. And you, the cat hater! We'd given up on Spit. Late that night, we were crying and discussing all the details of his short little life."

And then, right in that instant, we heard a faint noise outside the front window. It sounded like meeow. I went to the window. And there was Spit McGee.

Meet the Author

Willie Morris died in 1999.

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My Cat Spit McGee 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 16 reviews.
petecrn More than 1 year ago
Just a fast comment here. I really liked this little book. It follows a confirmed dog man's journey into the wonderful adventure that comes from having a special cat in your life. Spit is a great cat of course. Just like many cats sitting in shelters now awaiting a forever home. A great book for confirmed cat lovers, and, those who for whatever reason, have chosen to stay away from these enriching, loving, partners on this planet. As fall approaches I say get this book and sit reading as cold nights fall, hopefully with a cat in your lap.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Spit McGee changes an all-time dog-lover-cat-hater into a dog-lover-cat-lover.
Guest More than 1 year ago
What a wonderful book! I highly recommend it for all animal lovers and potential animal lovers. It is a wonderful story about how a man did a complete turn about for love. This is a warm and affectionate story. So cuddle up with your little bundle of fur and settle in for a wonderful, transforming read.
Guest More than 1 year ago
A former Cat Hater myself, this book is delightful and a real page-turner. I read it in 4 hours and it reminded me of my old cats!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Made me laugh and cry A die hard dog person learns to respect a cat. Who is in charge.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Rogue: Hey! *Chases a cream spot on the end of her tail.* Storm: Hello. *Licks her paw delicately.*
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A very old shecat with orange, chestnut, mahogany, and black swirled long fur pads in. She is a Lynx Birman.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I did not enjoy this book very much. The reader is lead to believe that we're going to learn about how a avowed "dog man" learns to love a cat over time, but there's no transition whatsoever. He just goes from disliking cats because they aren't dogs, to loving cats. Although I will admit that the circumstance of his first experience with the title character is quite touching. But then, he goes quite rapidly to the other extreme, to having multiple cats, 9 altogether, as a result of never getting any of them spayed or neutered. The book is just not very well-written. He tries to write in a very matter-of-fact way, but his choices of words and references are quite pretentious, choosing little-used, archaic adjectives and nouns, when plain and simple ones would have worked much better. He also vacillates in references to his wife, usually calling her "The Cat Woman" and only rarely by her name Joanne or by "my wife." What's more his obsession with naming all of his cats for deceased relatives, complete with first and last names, which he almost always uses to reference them, is a bit much. Besides, encouraging breeding, he lets them roam free outside, in spite of the fact that sometimes they disappear for days on end, and Spit is even injured at one point. What's more, he seems to have not a clue with how the other cats will take to newcomers. As a result, some of the his cats just disappear because they are not getting the love they once got, since there's so less of it go around with 9 cats in the household. He claims to love these cats, but has little regard for what his actions do to these animals emotionally. Even in his reminiscences about his childhood dog, Skip, he relates that Skip also was allowed to roam about outside unleashed and he also disappeared for days on end. Has this man learned nothing about responsible pet-ownership? He also mentions that he wishes Spit could have been a father. As far as I know, male cats have nothing to do with their offspring after they've mated, except maybe to harm or kill them in some cases. And how does he know Spit didn't impregnate a female cat somewhere out there? It's not like Spit would have shown any evidence of it. Morris is forever giving human emotions and attributes to his cat, but any experienced cat lover knows that in spite of all the pleasure they provide us, cats are not really thinking much about what's on your mind. Chapter 10, the second to last chapter in which he dragged this poor cat on a leash all over the state of Mississippi to share his old haunts with the animal, is just so self-indulgent, maudlin and seemed endless, although it was only 26 pages. It was a chore to finish this book and had it not been such a short one of 141 pages, I probably wouldn't have bothered.
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Her fur bristled slifhtly. Its grayce to you.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Otis looked around and licked the grass. <br> Rikku padded around and looked for somebody to pet her. <br> Zan-Zan hid and slept.