From queen cat lady Yasmine Surovec, this is a cuddly chapter book series about a cat in need of a pet human.
Oliver is an independent kitty. He has the run of his neighborhood and looks at his animal friends with their fussing humans with pity. But when a freckle-faced girl moves to town, Oliver sees the opportunity to train a human to provide him with a few creature comforts. And if he can help her adjust to her life and make a new friend, that's just all in a day's work. The real surprise comes, however, when Oliver needs Freckles just as much as she needs him. Not a comic book and not a traditional illustrated chapter book, My Pet Human is truly a hybrid of text and art that could only come from the whimsical and brilliant mind of Yasmine Surovec.
About the Author
Yasmine Surovec loves kitties. She is the artist behind the popular comic blog and book Cat vs. Human and the picture books I See Kitty and A Bed for Kitty. Originally from Manila, Philippines, she now lives in Phoenix, Arizona, with her husband and their puppy and three kitties.
Read an Excerpt
My Pet Human
By Yasmine Surovec
Roaring Brook PressCopyright © 2015 Yasmine Surovec
All rights reserved.
I'm a lucky cat. I live a carefree life.
This is my territory. I know these streets like the back of my paw. Lots of cats are tied down by staying with their pet humans, but not me. I'm my own cat, and the only one I have to look out for is myself. I wouldn't have it any other way.
All I have to do is follow a few rules to stay on easy street.
First, know the good places in town to eat. The supermarket has free samples, and the dumpster at the Chinese restaurant is full of leftovers too.
But the Twirling Fork is the best place to find grub: spaghetti and meatballs, pizza, roasted chicken ... all the good stuff!
I just wait at the back of the restaurant until I see someone take a break. It's usually one of the cooks or waiters.
Once he sees me, I give him "the Look."
It took me a while to master "the Look," but it's essential to getting what I want from humans. And let's just say, I always get what I want. I mean, who can resist this face? I'm adorable!
"The Look" doesn't seem to work on all humans.
See that truck right there patrolling the neighborhood? That's bad news right there. The man inside rides around town looking for cats and dogs. He traps them in little cages and takes them to the pound!
I've heard that in the pound, hundreds of cats and dogs in cages are crying and howling to get out.
I've never been there but I'd rather not find out the hard way if it's true. That's why the #1 rule of the street is STAY ALERT!
This leads to the next rule: always have a good hiding spot.
I like the tree across from the empty house on the corner. No one has lived there for ages. The tree is perfect for a cat like me.
My last rule for a happy, carefree life is to have a few trusty friends. This yellow house is my friend Ben's place. It's really big and fancy.
And this is Ben, aka Mr. Fluffypuffypaws. He's got a lot of pet humans.
He has to deal with them every day. Or until they go to bed. IF they go to bed.
In Ben's backyard is a sweet doghouse where Ben hangs out to get away from it all. It's also where I usually meet up with him and a couple of other friends.
Farrah lives with her pet human in that white glass box on top of the hill.
Her human spoils her and gives her whatever she wants.
And this is George. George lives with a little boy and his dad in a small apartment on the other side of town.
But unlike Ben's crazy kids, George's pet human is extremely quiet and shy. He's so shy that he locks himself in his bedroom most days to play video games.
Sometimes, my friends ask me why I don't get my own pet human. They just don't know how hard it would be to find one right for me!
My pet human would have to be perfect! He or she MUST:
1) Feed me LOTS of treats
2) Give me back rubs
3) Have plenty of boxes for me to play with
4) Be lots of fun
5) NOT smoosh me on the face, squeeze me too tightly, or pull my whiskers and tail
6) Let me sleep on his or her lap
7) Feed me a LOT!
8) Be a good and faithful companion
The perfect human just doesn't exist. They're crazy, aloof, moody, or high maintenace. I don't want to deal with that.
My friends just don't understand. I like living alone.
When they go back to their humans for the night, there's plenty I can do myself.
I can go to the Twirling Fork. I can find a tree to sleep in. I can —
Wait, where did he come from? Run!
Phew! I lost him. I have to be careful. No one is looking out for me except me.
I've had some close calls with the law, but I make sure I never get caught.
Sure, there are some benefits to having a pet human, like animal control would leave me alone. But no human can pin me down. I love my freedom way too much. I'm better off on my own.
Lost and Found
People are moving into the abandoned house. Maybe I should investigate.
I smell something awesome. My nose is telling me that the scent is coming from that house. I missed dinner last night and I'm starving!
Hm, I see a little human girl ... with a bowl of macaroni and cheese topped with TUNA! I must get my paws on that!
This is a challenge. Little humans tend to be a bit nutty.
But it's nothing I can't handle. Watch a master at work.
I pop in the window and settle by her feet.
Major charm is the trick to getting what I want.
Remember "the Look" I talked about earlier? It's time to unleash it.
The weepy, doe-eyed look gets me what I want almost every time.
It's kind of weird being ogled at while I'm eating, but I'm so hungry, I'll ignore her.
An older human comes into the room. Unlike the little human, she's a little bit more, um, unfriendly. But that's okay. I'll just gobble up this bowl of food and then I'm outta here.
I think it's time to go! I pretty much just stuck around for the grub.
Tuna? Olives? If she insists!
I don't think they understand that I'm not hanging around much longer. I just stopped by for tuna ...
... and this thing, whatever it is.
She definitely doesn't understand that I'm not staying or that no one's looking for me. In the meantime, I'll stick around and play with these boxes.
NOPE! This is not my idea of a good time!
Ick. I hate getting wet! Yeesh! Baths are the worst!
Humans and their baths ... I don't get it. This is not how I clean myself!
But I like these cozy boxes. I'll probably have time for a little cat nap before I go.
How to Train a Human
This human thinks that she can bribe me into staying forever with food.
And back rubs! Hmm ... some humans aren't as annoying as I'd thought.
Oh look, my friends are here!
Hi, Ben! Hi, Farrah! Hi, George!
Staying at the humans' house has been a blast, and it's not as bad as I'd imagined it would be. But I was glad to see my friends.
Ben and Farrah and George had lots of questions for me. They were kinda surprised that I was hanging out with some humans.
But I told them about the boxes ...
and the back scratches ...
and most importantly, the bowls of olives and tuna and mac 'n' cheese!
They still didn't get it.
Hm. Now I don't know what to do. Part of me is thinking that I shouldn't stay too long and warm up to these humans. I mean, I'm my own cat, and I don't need to be responsible for a pet human! But another part of me is saying this is a pretty sweet set-up.
Going about town looking for food can be tiring. Sure, humans are unpredictable, but what if ... I can train them? Now training a human to feed me all the treats that I want, I can see that happening.
I don't take off. I go inside instead.
I can definitely train this little human to be my pet. She already adores me.
How difficult can it be to give me treats on demand?
First, I try purring.
When that doesn't work, I try meowing. A lot.
Sometimes humans are kinda slow to get things.
When all else fails, I give her "the Look."
See? It works! And to reward her, I give her a head boop to show my appreciation.
And that is how to train a human. Persistence. Patience. And rewards for good behavior.
It's just that simple.
Now, if I'm going to stay here, I also need to train the mother human. While the little human is easy to train, the mom is a bit more ... challenging. Older humans tend to be set in their ways.
She's no fun at all.
She tends to bark orders.
And she gets annoyed easily.
But I can change all that! With a little time and patience, I can get any human to warm up. How? It's the simple gestures that make a big difference.
For example, I know the mother human likes it when I swish my tail against her face, especially when she's trying to read or getting ready for bed.
All humans like presents. I give her a present from my daily adventures as an expert domestic hunter. Humans, after all, make horrible hunters.
My most favorite animals to hunt are vicious snakes caught in the wild, like underneath the flower pot in the backyard.
I can tell she's excited by my present!
Or maybe not. Some humans are hard to please.
Lastly, remember how a cat's belly is irresistible to humans?
I've been told that my belly is soft as a fluffy cloud. No one can resist my magical belly. Not even grumpy humans.
See? It's easy to get humans to warm up. Like I said, it just takes a little time, a little effort, and a lot of smarts (which is something I have tons of).
In no time, I'll have these pet humans wrapped around my furry little paws. I've been staying here for several days, and I gotta admit, life has been good. I've got toys and treats and tuna and olives, and I don't even have to go scrounging around town to find them!
But of course my friends come over and check up on me. And they have a thing or two to say. "It's not always about you," Ben tells me.
But I don't have a pet human. I'm just hanging out here for a while until I figure out what I want to do. In the meantime, I have a little human I've trained to give me what I want.
I guess I'll get more tuna and olives and back scratches if the humans under my training are A-OK. It's just that as I've mentioned before, humans tend to be a bit moody.
Lately, all the little human does is sulk.
I have to fix her. Maybe my irresistible charm will do the trick!
I try purring loudly and rolling on the floor to show how cute I am. After all, the little human likes cute things.
I lend her my favorite toys.
I've been told that I have a beautiful voice, so I sing her a song.
I show her this funny-looking spider I found hanging on the window sill.
I mean, he's funny-looking!
I even bring her THIS AWESOME BOX! Who doesn't love a good ol' box?
I guess she doesn't.
When I'm feeling down, I go see Ben, Farrah, and George. They're good friends. They are always there for me.
Little human should have friends just like I do. Then she wouldn't be so sad.
That's my new plan. It isn't going to be easy, but I'm going to help her make a new friend!
I would ask Ben. He's got a whole bunch of little humans — maybe they could be her friends. But they're on vacation.
I'll ask Farrah. She's not usually around little humans, but she might have a helpful suggestion.
Excerpted from My Pet Human by Yasmine Surovec. Copyright © 2015 Yasmine Surovec. Excerpted by permission of Roaring Brook Press.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
Table of Contents
Chapter 1: Mr. Independent,
Chapter 2: Lost and Found,
Chapter 3: How to Train a Human,
Chapter 4: Operation Find-a-Friend,
Chapter 5: My Pet Human,
About the Author,
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
This story begins with an adorable stray cat! This little guy is so smart he's mastered THE LOOK. I loved the story. It's the perfect combination of words and pictures. I can't wait for My Pet Human Takes Center Stage! ~Torres I teach third grade, 8-9 year old students, they loved the story. It is currently the class favorite. It was such a lucky find! This story is PUURRRRRfect! ~Luis, 8 years old This book is terrific! ~Arthur G., 8 years old My favorite part in the story was when the girl hugged Ben and said, "I love you for ever and ever, amen!" ~Alexis, 9 years old
Shut. No one wants to hear you curse./:(