Book Reviews,  Humor

Book Review: How to Train Your Human

How to Train Your Human: A Cat's GuideHow to Train Your Human: A Cat’s Guide by Babas
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I’ve been owned by a formidable Russian Blue for a dozen years now, so you can imagine my shock at finding out that the cats have a guide to domesticating us! It’s impressive enough that one can control an entire household; just imagine what power the entire species must have over so much of humanity. Er, sorry, apes. We’re apes to them.

How to Train Your Human was originally published in Italian in 2022, but has now been translated into English, presumably for the countless numbers of cats residing with English-speaking humans. A side note – the translator, Katherine Gregor, has always wanted to translate a book. She’s also an animal lover, so of course the cats found it very easy to sway her towards joining in their nefarious work towards world domination.

The Guide speaks of humans in both snooty and affectionate terms. It alternates between referring to us as obsessed creatures who are addicted to Things (a disease known as thingitis), and praising us for our ability to be trained into suitable companion-servants.

Most of the book is lighthearted and whimsical, but it is probably not a good choice for younger readers. At times it does focus on the darker side of the feline experience, such as what veterinarians are and precisely what they usually do to a cat’s nether regions. The cats, of course, have strong opinions on these topics.

Scattered throughout the Guide are lovely illustrations of cats, created by artist Andrea Ferolla. They are minimalist, consisting of a few curved brushstrokes that perfectly capture the cat’s attitudes. I wish there were more of them included, but I quite enjoyed the ones that were.

This is a quick read, I finished it in two short sittings. The book’s brevity is very convenient as it won’t take you away for too long from your duties as a cat companion. We have so much to do every day, don’t we?

I give this Guide four paws up. I’m only human, so of course I have to rebel a bit. Also, I really do wish there had been more illustrations.

My thanks to Babas, HarperVia, and NetGalley for allowing me to read a digital advance review copy of this book. This review is my honest and unbiased opinion.

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Lori Alden Holuta lives between the cornfields of Mid-Michigan, where she grows vegetables and herbs when she’s not writing, editing, or playing games with a cat named Chives.

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