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How To Tell If Your Cat Is Plotting To Kill You

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The Oatmeal


Page 45 Review by Stephen

From the creator of the rip-roaringly funny 5 VERY GOOD REASONS TO PUNCH A DOLPHIN IN THE MOUTH, this does contain comics so I don’t feel like I’m selling out in quite the same blatant fashion. Even when that crime does spring to mind I remember we’ve made over a grand from those petulantly punched porpoise cousins, so who bloody cares?

Does your cat care, do you think? About you? Not really, they’re a species so self-centred they make my raging monomania look like benevolent altruism. It’s all me, me, me, now, now, now. Join up the dots for yourselves.

The best pages are when Matthew is thinking laterally rather than literally, like ‘If We Treated Our Cats Like They Treat Us’, the entire ‘Bobcats’ as office workers sequence and “Cats love reflecting surfaces: nature’s vending machine” whose punchline is purely visual. Guess you’ll just have to buy the book for that one.

A lot of this observational humour like cat-on-a-keyboard is spot-on accurate, but in the age in which we daily dispense such witty tit-bits from our household, cat-coveted computers, a lot of this has already been done to death (some of it by me, sorry), and ‘Cat Vs Internet’ is here sadly spread out into so much space-filler. Also, although there are some cracking moments of ellipsis (the humour resides on what happens next, implied but unshown), our Oatmeal orator ain’t no Jamie Smart. That’s what he’s aiming for (and why would you not?), but he’s simply not that good a cartoonist or consistent a wit. Plus, of course, he narrowed his potential subject matter down by its very title.

Well, no, he didn’t. 5 VERY GOOD REASONS TO PUNCH A DOLPHIN IN THE MOUTH wasn’t just about famously benevolent water-based mammals. Many a T-Rex took it on the nose too. Then up the nose as well. '7 Reasons To Keep Your Tyrannosaur off Crack Cocaine' was as genius as it was numerically redundant. Why would you need more than one reason safe-guarding your saurus from speed?

Our author could have expended a little more lateral investigating the tell-tale signs of other household pets’ predisposure to biting the hand that feeds, in addition. I imagine a goldfish, trapped in five spherical inches of transparent bowl would feel thoroughly psychopathic towards its briefly enraptured captors. Seriously: when you scooped a goldfish at a funfair (probably banned now), you were hooked for all of five seconds. Then you’d display all the memory and attention span of that which you’d won. If a goldfish could physically grow teeth it would turn into a fucking piranha.

On the plus side, there is enough here that made me actually guffaw. It includes, for example, the only fart jokes I’ve ever laughed at. Plus there are graphs for laughs and a cautionary diagram about ‘How Your Cat Sees You’. The fun there is that you will recognise its truths immediately.