Cats I've Known: On Love, Loss, and Being Graciously Ignored
by Katie Haegele Author
From deep friendships to brief encounters, this is the story of the cats in Katie Haegele's life, or rather the story of her life in relation to the many cats she meets in Philadelphia's streets, alleys, houses, apartments, and bookstores. Through Haegele's sharp, wise, and at times hilarious gaze, we see cats for what they truly are: minor deities that mostly ignore the human foibles being played out around them. They accept our offerings with equanimity and occasionally bestow some nice thing on us. Haegele, author of White Elephants and Slip of the Tongue, has a unique and compelling sensibility, and it's a treat to see the world through her eyes as she shows us all the meanness, weirdness, and vulnerability of humans, against an ever-shifting backdrop of the cats we often take for granted, and who ignore us all democratically in return.
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Comments & Reviews
A wry collection of essays and vignettes exploring the curious relationship between humans and cats, from the felines that roam the streets of Philadelphia to the pets Haegale has loved and lost.
"...earnest and unpretentious, like listening to a familiar friend tell you about their life and their pets."
"delightful ode to the feline species"
"Have you ever known a cat who mattered so much to you, or who was so ubiquitous, you couldn’t imagine a life without them? Katie Haegele has known dozens. In Cats I’ve Known, she offers engaging, humorous and touching chronicles about them, with a rich illustration of the subject accompanying each of the accounts."
It won me over - a feat because I'm allergic to cats, even more so to cat books. But these 43 vignettes featuring felines of various names - Honeybunch, Grayson, Snickerdoodle, Ophelia, Neil Young - is by turns charming, dreamy, gritty, dark, and diverting.
"...this book will satisfy pet lovers everywhere."
It’s a fun read, as each cat is so different, and yet they share qualities. This is something all cats owners are sure to already know, but I have a feeling you will see cats you love in each of the cats in the book too.
Writer and zine maker Haegele (White Elephants) muses on 44 cats she’s lived with, met, or heard about in brief, sweet essays charmingly illustrated by Trista Vercher.
"En “Cats I´ve known“, por un lado, aparece una de las corrientes inagotables de la literatura norteamericana, la corriente whitmaniana para la cual todo merece ser poetizado y celebrado, y por otro, un tono introspectivo donde hay espacio para la reflexión y lo íntimo."
["In "Cats I've known", on the one hand, there appears one of the inexhaustible currents of American literature, the Whitmanian current for which everything deserves to be poetized and celebrated, and on the other, an introspective tone where there is room for reflection And the intimate."]
"...does a good job of capturing the bond that can form between humans and animals."