How to tell if your cat is trying to kill you but your pit bull isn’t.

The American Pit Bull Terrier (An Owner’s Guide to a Happy, Healthy Pet) by Jacqueline O’Neil. Howell Book House, 1995. 9780876053836

Guest review by Murphy’s Mom

I am the proud owner of a shelter rescue dog named Murphy. Because Murphy is a Heinz 57 variety mutt with predominant pit bull, beagle, and basset hound features, he is very striking. As my seven-year-old niece, Hadley, says in her raspy Bette Davis-like lisp, “I wuv Moophy; he looks like a tiguh and I want to kith him.”

My husband is actually the one who found Murphy on our local shelter’s website. Murphy was listed as a “basset mix.” But when we were introduced to the dog, we realized the he definitely had some pit bull in his genetics. We had been told (wrongly) that pit bulls were angry, fighting dogs that would attack, maim, and even kill. But we realized early on that the only way Murphy would victimize someone would be to cuddle with them too much. Since adopting him we have proudly called ourselves Murphy’s Mom and Dad (hence, my pseudonym). My husband and I have become more educated and aware about pit bulls, and I even support local rescue groups whose objective is to find homes for pits. I decided to review this book by Jacqueline O’Neil because, honestly, I judged the book by the smiling, beautiful dog on its cover. When I realized this was an owner’s guide to raising a healthy dog, I was instantly smitten. It’s a great resource teaching the proper ways to take care of pit bulls and what makes the breed unique, plus info on the origins of the breed. And I found out pit bulls are mated with other breeds more than any kind of dog, which explains Murphy’s origins. (There are other books in the series about other breeds.)

How to Tell If Your Cat Is Plotting to Kill You by The Oatmeal. Andrews McMeel, 2012. 9781449410247
I am one of those who don’t really read graphic novels much, much to Gene’s and others’ chagrin. But when I saw this one I laughed out loud. Being a former cat mom, I know Mully (my late tuxedo feline) loved me and only me; he would pounce on guys that came over and bite their toes. I guess this was his way of protecting me or weeding out the weak? Mully eventually warmed up to my husband Neale after we had been dating for a while. It was great seeing the two guys in my life get along, finally.

Anyway, The Oatmeal penned this graphic novel about the Bobcats — two of the most unlovable, raunchy, and hilarious felines on the planet. Their sole desire is to torment their human coworkers at the engineering firm where they work. Their neckties are the perfect touch for their corporate environment. Each day, the Bobs get loaded up on coffee and make the cubicle mongers stressed and miserable. It really is funny since I had no preconceived notions about the artwork or the storyline. My favorite moment was when the Bobcats got into a crowded company elevator and played “Gas Chamber.” They pressed all the buttons and then farted in the nasty way only felines can. Because I have the sense of humor of a 12 year old boy, I thought was hysterical.

The book reminded me of the movie Office Space. (If you haven’t watched it already, that is sad and unfortunate — rent it today!)

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