The Psychokitty Speaks Out: Diary of a Mad Housecat

By Julia Williams

I am addicted to cat books. No, not books about cats; books written by cats. I can’t get enough of them. Luckily, it’s easy to get a fix. There are so many cat authors now, that I wouldn’t be surprised if they outnumbered human writers one day. Amazon often has kindle versions of cat books for .99 to $1.99 (sometimes even free!), and like a good pusher they email me to let me know.

My latest cat author discovery is Max Thompson, who describes himself as “14 pounds of sleek black and white glory, with an attitude…and opinions… on everything.” That’s accurate, I think. Max the cat is quite a character. He’s got “catitude,” as they say.

Max first dipped his paws into the writing water in 2003, with a blog called The PsychoKitty Speaks Out. Spurred on by the appreciation of the masses for his witty quips, enlightened feline wisdom and snarky attitude, Max put his musings into book form. Diary of a Mad Housecat contains short daily entries about Max’s life as a “put-upon and under-appreciated feline.”

The book puts a humorous spin on common feline behaviors that every cat lover will identify with. Such as: “If you don’t want me to lick the chicken, don’t leave it on the counter. Simple as that.” The diary format makes it easy to read in snippets, as time permits. It’s a funny look at the day-to-day life of a sarcastic, smart-aleck cat.

Max is cool, but he does have a potty mouth. Yes, he swears. A LOT. If Max were human, I imagine him as a beer swilling, chest thumping macho man who cusses like a drunken sailor, but still has a soft spot for Mom even though he claims not to like or need anyone. The idea of a swearing feline is admittedly not everyone’s cup of tea. I didn’t hate that aspect of Max’s character, exactly, but also feel the bad language could have been toned down because it started to detract from the humor.

Max calls himself a fur-covered food vacuum, which also accurately describes Rocky, who vacuums up not only his own cat food but every morsel of mine he can get his paws on. Max is like a great many cats who think they’re going to starve if they have to go six hours without food. “They’re both sound asleep, and no one remembered to fill my dish with dry food so I’d have sustenance to get me through the night. It’s like 3 a.m. and I’m starving. If I die before they get up, you’ll know who to blame.”

Did I love every page of Max’s diary? Not really, but in between the so-so parts were plenty of laugh-out-loud moments that made it an enjoyable read, all told.

The book would have benefitted from a stronger proofreader, as there are some glaring grammatical errors and typos. These kinds of mistakes always break the flow, at least for me. Maybe the average book reader doesn’t notice them, but I sure do. And they make me want to reach for my editor’s red pen.

It’s still a funny book, though. This is one of my favorite entries: “Jingle balls? For me? Come on, what am I – two? Now turn around and go away, and if you hear tinkling, it’s only because I’m moving them to a different part of the house. Somewhere I don’t have to see them and be reminded of how juvenile you think I am. Really now. JINGLE balls…”

Max is quite the prolific author kitty. Since that first book, he’s penned (pawed?) several more including Something of Yours Will Meet a Toothy Death, The Rules: A Guide for People Owned by Cats, and Bite Me: A Memoir (Of Sorts). You can visit Max’s website or his blog for more information.

Max close-up photo by Karen A. Thompson

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5 thoughts on “The Psychokitty Speaks Out: Diary of a Mad Housecat

  1. We haven’t read any of Max’s books yet, but we have read his blog, as well as his weekly advice column at mousebreath.com. We always get at least a chuckle, if not a hearty laugh at his advice. He’s quite the character!

  2. We’ve not read any of his books, though we do follow his blog. Thanks for the review! Our human says she would notice glaring grammatical errors and typos too, and also would find them detracting. Seems to be pretty common, though, the need for good editing in that regard, no matter what book you pick up these days.

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