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Ich der Kater (I am a Cat)

3.71  ·  Rating Details  ·  4,317 Ratings  ·  416 Reviews
"Gestatten, ich bin ein Kater!" - Mit scharfem Blick und spitzer Zunge schildert ein namenloser Kater sein Leben im Haus des Gymnasialprofessors Schneutz.
Paperback, 657 pages
Published 2001 by Insel (first published 1905)
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(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Jun 27, 2008 Nick rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I've been a cat now for what seems like an eternity. If anyone asks you what it's like to be a cat, hand them a copy of the book and walk rapidly away. Reading the book has been a lot like having a cat as a pet -- occasionally delightful, sometimes insightful, and frequently annoying.

I Am a Cat was written by Japanese author Soseki Natsume at the end of the 1800s and the beginning of the 1900s. It's a gentle satire told from the point of view of a household cat in the home of a teacher of modes
Jul 09, 2009 Kimley rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Tosh
"I've had enough of being farted at by weasels and crippled with side-swipes from the fishmonger's pole"

I feel your pain Rickshaw Blacky. I feel your pain!


This book is best read with a nice fat cat curled up in your lap purring away... while you are fidgeting, ever so slightly so as not to disturb the cat but attempting to figure out how to comfortably read since the cat is sleeping precisely where you would usually rest this nearly 500 page tome. The cat is sitting there thinki
Mar 19, 2015 Yann rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: japon, fiction, humour

Humour, autodérision, satire et ouverture d'esprit.

J'aime beaucoup ce roman.
Nov 11, 2011 Sara rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Cinque stelle perché nonostante non ci sia praticamente azione e l’intera vicenda abbia il setting di un unico quartiere, le quattrocento e passa pagine del romanzo scorrono via in maniera estremamente piacevole e divertente. C’è un’ironia che non credevo familiare alla letteratura orientale (di cui peraltro non ho mai letto niente, quindi era solo un pregiudizio) e un inaspettato ma continuo riferimento alla cultura occidentale: mi sono stupita di sentir parlare di greci, romani, inglesi da un ...more
Aug 06, 2011 Hadrian rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Read on the airplane.

A humorous and very feline book. One of the quirks of translation is that the word 'I' in the title refers to a word which in Japanese is reserved for nobility - such is the nature of cats.

It's long and meandering, a bit dull at times - but the tone is distinctive, and remains uniquely catlike. When you hear the word 'my master', you almost think as though he's laughing at it.

The ending is abrupt, but one might think that the author simply ran out of ideas, and ended it ther
thím Tô
Mặc dù mình rất thích mèo, mặc dù nhà nuôi rất nhiều mèo, mặc dù bản thân cũng biết là lũ mèo rất láo nhưng con mèo trong tp này đúng là ... quá thể mèo =))) Mình con mèo lảm nhảm cân nguyên cuốn sách :D Không biết nó nghĩ nó là ai nhưng trong mắt nó, loài người chả ra cái thá gì, vừa bất tài vừa thất đức @@
Láo quá, bố đời quá, không nhân văn tí nào. Nhưng bản dịch thì hết sức dễ thương, rất tự nhiên ^^
Cám ơn dịch giả ạ :) (mới nâng 1*)
Apr 25, 2015 Simona rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Cosa pensano i nostri amici animali? Quali sono i loro pensieri? Le loro emozioni? Cosa sognano? Molti si saranno posti questa domanda. Ebbene, la risposta la fornisce Soseki dando voce a un gatto. E' proprio attraverso la figura di questo gatto, che non ha un nome e che svolge il ruolo di narratore, ma anche di colui che vede e vive tutto in prima persona, che impariamo a conoscere il Giappone del XX secolo e i suoi abitanti. Il gatto filosofo, con le sue massime zen, ci invita alla scoperta de ...more
Dec 27, 2011 Joni rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I Am a Cat is a long book full of wordplay, complicated farcical sequences, obscure cultural references, long philosophical digressions and obtuse allusions to Chinese literature. It reminds me in parts of P.G. Wodehouse, Monty Python, Studio Ghibli films and Roald Dahl. Our lovable narrator is an unnamed cat lounging around a Tokyo household in the early years of the 20th century. We learn a lot about feline behaviour but this is mostly a book about people; the cat is always listening, and judg ...more
Nov 19, 2008 Rita rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
"I am a cat" is a "slow-reading" book. There's not much action in it and it's all about the cat's opinion on everything: especially people. It actually speaks, in a very particular way, of mediocrity. The cat describes the routine of its master, a japanese man that teaches english in 1904 Japan, and the way he deals with life. The descriptions are very rich and the references to other works are diverse and intriguing, compelling you to know more about japanese classic literature. All things cons ...more
Sep 16, 2010 Hisuin rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recomendadísimo :)
Cuenta la vida de un gato en casa de un maestro japonés... desde el punto de vista del gato, claro está. Las reflexiones gatunas y humanas que va exponiendo son geniales. Además, tiene muchas situaciones desternillantes, y otras tantas muy interesantes para pensar sobre ellas.
Es un libro para leerlo con calma y disfrutarlo a ratos (si te lo intentas leer del tirón sólo cogerás un empacho), y desde luego, para mí ha sido una de las mejores lecturas de este año.
Jul 14, 2009 Sebarashii rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I Am A Cat is a book that I can read over and over and over again wiothout getting bored.

In turns humorous, literate and brilliantly ahead of it's time, the original Japanese is translated extremely well by the team and the humour and comical restraint of the Japanese original text is expertly done, nonchalantly doing the job of making a good book open to a deservedly wider audience.

The book does go on a bit at times, but that is perfectly in keeping with the central conceit of observing and an
Aug 16, 2016 Kate rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
5/5 stars
Decided to bump this up because it's definitely a book that's stuck with me and has a firm place in my heart. Still deciding whether or not to deem it as an official fave or not though!


Now, that rating might seem a bit low considering how, if you've spoken to me or seen my videos, you know I was obsessed while reading this book. But I shall explain.

Let me begin with I LOVED the idea of this book. Anyone who knows me knows I ADORE cats - my cat Cody is the light of my life, I c
Joe Rogel
I had issues rating this classic so low because it truly is a classic, but I rate purely on the amount of enjoyment I receive from a book, not on historical impact, and so the evaluation stands.

A collection of anecdotes told from the perspective of an ordinary albeit extremely intelligent house cat, it has its moments but there's nothing too captivating here. For its time, having a cat as a narrator was a unique approach, but what was creative and revolutionary then has lost its novelty under t
Marco Volpe
Apr 04, 2013 Marco Volpe rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Noioso, logorroico, privo di qualsiasi interesse sebbene l'idea del libro non era per niente male. Un gatto che racconta in chiave filosofica fatti ed episodi che avvengono all'interno della casa in cui vive.
Il problema è che qui di filosofia ce n'è troppa ed è pure giapponese. Inoltre, la filosofia felina lascia troppo spesso il passo ai dialoghi lenti, pesanti e assolutamente insignificanti dei protagonisti umani. Discorsi che, alla fine, non porteranno assolutamente a nulla.
Poteva essere ac
Maria Beltrami
Solo un gatto può essere così curioso, scanzonato, acuto e imprevedibile nello scandagliare e descrivere l'incoerenza, la boria e la saccenza umane.
Siamo nel giappone moderno, e il gatto si destreggia tra un padrone dispeptico e nevrotico, la sua famiglia scalcinata e gli amici, ciascuno dei quali rappresenta una variante della stessa perfetta balordaggine.
Ma alla fine il gatto è un gatto, e, come spesso succede ai gatti, sarà la stua stessa curiosità a perderlo, eppure, come il Budda, troverà l
I thought the concept of this book was great fun and, as a cat lover, decided to give it a try. However while Soseki’s self-important kitten has become a staple of Japanese culture for a reason and there are quite a few laughs to be had, ultimately it becomes a bit too long-winded. There were only so many of Waverhouse’s rambling nonsensical monologues I could stomach and there were definitely times when my patience was sorely tested, particularly in the second volume.

I know Soseki felt pressur
John Pappas
Mar 21, 2013 John Pappas rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Any flaws this comic novel has have to do with pacing, and structure (and this is largely due to how the tale was originally conceived and eventually published) -- the characters are used brilliantly to expose the foibles of a schoolteacher, his friends and neighbors in Meiji era Japan. Seen through the eyes of a curmudgeonly cat, as these these characters wrestle with the changing times and increasing Western influence, they struggle to discover what is of enduring value. Their adventures in se ...more
Paul Heaton
'I am a Cat' is the the first of Natsume's "major works", and if this had been the first book of his I'd read, I regret to say it would've probably been my last. Natsume's wit and insight shine within a concisely written story. Here, the author keeps adding lengthy, indulgent, meandering chapters to his original short story, seemingly without any idea of how it would be read as a whole.

The original premise of cat's observations of his master and cohorts has its initial, amusing moments. But whe
Mar 26, 2015 Tintaglia marked it as abandoned  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: classics
Troppi umani, troppo pochi gatti: come a dire, troppo fumo e poco arrosto. Pesantissimo.
Jie Hao
Oct 22, 2012 Jie Hao rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
amazing and ridiculous in equal venture, this book possesses surprising foresight for something written in 1906. supposedly a satirical take on japanese society during the meiji period, some of the observations hold true for humankind as a whole. some of the ideas that intrigued me in the book:
Nobody at all, not even Alexander the Great or Napoleon, has ever felt satisfied with his or her conquests. Take a more homespun case. You meet a man, you take a scunner to him, you get into a quarrel, yo
Jun 23, 2016 Clint rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2016
This started out pretty funny, I guess, but just dragged on and on after that, and got even more boring when the cat just related what people were talking about. If I were a Japanese dude living 100 years ago some of this might have made me laugh.
Feb 10, 2016 Sarah rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: japanese-lit
"For cat, indeed, are for cats. And should you wish to learn about cats, only a at can tell you. Humans, however advanced, can tell you nothing on this subject. And inasmuch as humans are, in fact, far less advanced tan they fancy themselves, they will find it difficult even to start learning about cats."

I'm sure I won't sound original by saying this, but I Am a Cat really does embrace what it feels like to be a cat, but not in the way I might have expected. I'd describe it as meandering, languo
Cleverly narrated from the point of view of a very intelligent and observant feline, but far too long. I enjoyed it for the first hundred pages or so, but afterwards it started to get awfully boring.
Quang Khuê
Jul 21, 2016 Quang Khuê rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Ở kiếp trước tôi mê cuốn này lắm!
Apr 22, 2015 Artur marked it as did-not-finish  ·  review of another edition
I guess my feelings for this book are best exemplified by the following clip from "Silver Linings Playbook":

Want an explanation? Click here: (view spoiler)
Jul 16, 2011 André rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: literature
I've bought this book when the first Brazilian translation came out some years ago, but set it aside until 2011. Unfortunately, I can't say that I was impressed by it.

Written by Natsume Sōseki back in 1905, Wagahai-wa neko-de aru tells the story of a cat who views the society which surrounds his Japanese master with great sardonic eyes. He mocks all and everyone, exposing their superficiality and futility disguised as knowledge.

The main problem with this book is its length. The whole thing cons
Apr 03, 2013 Mimonni rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Libro che stazionava da ben 5 anni sulla mia libreria, ai tempi iniziato e abbandonato dopo poche pagine.

Questa volta l’approccio è andato sicuramente meglio. Primo, non aspettarsi che il libro parli di un gatto e delle sue peripezie. Il gatto è un alter ego dell’autore usato per parlarci degli umani, dei rapporti che intercorrono tra loro e della società giapponese che via via si sta occidentalizzando. Il romanzo è stato pubblicato nel 1905 ma l’ho trovato molto attuale rispetto a una certa cri
Jan 05, 2016 Tien rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: japan, read-on-kobo
I think this was meant to be a funny read but I didn’t find it that funny. .. It was interesting reading for a cat’s point of view of the human’s foibles but then I also wondered at the limited & coloured viewpoint. Everybody appears to be ridiculous even the cats.

It wasn’t an auspicious beginning for the cat and its fate appears to continue to be undetermined as it remained un-named. It was useless and spent its time in spying upon people and ‘writing down’ its observations. As a cat, of co
Jan 06, 2014 katy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Amusing anecdotes "told" by a cat who thinks his master is a fool, but nonetheless tries to help him because the master has taken him in. The cat relates conversations between his master, a school teacher, and the master's friends. The themes are endless--religion, women, food, politics, education, clothing, etc.-- and point out the foibles of individuals and society. The author was much influenced by British writers, in particular, Laurence Sterne, so the tone and sense of humor are readily acc ...more
Александр Шушпанов
"Ваш покорный слуга кот" Нацумэ Сосэки считается первой большой юмористической повестью японской литературы периода пост-феодализма. Сосэки сам по себе - очень интересен и является литературным сэнсеем целой плеяды авторов, включая отдельно любимого мной Акутагаву Рюноскэ.

Вещь очень эксцентрична, а повествование от имени кота поставило меня перед забавным парадоксом - кот ведь несведущ в делах людей и от этого в некоторых моментах надо тщательно сверять, говорят ли те, кого он подслушивает, серь
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Mortigi Tempo: I Am a Cat — Natsume Sōseki 64 39 Jul 11, 2013 05:10AM  
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Natsume Sōseki (夏目 漱石, February 9, 1867 – December 9, 1916), born Natsume Kinnosuke (夏目 金之助) was a Japanese novelist of the Meiji period (1868–1912). He is best known for his novels "Kokoro", "Botchan", "I Am a Cat" and his unfinished work "Light and Darkness". He was also a scholar of British literature and composer of haiku, kanshi, and fairy tales. From 1984 until 2004, his portrait appeared on ...more
More about Natsume Sōseki...

Other Books in the Series

I am a Cat (2 books)
  • I am a Cat II
  • I am a Cat III

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“Living as I do with human beings, the more that I observe them, the more I am forced to conclude that they are selfish.” 39 likes
“He is totally abandoned in the way he buys book after book, never to read a single one. I wouldn't mind if he used his head and bought in moderation, but no. Whenever the mood takes him, he ambles off to the biggest bookshop in the city and brings back home as many books as chance to catch his fancy. Then, at the end of the month, he adopts an attitude of complete detachment.” 26 likes
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