S.'s Reviews > The Cat Inside

The Cat Inside by William S. Burroughs
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's review
Jul 24, 2010

liked it
bookshelves: non-fiction, read-in-2010, animals
Recommended for: Cat People
Read in July, 2010

I was downtown today and decided to stop in the bookshop with a good English section and comfy chairs. I looked for the shortest book I could find, determined to sit down and read. I found this, 93 pages, none of them full, and read it in an hour or so. It was serendipity, being not too heavy but also not too banal, a very managable lozenge of a book.
In it Burroughs muses affectionately on his cats, and on cats in general as companions, 'familiars,' and life's company. He is a confirmed Cat Person, and considers cats superior to dogs, so that old, tedious, self-serving argument comes up a number of times. Burroughs thinks humans have made dogs in their image and thus sullied them and made them "self-righteous" and even into a "lynch mob." Ah yes, we all need a little justifying rant sometimes. (Whatever! I am neither Cat nor Dog Person.) Nevertheless, Burroughs himself transforms his cats into people, who represent to him particular lost lovers, friends and family. I found that kind of sad, and it seems to me he did, too, not because of the projection but because he just misses people.
I enjoyed the format of this, which reads like journal entries on one topic. Some of it is very funny. I'm sure Cat People would like it more than I did.

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