Book Review – Cat Person by Seo Kim

catperson

Cat Person is a mostly charming collection of comics by Toronto artist Seo Kim. Full of cute, predominantly autobiographical strips about Kim, her cat Jimmy, her life, and her boyfriend Eddie, the book works either as individual strips, chapters (Jimmy the cat mostly appears in the first chapter titled Jimmy and Me) or an ongoing story with the appearance of of Eddie and his own cat Bubble in a later chapter.

Kim’s work, done in pencil and coloured in Photoshop is engaging although sometimes rough in terms of technique.

The cat chapter runs the gamut of life with a cat, from the feline obsession with running tap water to the way cat hair ends up on everything you own. Kim also references the various ways to hug a cat, head bonks, cat shapes (when they sleep all curled up) and fuzzy cat testicles. Fortunately, she switches gears right around the point when even the most ardent cat fan would start to get a little bored.

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Wish You Were Here

When my Grandfather died, way back in the early 80s, my Grandmother spent the better part of a year continuing to make his tea every day, laying out his work uniform, and even calling to him from another room. We thought for a time that she was losing it, or just wasn’t coming to terms with the fact that he was gone, but in reality, she was just having trouble changing her routine. She knew he wouldn’t be sitting in his chair when she walked into the room, that the tea would go cold, that the fireman’s shirt and pants would get placed back in the closet when she went to bed. But she couldn’t stop herself from doing all the things she had always done, or of expecting to see him in his usual spots.

A few years ago, we had to put down one of the cats Greg had brought with him when he moved in many years before. She had been very sick for a long time, and it was a decision for the best. Despite my not being especially close to this particular cat, I continued to “see” her as I went about my day, especially in one spot on the stairs where she would sit and look at us in the living room, but was able to get away from the dogs if they gave chase. I continued to see her there in that spot until the day we moved out, where she appeared, round-eyed and bewildered as I was leaving with the remaining two cats in carriers, as if to say, “Hey, you’re not leaving me here, are you?” I’ve been tempted to drop by and ask the current tenants of that place if they ever happen to see a grey cat, sitting on the stairs.

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Cat Food Bandits

There is a house that we pass every morning when walking the dogs. It is a lovely Edwardian, just half a block from a park. The windows are stained glass, the garden is expertly arranged with flowers all in shades of blue and purple or white. Along the sidewalk, someone has embedded a mosiac in the concrete, all bits of old plates and cups and fishbowl stones, also in shades of blue and purple.

A house like this wouldn’t be complete without a cat on the front porch and this place normally has at least two or three. That’s because the folks who like here regularly leave a dish of cat food out, either at the top or the bottom of the stairs to the porch.

Of course, cat food isn’t just attractive to cats, and in a city with an extraordinary amount of urban wildlife, other visitors often stop by for a snack. (more…)

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