Does This Collar Make My Butt Look Big?

September 25, 2013

By Karen

No, that’s not the opening of a joke, but the title of a new diet book for cats by feline humor writer Dena Harris, who claims, “In less time than it takes to cough up a hairball, you too can be fit, feline, and fabulous!”


I think this is the most comprehensive diet book on the market today for cats, and Harris recommends various popular diets according to specific cat types, such as comatose, OCD, ADD, chronic dieter, and psycho kitties.

(My own recent regimen is recommended for chronic dieters in a chapter entitled, “Catty Craig Versus Weight Stalkers.”)

Harris begins with a Quizzzz to help kitties identify their type, with questions like:

When I eat, I most resemble a

a. DustBuster (compact, goes everywhere, picks up every last bit)
b. Dyson Vacuum Cleaner (innovative technology!)
c. Shop-Vac (works on wet or dry food — industrial strength!)
d. Pimped-up Hoover (powerful suction!)

I’ve always wondered if my pink and silver sparkly collar makes my butt look big, but after reading Dena’s book, I now feel confident it doesn’t. Between the calories I expend dodging my two dimwitted “brothers” and plotting ways to kill them, I manage to stay fit and fabulous from every angle. —Adele

Harris also has exercise recommendations to help flabby felines feel the burn, such as Psycho Kitty Workouts, which include paragliding off kitchen countertops, freefalling off doors and cabinets and, of course, the three-hour nap.

One morning I woke up to discover that overnight I had gone from lithe kitten to tomcat with an embarrassing pooch looks like a furry fanny pack. This book inspired me to kick my favorite sport of door-slamming up a notch because I now realize that it not only scares the bejeebers out of Karen, but every time I lunge for (and miss) the doorknob, I’m working my triceps, gluts, and abs and getting a great slam. It’s a win-win!  —Max

Cats will be inspired by the tail tale of Madame Puss, a slender French chatte who acquired the eating habits of Americans who adopted her, with predictable results. When her owner had to glue 2 flea collars together to fit her, Puss took matters into her own paws to restore balance and her joie de purr. Her Magical Eek! Soup is made from chewed food, dust bunnies, and dog’s blood. But rather than eat it, you let your human think it’s souris (mouse) guts and lavish treats on you for being such a fit hunter.

This book is really thorough, so I was surprised Dena didn’t include my diet secret. I call it “The Chipmunk Chew,” and here’s how it works: Stuff kibble in your face until your cheeks bulge. Then chew slowly while sauntering all over the house, dribbling a trail of spitty kibble. By the time the mouthful is swallowed, you’ve left half of it on the floor. You cut calories while getting an aerobic workout, and your human gets some cardio while cleaning up after you. That’s how I stay on the good side of the vet’s scale. —Cole

As you can see, this book has got the Cats Working kitties all abuzz. Does This Collar Make My Butt Look Big? has some laugh-out-loud moments and is a high-quality hardcover by Ten Speed Press, retailing for $12.99.

Cats Working gives Dena Harris 12 paws up — and a bag of Temptations® treats.

Paws Up for “Who Moved My Mouse?”

November 30, 2010

By Karen

Since I live with three cats who can’t resist the occasional binge on a fine ‘nip, Who Moved My Mouse? is a question that comes up frequently. It’s also the title of a funny new book by Dena Harris.

As I read it, I couldn’t shake the sneaking suspicion that my book, How to Work Like a CAT, inspired Dena to write this self-help book for cats, who don’t need any help, according to the book’s subtitle.

A few years ago, Dena placed third in I Love Cats magazine’s essay competition on how to work like a cat, with my book awarded as prizes. Had the magazine allowed me any role in judging the entries, Dena’s essay would have won hands-down.

Rereading that piece today, I find germs of WMMM? all over it.

* * *

“If I ever needed pointers on how to be a more brilliant cat (which I don’t), Who Moved My Mouse? is the first book I’d read.” – Yul

* * *

Dena’s advice to cats is down-to-earth and practical, like…

Dog owners respect brute shows of strength. To this end, you may want to offer them a tour of your ‘Trail of Sorrows,’ including the bunny slipper you de-tailed, the napkin you surprised on the hall floor, and the loop pile rug in the bedroom that, thanks to you, will never bother anyone again.

And no book that goes nose to nose against the totally unjustified bestseller, Who Moved My Cheese? by Spencer Johnson, would be complete without a ridiculous parable about success. In Dena’s version, Fat Cat embarks on a search for Mr. Mouse, aided by a pair of humans named Dim and Witted, and their dogs, Dumb and Butt. Along the way, Fat Cat shares lessons learned, such as, “Intimidation can stop others from messing with your stuff”

* * *

“Dena Harris’ talent for getting into cats’ heads and figuring out our meows is downright scary. I suspect she has retractable claws and a tail.” –Cole

* * *

The book includes self-tests such as the “Purrsonality Profile” to help cats determine if they are a Loner, Snuggler, Eager, Comatose, Bold, Fraidy-Cat, Rebel, or Innocent. Cats will also find plenty of strategies for getting ahead because “nice cats don’t get the corner litter box.”

* * *

“When I read ‘…we’re always the best-looking creatures in any room, not to mention the smartest, most graceful and — it goes without saying — the most fashion forward,’ I felt like Dena was talking directly to me. She really ‘gets’ fastidious felines.” –Adele

* * *

The consensus at Cats Working is that Dena Harris is the country’s foremost cat humor writer. If you’re short on Christmas ideas for cat-lovers (and you’ve already given them How to Work Like a CAT) then we heartily recommend Who Moved My Mouse?

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