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The Best Cat Book Ever: Review, Author Q & A and Giveaway

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The best Cat Book Ever-giveaway

When we received a review copy of The Best Cat Book Ever; Super Amazing, 100% Awesome by Kate Funk, our feline reviewer, Merlin took notice. The hefty hard cover book full of photos of a black cat named AC was something he had never seen before. Sure lots of people dress up their cats in costumes but Kate Funk is interested in a conceptual approach as an artist and photographer. Merlin gives his highest rating of 4 Paws way up. The Wisconsin based author got her start in the craft show circuit years ago selling her quirky cards of AC (real name: Annoying Customer). Yes, the author is a self-described weirdo but we got along really well (what does that say about me?) in a phone interview this week .

She explained how she sketches out ideas, designs costumes and set design for a complete diorama as a theater designer would do. AC is the star in every scene but he calls the shots. If he’s not in the mood, nothings gets done. Photo shoots for their wildly popular greeting card and calendar business are done once every two weeks or so. He allows his cat mom, Kate about a few minutes to shoot and then walks away diva-like. He never wears clothes or costumes at other times. When asked whether he would ever make public appearances, she claims, “No, I would never exploit him.”

We’re delighted to share a Q & A with Kate Funk and offer our Cat Wisdom 101 reader a special giveaway. Five winners will receive a copy of The Best Cat Book Ever plus a booklet of 10 postcards. This giveaway is open until 11:59 pm ET, Nov.2, 2014 and (sorry) only U.S. residents. To enter the giveaway, simply leave a comment. For extra chances to win, social media share and tell us in a separate comment where you shared. P.S. Merlin think AC is one cool black cat and gives his highest rating of 4 Paws way up.

FTC disclaimer: We received a review copy and sample postcards which in no way influenced our views. Merlin was not compensated either. He and I only review books we believe our readers would enjoy.

Q & A with Kate Funk

Kate Funk


LMW: What do you tell someone who asks what you do for a living?

KF: I’ve actually always had a really hard time answering that question. I even had it happen yesterday by my doctor and wasn’t sure what to say. It’s such a specific thing that I do that it’s hard to explain without it sounding a bit crazy. Generally when I do I just get blank stares back, so now I usually just stick to either “photographer” or say that I own a stationery line.

LMW: There is often a divide been professional artists and crafters. You have a degree in photography and yet got your start doing craft shows. Do you indentify more as an artist or photographer or?

KF: I think I’ve always identified as more of a crafter or photographer than an artist. Even when I was going to MIAD I didn’t feel like my stuff quite fit in. While most people tried to prepare a gallery style show for their thesis I displayed all my prints in different frames from thrift stores and included a rack of postcards for sale. I think I’ve just always like the idea of accesible art – something that everyone can own and enjoy.

LMW: Where did your love of black cats come from and how do you feel that black cats are 50% less likely to be adopted?

KF: I’m not sure where my love of black cats came from, but I knew ever since I was a little girl that I wanted one. I’ll never understand how they are less likely to be adopted. They’re so beautiful. When I went in to the shelter I got AC from they had told me there was a 2-3 week waiting period as well as a background and home check, but when I picked him out they just dropped him off at my home the next day – no questions asked. It was really sad.

LMW: Can you tell us something about AC his fans don’t know.

KF: Despite how crabby he looks he is actually a huge sweetheart. But he only shows it to me. He makes me carry him around all day and is always by my side (although if someone walks in on him cuddling or sleeping with me he always pretends he hates it and pushes me away until they leave and then returns to cuddling – it’s the strangest thing).

LMW: Where does AC sleep? Favorites toys, treats games?

KF: He generally sleeps on my pillow with me. He loves any toy with catnip, but his favorite thing in the world is glitter balls. He goes crazy for those things. As far as treats he’s pretty picky. He’ll only eat IAMs Purrfect Delicacies and Temptation Treats. He gets a can of the IAMs after every shoot and he’ll run off the set and just wait by his bowl for it every time.

LMW: Are the photo shoots at certain times of the day depending on his energy level?

KF: We always shoot late in the morning (around 10 or 11). I like to use window light for my photos so I’m not throwing a ton of studio lights on him and that’s the best time for it to come in through our main windows. (Although I do still add 2 soft boxes – one on each side – just to make sure his dark fur shows up, too). He’s always awake when I get up in the morning so it’s generally the time before he goes to sleep for the day and works out well. He gets his wet food after the shoot and falls asleep for the day.

LMW: Would you consider adopting another cat?

KF: I’d love another cat. My husband is allergic, but luckily not to AC so we’ve been afraid to get another. I know you can get really expensive hypo-allergenic bred cats, but the thought of that is really off-putting to me, too, as if I got another cat I’d want it to be another black one from a shelter.

LMW: Where do you think the future of cat pop culture heading?

KF: That I’m not sure on. But I think it’s obvious it’s not going away which I love!

LMW: What’s next on your creative agenda?

KF: Right now I’m working on the 2016 Cat Calendar. We’re doing an 80s theme this time so I’ve shot him as Bob Ross, a Workout Girl, Mr. T, Pee Wee, and some more. I’m really excited about it. The last calendar was a Zodiac theme which I really liked, but this one is a bit more in your face and bright and fun which I think is my speciality. After that I’m not sure. There’s been some other projects that have been thrown around, but nothing for certain yet.

Connect with Kate at

Check out the book’s pre-order price on Amazon. Great for holiday gift giving.

  • Hardcover: 112 pages
  • Publisher: St. Martin’s Griffin; First Edition edition (October 28, 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1250050383


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