In the world of cat books there are many copycats so it’s a thrill to find something as fresh and original as COPYCAT And A Litter Of Other Cats by David Yow. The hefty, hardcover art book from indie Brooklyn-based publisher Akashic Books defies being CATegorized. Clever, cute and quirky cat puns are illustrated in Yow’s unique, multi-media graphic style. Any of the images would work on t-shirts fit for hipster cat lovers from coast to coast. The book is more edgy than Hello Kitty cute i.e. the S & M Catsuit on page 149. The only real cat referenced is Grumpy Cat and it’s worth the price of admission.
One of my favorites is Caterpillar.
Yow, best known as the singer of the bands the Jesus Lizard, popular indie rock band of the 1990s and ’80s punk band Scratch Acid. Artist, writer, musician and actor he lives in Los Angeles with a gal pal and three cats. On on phone interview last week he said he most identifies with being an actor now and has left his bad boy musician days behind. It’s no secret that many musicians have egos the size of Jumbotrons and I braced myself before calling his home number. Within a seconds we launched into a comfortable, rambling conversation about his life now, his childhood and of course cats. Soft spoken, thoughtful, generous and kind, Yow, wowed me with his no BS candor.
Yow actually uses the word “golly” without pretense. This is the same guy who used to perform drunken lewd acts on stage. I’m all for reinvention. Older and wiser,Yow imbibes no more than a couple beers with friends and keeps his pants on. He has the kind of weathered face that has known every kind of sadness and throughout it all, cats have served as a grounding force. For over 30 years cats have inspired him to create his growing collection of idiosyncratic cat art. The 74 pieces in the book are funny, sad and sometimes outlandish, a little like their creator.
A life long cat lover, Yow’s first cat, at age 4, happened to be a black kitten in Tripoli, Libya. Dad was an Air Force pilot stationed there in the early ’60s. Not only did Yow’s dad let him keep the cat, he named him Me Yow. When the time came for a transfer to the the U.S. and later to England, this lucky black cat happily globe-trotted with his family.
Yow’s current feline soulmate is Little Buddy, an 8-year-old, long-haired gray mancat who has seen Yow through a divorce and assorted ups and downs. They remain devoted to each other and Yow is proud to call himself a cat dad. They peacefully (usually) share a blended cat family with a girlfriend and her two cats Penny and Nico.
Yow appeared at live show Celebrity cat Lil Bub in Chicago last week and filmed for a future episode of Lil Bub’s show on Animalist.com. Yow holding her in his lap and singing to BUB will be a must-see. I’ll post it once it’s up. Visit David Yow to see his latest art and videos.
We’re delighted to offer our readers a giveaway for 2 copies of COPYCAT: And A Litter of Other Cats.
To enter this giveaway simply leave a comment with your favorite cat pun (optional) before 11:59 pm ET, August 23, 2014. For extra chances to win, please social media share the post, telling us in a separate comment where you shared.
Copycat will be released on August 12th but there is a special signed, limited edition of 150 books available with a very cool t-shirt for $65.00. For details or pre-order click here Plus I love supporting small indie publishers.
You could say Yow’s book is the cat’s MeYow. Snap it up fast cat peeps, there will be no sequel. You can also pre-order on Amazon.
FTC disclosure. We never accept payment for reviewing books but did receive a review copy which in no way influenced our views.