Dogpatch Press

Fluff Pieces Every Week

Tag: cats

Ninja Timmy, By Henrik Tamm – Book Review By Fred Patten

by Pup Matthias

Submitted by Fred Patten, Furry’s favorite historian and reviewer.

Ninja TimmyNinja Timmy, by Henrik Tamm. Illustrated by the author.
NYC, Delacorte Press, November 2015, hardcover $14.99 (211 [+ 2] pages), Kindle $9.99.

This children’s book was originally published in 2013 in Sweden as Ninja Timmy Och De Stulna Skratten, although it was written in English. Henrik Tamm is described in an About the Author as “a conceptual designer in Hollywood involved in various animated and live-action projects” (p. [213]), including the Shrek and Chronicles of Narnia movie series.

This children’s book for 8- to 12-year-olds (grades 3 to 7) is technically too young for furry adult readers. But, like many CGI animated features, it will be of interest due to the setting (a Medievalish European metropolis inhabited by anthropomorphic animals and humans together), the full-color illustrations on almost every double-page spread, and the plot of natural and magical evil and the young animals who fight it.

The visual richness is evident from the moment of opening the book. The front double-page endpapers show a panorama of the city of Elyzandrium busy at midday, with high towers and dirigibles and ascension balloons overhead. The rear endpapers show the same scene but at night, dark blue and with empty streets, but with the city’s windows all alight. Read the rest of this entry »

Typewriter Emergencies, Edited By Weasel – Book Review By Fred Patten

by Pup Matthias

Submitted by Fred Patten, Furry’s favorite historian and reviewer.

Typewriter EmergenciesTypewriter Emergencies, 2015 Edition [edited by Weasel]
Manvel, TX, Weasel Press, October 2015, trade paperback $16.95 (179 pages), Kindle $3.99.

The blurb says, “Welcome to the first release of Typewriter Emergencies, a collection of psychologically damaging and hard hitting furry literature.” The implication is that this is the first of an ongoing series of furry stories that the blurb goes on to describe as “gut-wrenching”. “Weasel Press is proud to have our first furry collection on the books and we hope you will enjoy every moment this intense anthology has to offer.”

The 13 stories, with a cover by Kala “Miryhis” Quinn, are a quality mixed-bag of tales by furry veteran authors, non-furry writers who are nonetheless experienced authors, and at least one new writer. Several are examples of experimental writing.

“The Dying Game” by Amethyst Mare shows this in its second line. “Great Britain crawled into December like a raindrop tricking down glass.” (p. 9) Heather Rees, a “young, two-legged palomino equine”, seems determined to be miserable. “The bridge was crusty with moss and lichen, the green and yellow reminding her of disease ridden flesh, something that ate away at the outside of a fur while the inside lost the will to live.” The writing emphasizes a “gut-wrenching” vocabulary. “Cars on the road to her right snarled past, lifting her straightened mane up from her neck and into her face in a rush of angry air.” (p. 10) Heather is on her way to see Mikey, a young cat lover who has been horribly maimed by a passing train. “Michael had done no wrong. He had only been spraying graffiti. Where was the harm in that?” Well … “Michael had to be all right for her. He could live without an arm or a leg. He had to.” Notice that Michael has to be all right for her. The story is a blend of poetic wordplay (“Outside, the sky dipped its paintbrush into the grey-blue that was twilight, drawing a fresh scene across its daily canvas.”) and “psychologically damaging” descriptions, such as Michael’s hospital bed’s “sickly green curtain”, his husky nurse’s “clinical smile permanently fixed on her face [that] never reached her eyes”, and Heather’s mare mother screaming at her (ignoring the hospital’s rule for quiet) for wasting her time at Michael’s bedside instead of earning money at her job. Read the rest of this entry »

The Necromouser and Other Magical Cats, by Mary E. Lowd – Book Review By Fred Patten

by Pup Matthias

Submitted by Fred Patten, Furry’s favorite historian and reviewer.

NecromouserThe Necromouser and Other Magical Cats, by Mary E. Lowd.
Dallas, TX, FurPlanet Productions, September 2015, trade paperback $9.95 (131 pages), Kindle $6.99.

This collection of 13 cat short stories by Mary E. Lowd contains nine reprints and four original tales. It also contains all of her popular “Shreddy” stories, including a new one written just for this collection; six in all.

Shreddy is an overweight tabby housecat; one of three pets – the other two are Cooper, a moronic labradoodle, and Susie, an idiotic spaniel — of a Red-Haired Woman enamored of electrical devices that she doesn’t really understand. Shreddy would undoubtedly take exception to being called a “pet”. He is an independent individual who just happens to share a house with her and her brain-dead, slobbery dogs. He is constantly in a battle of wits with the Red-Haired Woman (which she doesn’t notice), using her electrical devices (that he doesn’t understand, either). Whether Shreddy is using the Red-Haired Woman’s printer to reanimate dead mice (“The Necromouser”), using her smartphone’s games to bring deceased mice (“‘Brains!’ they all squeaked back in chorus”) and neighborhood dogs back from the dead as zombies (“Shreddy and the Zomb-Dogs”), using a TV dish to hatch a griffin’s egg (“Shreddy and the Silver Egg”), dueling with Whisperquick, the ghost mouse (“Shreddy watched with eyes dilated like a kitten high on catnip, wondering whether the Red-Haired Woman and the dogs could see the ornaments constantly rearranging themselves. Surely the Red-Haired Woman must notice that one of her Santa ornaments was wearing six hats while five others went hatless?”) for control over a plastic-&-metal Christmas tree (“Shreddy and the Christmas Ghost”), inadvertently entering a PlayCube (“Shreddy and the Dancing Dragon”), or coming to an accommodation with a Venus flytrap with a sweet tooth (“Shreddy and the Carnivorous Plant”), Shreddy is always determined to defend his turf, even if it almost kills him. Read the rest of this entry »

The Cat, by Pat Gray – Book Review By Fred Patten.

by Patch O'Furr

Submitted by Fred Patten, Furry’s favorite historian and reviewer.

“Here is another of my reviews that was published ten years ago, edited in a manner that I didn’t like.  This is my original review, so it’s a bit different from the printed version.”

USThe Cat, by Pat Gray.
Sawtry, Cambridgeshire, UK, Dedalus Ltd., March 1997, trade paperback £6.99 (124 pages).
U.S. edition: Hopewell, NJ, The Ecco Press, November 1998, hardcover $19.00 (124 + 1 pages).

“A dark comedy with universal appeal, The Cat is the Animal Farm of the post-communist 1990s,” says the American dust-jacket blurb, while a Scottish review of the original British edition says that, “Gray’s reworking of the Animal Farm concept brings in a post-Thatcherite twist.” Animal Farm may live forever, but is The Cat really a modernization of Animal Farm for Britain of the 1990s?

“Chez Maupassant” is the typical British suburban home of the Professor and Mrs. Professor, their pet the Cat, and the presumably unnoticed Rat and Mouse. All live very comfortably, since the Professor is a gluttonous slob who leaves rich food everywhere.

“The cheesecake seemed to glow, luminous and fantastic, as the Professor skillfully slid it off its plate and cradled it in his large hand to prevent it breaking apart as his mouth closed in upon it. A look of childish pleasure crossed the Professor’s face, then a look of guilt, then he rammed the entire cheesecake into his mouth and began to eat.” (pg. 11)

The pampered Cat, the brash Rat, and the peevishly ineffectual Mouse (the latter two living under the house or within its walls) are best friends. Unfortunately, the Professor dies of a coronary three pages into the story (though leaving the fridge open). The animals are mildly distressed, but see no reason to fear a change in their lavish lifestyle — until Mrs. Professor moves to Brighton, leaving the Cat behind. Read the rest of this entry »

Cat Crimebusters and Other P.I.s On Paws, Part 2 – Book Reviews By Fred Patten.

by Patch O'Furr

Submitted by Fred Patten, Furry’s favorite historian and reviewer.

Part 1 can be found here.

wish you were hereThe Mrs. Murphy series by Rita Mae Brown is another animal crime series where the animals actively detect, rather than just tag along with the human amateur detective while she (it’s invariably a woman) solves the mystery. The Mrs. Murphy books, officially in collaboration between Rita Mae Brown and her tiger cat, Sneaky Pie Brown, are up to 24 novels. The next is coming in May 2016.

Wish You Were Here. November 1990.

Rest in Pieces. June 1993.

Murder at Monticello. November 1994.

Pay Dirt. November 1995. Read the rest of this entry »

James, the Connoisseur Cat and James, Fabulous Feline – Book reviews by Fred Patten.

by Patch O'Furr

Submitted by Fred Patten, Furry’s favorite historian and reviewer.

51UHJFFcUML._AC_UL320_SR226,320_James, the Connoisseur Cat, by Harriet Hahn.
NYC, St. Martin’s Press, October 1991, hardcover $13.95 (169 pages).

James, Fabulous Feline: Further Adventures of a Connoisseur Cat, by Harriet Hahn.
NYC, St. Martin’s Press, June 1993, hardcover $14.95 (199 pages).

This two-book set presents a whimsical set of adventures of a very British cat, more aristocratic than James-Bondian.

“I spend a lot of my time in England,” begins the nameless narrator, a traveling art expert. “My apartment in Baron’s Chambers, on Ryder Street, is my headquarters.”


“I felt wonderfully at home, and then I noticed something new. Sitting on the small table where one usually finds messages and brochures describing current exhibits and events sat what appeared at first glance to be a big, gray, short-haired cat. It was motionless and its eyes were closed, but even so, I felt the power of a rare personality.” (p. 1)

James never does talk, but he makes his feelings plain through pantomime, especially to the narrator.

Read the rest of this entry »

Guardian Cats and the Lost Books of Alexandria, by Rahma Krambo – Book Review By Fred Patten.

by Patch O'Furr

Submitted by Fred Patten, Furry’s favorite historian and reviewer.

519eO6qQBPLGuardian Cats and the Lost Books of Alexandria, by Rahma Krambo
Yuba City, CA, Reflected Light Books, July 2011, trade paperback $6.99 (261 pages), Kindle $2.99.

This is an attractive and easily-read fantasy for Young Adult and adult cat lovers, announced as the first in a series. It emphasizes “magical realism” rather than any s-f or fantasy nature. The animals can just talk, that’s all.

Marco is a pampered young housecat who learns to read when his human, young Lucy, leaves books out where he can get at them at night. Soon he is lost in what Lucy likes to read, which is Young Adult adventure and fantasy. The reader will recognize The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe and The Three Musketeers. “In the wee hours of the night, Marco became a warrior, a wizard, a wanderer, but he was always the hero. When Marco read, he forgot he was a cat.” (p. 2) An emergency – the reader will recognize Lucy’s grandmother being rushed to a hospital – empties the house of humans. After a couple of days alone, Marco ventures outside.

Marco does not fare well as an urban feral cat. His wandering takes him to an old library full of so many wonderful books that he almost forgets his search for food. He is shy, and he avoids anyone until he comes to one room:

“Marco moved into the doorway. On a long table sat a cat. Not the same as the one in the window. This one, larger and silver-spotted, was hunched over a book. All around him were stacks of books, and he seemed not to notice anything except what he was reading. His tail, laid out to the side, quivered in annoyance.” (p. 18)

Read the rest of this entry »

French Comic: Léonid. T. 1, Les Deux Albinos – review by Fred Patten.

by Patch O'Furr

Submitted by Fred Patten, Furry’s favorite historian and reviewer.

91pzQz5K1xLLéonid. T. 1, Les Deux Albinos, by Frédéric Brrémaud & Stefano Turconi.
Toulon, France, Soleil, August 2015, hardcover 10,95 (48 pages).

My thanks to Lex Nakashima, as usual for this French bande dessinée album.

At first glance, Léonid looks like a cute funny-animal comic book featuring cats, roughly similar to Disney’s 1970 The Aristocats. But its story, full of blood and terror, is closer to the German Felidae, either the 1989 novel by Akif Pirinçci or the furry-convention-favorite 1994 animated feature. (Both are good, but the movie simplifies the complex story.)

The locale is the farming district of Deux-Sèvres, in central-west France. “Léonid is a cat, not yet an adult, but not a kitten, either. Just a young cat. He lives in a house in the district, in the midst of trees, pretty far from any city and close to a farm.” Léonid is a young housecat, living with two other housecats (Hoa Mai, a Siamese, and Rosso, an elderly orange Pekinese) and a dog (Mirza, a toy terrier). His household is also the home of Atchi, a mouse constantly sneezing because he’s allergic to cat hairs. Léonid is allowed outside during the daytime to associate and play with the local feral cats; the female black-&-white Ba’on, and the males Bouboule (the fat one), Arsène (the nervous one), and an anonymous one (because he’s almost immediately killed).

Two newborn lambs are slaughtered at night, apparently by a wild animal. The cats inside a house are presumably safe, but the feral cats who spend nights outdoors worry that a fox may have moved into the neighborhood – or (for those who fear the less-probable predators) a wolf or an ermine. Léonid finds out that it was two bloodthirsty albino cats, but at first he can’t convince anyone else. They think that he’s exaggerating to make himself look important; then, when the two albinos kidnap Ba’on, they say that it’s every cat for himself. Meanwhile, the farmer has set Zeus and Apollon, his two killer hounds, loose to safeguard the rest of his flock, and the dogs run bloodily through the neighborhood as a savage danger to all of the cats who aren’t safe in houses.

The Two Albinos is mostly the story of how Ba’on is kidnapped by the two albinos to be their slave, and how Léonid and Atchi, the sneezing mouse, venture outside to her rescue. They’re successful, but not really because Ba’on reveals that while she was in the albino cats’ power, they boasted that they are just the vanguard of “the horde”, “the avant-garde of the terror of Great Attila, our guide” who will kill or enslave all the animals of the district.   Léonid, Ba’on, Aichi, Hoa Mai, Rossi, and Mirza are left wondering what to do when Attila and his horde arrive? Read the rest of this entry »

French Comic review by Fred Patten – Ocelot: Le Chat Qui N’en Etait Pas Un.

by Pup Matthias

Submitted by Fred Patten, Furry’s favorite historian and reviewer.

Ocelot coverOcelot: Le Chat Qui N’en Était Pas Un, by Jean David Morvan & Séverine Tréfouël [writers] and Agnès Fouquart [art].
Paris, Delcourt, August 2015, hardcover €12,50 (48 pages), Kindle free.

Thanks once again to Lex Nakashima for this fine example of the French bande dessinée.

If you think that this story is familiar, it should be. The publisher itself says in its catalogue that Ocelot: The Cat Who Was Not One is “in the fashion of Lady and the Tramp”. compares it to The Aristocats. (Les Aristochats.) You are advised “To read it with an empty mind and enjoy it”. (A lire pour se vider l’esprit et passer un bon moment.) In other words, just read it for fun. Tour modern Paris, the City of Lights, with a quartet of free-living cats.

Ocelot opens with the titular ocelot looking at the Eiffel Tower, all lit up at night. He hears another cat fighting with dogs and races across the rooftops to watch. He saves her, a fluffy white cat (“Une ragdoll!!”) with brown ears and tail, more by accident than design. The cat, obviously a sophisticated lady, is more amused than grateful. “You’re rather bizarre…” “I’m UNIQUE. That’s different.” She’s Olympe. He’s “Doudou de la Gür Gandine!” (Gür Gandine’s Cutie). She laughs in his face. (More specifically, a doudou is a young child’s favorite toy or plush doll, usually well-worn.) Read the rest of this entry »

Furries at Burning Man, Pride parade, and Mascots movie – NEWSDUMP (9/21/15)

by Patch O'Furr

Headlines, links and little stories to make your tail wag.  Guest posts welcome. Tips:

Furries at Burning Man – Amazing fursuit programmed to light up with movement!  Don’t miss the suit at 1:10. (Vid by Vox Fox).  

German news article:  “EUROFURENCE In Video – The Furries conquer Neukölln.”

The coming 2016 Furpocalypse is getting ridiculous: Netflix announces “Mascots” movie, from famed mockumentary maker Christopher Guest. 

Brace yourselves, Disney’s Zootopia is coming. Now this: a grade-A Hollywood director is tackling “fursploitation”, my catch-all genre that has many mediocre failures and just a few sparkling hits (like CollegeHumor’s Furry Force.) Chris Guest is famous for popularizing “mockumentary” with movies like This Is Spinal Tap and Best In Show. His “Mascots” will be on Netflix in 2016. There’s little info about it yet except a very short summary:

Welcome to all the drama, intrigue and occasional excitement of the 8th World Mascot Association Championships, where a group of ‘unusual’ men and women, with big heads and furry suits, compete to win the prestigious Gold Fluffy Award and be crowned best mascot in the world.

Read the rest of this entry »