Hoarding is not collection development
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Dancing with Cats

Dancing with Cats coverDancing with Cats
Silver and Busch
1999

Submitter: If you thought “Why Cats Paint” qualified for Awful Library Book status, I give you its sequel “Dancing with Cats!”  And yes, we had both of them on the shelves of our medium-sized Midwestern public library.  Unlike it’s hilarious predecessor, Dancing with Cats is kind of creepy and the images will be burned into your retinas forever, mainly because of the humans in the photos.   Take Fred in his body paint, leotard and tail (Oh Lord, please let it be a leotard!).  Or Ivan in his Speedo.  Doesn’t it look like the cats are begging him to put some clothes on?  Ralph simply looks possessed, while Helen in her tie-dye looks like she’s been into the catnip a few too many times.   I will say however, that the models in this book could teach Tyra Banks’ protégés on America’s  Next Top Model about committing to their poses.  Not that I watch ANTM.  Much.

This book is good for a novelty, but like many humor books, the novelty wears off pretty quickly. It hasn’t circulated in a few years, so we’re pulling it from our shelves.

Holly: Is it a parody? Is it serious? We’re not sure. Worldcat’s summary seems pretty serious: “Photographs and text celebrate the joyous communication that can exist between humans and their feline companions as they engage in movement and dance together.” The Library of Congress in their wisdom gave it serious subject headings, too: Dance, Cats–Behavior, and Human-animal relationships. Either way, it’s funny! The cats are…dancing! Mary, can Roberta dance? It’s the people who are really funny here, though. I’m a little worried for Ralph, actually. He might be having a stroke.

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It Could Be Verse

It Could Be Verse
Buono
1972

Submitter: Holy iambic pentameter, Batman!!  [Buono] is most famous for playing the villainous “King Tut” on the original Batman show in the 60s.  It’s from 1972 and our copy looks pretty worn, so it got tossed recently.  I am not sure how it lasted this long.

Holly: I love the title!  Too funny!  Here’s an exerpt: (and yes, Submitter, if it’s worn and old, I agree: time to weed this one!)

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Why Cats Paint

Why Cats Paint: a theory of feline aesthetics
Busch and Silver
1994

Submitter: I found this while looking though my local library’s book sale. I picked it up out of interest and I started laughing.

Holly: Who knew cats could paint?  This is hilarious!!  Is it just me, or do some of the cats in these pictures look a little fake?  I’m sure they’re creative geniuses, though.  Fluff, in the last picture, doesn’t just play with wool.  He “constructs creative installations.”  Of course he does.  The book sale is a good place for it, but there are quite a few libraries out there with this book in the collection.

Mary: I suppose we wouldn’t be librarians without a couple of cat references.  I personally am owned by two lovely cats named Roberta and Fred.  Any cat book intrigues me: who in their right mind would be patient enough to photograph cats doing art?  Who has that kind of time?

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