Wednesday, April 24, 2013

On "No Cat, No Father" by Alana Ruprecht (4285 words) *****

If you told me you were going to tell me a story about a father who comes back to your house as a cat, I'd say that you were not likely to succeed very well. I'd expect a lot of disbelief on the part of the characters, a lot of questioning about how the father got to be this way. Ruprecht does none of that, however. A dad can become a cat, and everyone in the story knows it. It's just a fact of life, the way things are.

Instead, the characters focus on how to deal with the cat. You see, the father was not a good man--and he's no better as a cat. He expects to run the household, but he doesn't expect to work to provide for the household. He's lazy and selfish. He's a cat.

And he's cute. You can't help but like him on some level, to want to take care of him, and in that is the danger. He's a cat.

I'm sure that some scholar has written about how pets are replacements for children and for lovers in our contemporary world. Ruprecht takes the logic of that, the implication of that, to its full extreme. What is love, and how well can an animal fill in for the things that are missing from our lives? Read the story here at Summerset Review.

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