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My Cat Spit McGee Hardcover – October 19, 1999


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 160 pages
  • Publisher: Random House; 1st edition (October 19, 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0375503218
  • ISBN-13: 978-0375503214
  • Product Dimensions: 7.7 x 5.3 x 0.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (63 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #393,440 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Morris named his cat Spit McGee after a mischievous, resourceful boy in one of the children's books he wrote. All white with one blue eye and one golden eye, Spit disproves the erroneous belief that a cat with two different-colored eyes is born deaf: his keen ears "could pick up dinner conversations in Memphis two hundred miles away." A quirky iconoclast, Spit will win the hearts of both cat lovers and those who are cat-neutral, in this enjoyable sequel to My Dog Skip, an account of the fox terrier of the author's boyhood that was made into a movie. Even cat haters may come around after meeting this playful, cranky and clever individualist who often sleeps on his back with all four legs sticking straight up. Morris, a novelist and former creative director of Harper's magazine, whose books include Faulkner's Mississippi and The Ghosts of Medgar Evers, once despised cats and almost broke off an engagement after his fianc?e announced that she intended to get a kitten. With self-deprecating humor and Southern charm, he charts his metamorphosis from ailurophobe to "valet, butler, and menial" of Spit, now eight years old, and a menagerie that at one time expanded to nine cats, but now totals three. As Spit and the author take automobile jaunts around Mississippi and converse together, Morris doesn't ask the reader to dote on his cat as much as he and his wife do; instead, he uses his intense relationship to probe the universals of cat psychology and behavior. (Nov.)
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Library Journal

The New York Times obituary for Morris, who died August 2, stated that he was survived by his wife and son but failed to mention Spit McGee, the author's beloved white cat. After reading this slim, sentimental memoir (made poignant by Morris's death), one wonders what is going to happen to Spit now that his master is gone. As he recounted in his best-selling My Dog Skip, Morris had always been a dog man; in his hometown of Yazoo, MS, he and his boyhood friends considered cats to be "dumb, vain and coldhearted, not to mention remote, calculating, and sinister." What changed his mind was the Cat Woman, Morris's second wife and a true ailurophile, and a little white kitten with one blue and one gold eye. Saving Spit's life at his birth, Morris became a fascinated cat watcher but not always a responsible owner; he often neglected to have his pets neutered. Believing that Spit was the reincarnation of Skip, Morris tried to teach him a few tricks but soon learned that "cats ain't dogs" and that Spit McGee was Spit McGee. Despite the flowery, overwrought prose, cat lovers and even dog owners who think they hate cats will enjoy this.
-AWilda Williams, "Library Journal"
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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Customer Reviews

This book affected me more than any book I have read for a very long time.
"shallowwit"
This wonderful story about the author and his love for his cat struck a sad note in me when I read at the end of the book that he passed away last year.
Michelle
If you are a cat lover or just have any love for animals, this non-fiction story will make you laugh and cry.
Betty Anne

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

20 of 20 people found the following review helpful By chris on January 31, 2000
Format: Hardcover
I say that because after reading this book I feel like I've come to know both Willie and Spit, as well as a few of his other great characters. As the author said, his loving, personal sketch of Spit is really much more, a drawing together of so many meaningful threads in his own eventful life. His travels with the large white cat are his way of sharing his family and social history with his best friend, and its a time for remebering too. Perhaps the most poignant moment in the story is Willie's image of his, and for a longer period, Spit's, waiting for the return of their beloved companion Harper, who never comes back. Now Spit is waiting again, peering out the door for Willie. Yet maybe its like Willie promised, if ever he gets to heaven, he's going to find Skip and all those relatives who went before him waiting to welcome him. Someday Spit with be united with him again, Willie believed that and I want to believe it too, for Willie and Spit and for all of us. On the last page of the book, Willie is holding the big cat on his lap and says to him, "Spitty, I love you." We chould all do that more often with the ones we care most about...this is a book about a cat and a special friendship, its a book of laughter and tears, its a book for everybody. I'm lucky to have known Willie Morris for just a moment, for far too short a time.
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19 of 19 people found the following review helpful By "djdancer" on January 17, 2000
Format: Hardcover
I received this book for Christmas from my veterinarian daughter. It was a fun read, and as a lover of cats, and owner of two, it was just the type of book that contains many smiles and just enough laughs to keep me waiting for the next one. Mr. Morris had a true connection with Spit, and the book was meaningful to me because I, too, was once owned by a cat like Spit. The best parts of the book were the anecdotes recalled by the author, little occurences that stood out in his memory about Spit. Each one is guaranteed to make you smile, and think about the special cat in YOUR life. For instance, the author recalls the time he and his (human) buddies were watching a baseball game on television. They were all anxiously waiting to see if this would be the game in which Mark McGwire would break the home run record. Well, it was, and the reaction of the gang, including Spit, is guaranteed to make you smile. But I had to laugh out loud as he described the time he had decided to take Spit on the road with him, and tried to convince the cat that walking on a leash is perfectly normal and acceptable. For a cat? Spit did not agree, to say the least, and the three pages that followed had me in stitches! I recommend this book to anyone who has a cat in their life now, or has at any time loved and been loved by a cat.
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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Christine on December 3, 1999
Format: Hardcover
I just finished reading "My Cat Spit McGee" and read it in almost one sitting! I could not put it down. Willie Morris conveys the emotional roller coaster every pet owner feels - from elation to uncertainty as he explores the almost mystical bond between pets and their owners. This is the story of a cat-hater turned cat-lover being transformed by an unlikely hero -Spit McGee. Willie's transformation doesn't happen overnight however. Willie's journey from a cat-hater to a cat-lover happens as a series of events - (some funny and some sad) unfold in this tale of two unlikely souls colliding. Brilliantly and beautifully written.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By "shallowwit" on February 2, 2000
Format: Hardcover
This book affected me more than any book I have read for a very long time. I laughed and cried several times while reading it. I could not put it down and finished it in two days. Some of the most profound and poignant pleasures in life are encapsulated in just 141 pages. Skip, Pete, and Spit are fascinating creatures, but it is Morris's keen observation and appreciation that renders them extraordinary. If you want to know how to find more meaning in your life, read this book and learn what can be gained from the simple and deeply abiding joy present in the change of seasons, in hometowns and baseball games, and the in companionship of a special animal. Wherever you went when you left this world Mr. Morris, I hope Skip and Pete were there to meet you at the gate.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Joseph Haschka TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on May 30, 2000
Format: Hardcover
Accomplished writer Willie Morris was a lifelong dog-lover and cat-hater, an ailurophobe. Growing up in Mississippi, that was only way a Manly Man could be. In "My Cat Spit McGee", the author describes his conversion to an ailurophile, or cat-lover, an epiphany apparently of the same magnitude as that experienced by Saul of Tarsus (a.k.a. St. Paul) on the road to Damascus.
Through association with his second wife, JoAnne, and after a series of response-modifying events, the author finds a boon companion in Spit McGee, a shorthaired, all-white male cat with one blue and one gold eye. It's in this short book's - 141 pages, hardcover - second half that Willie describes both the understanding that develops between himself and his new feline pal, as well as the personalities of Spit and several other family cats that won him over.
If you're not an ailurophile, or not someone confronted by fickle circumstance with a forced conversion, there's no reason to even crack this book open. For myself, a cat-lover of long standing, this gentle and heartwarming story made me appreciate more than ever my calico buddy, Trouble. Willie died in 1999, leaving Spit behind. Since I'm 51 and Trouble is approaching 9, there is a good chance that my furry friend will predecease me. I will rue the coming of that day. I shall miss her terribly.
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