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Lost Cat: A True Story of Love, Desperation, and GPS Technology Hardcover – April 9, 2013

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Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

Paul (Fighting Fire, 1998; East Wind, Rain, 2006) was recovering from the crash of her small, experimental plane and the smashed ankle (and other injuries) that ensued. In a daze of painkillers, depression, and waking nightmares, she was afraid that her new partner, Wendy, would leave. Relying on the relationship she had with her cats—the longest relationship of her adult existence—she clung to this normalcy in her changed life. And then the male, Tibby, disappeared. After five weeks of calling his name, placing flyers, consulting a psychic, and multiple visits to the shelter, a sleek and healthy Tibby just showed up one day. Where had he been? This funny and poignant memoir follows Caroline and Wendy’s quest. Using a GPS unit and a kitty-camera, they tracked his movements around their San Francisco neighborhood, and in the process managed to cure Caroline’s depression, meet their neighbors, and figure out where Tibby had been. This addictive read, marvelously illustrated by Wendy’s ink-and-wash drawings, will captivate all pet lovers. --Nancy Bent


“A delightful read for all those of us who would be lost without our cats.” ―Suzy Becker, #1 New York Times bestselling author of All I Need to Know, I Learned From My Cat

“You may say that love is not a word for feelings between people and books. I say I loved this book. I felt giddy when I read it. I smiled constantly and made snorty crack-up noises, the kind that make the people around you go, What?! Then I'd get choked up, and then I'd be giddy again, and all the way through, I didn't want it ever to end. I think we can all agree that's love.” ―Mary Roach, New York Times bestselling author of Packing for Mars and Stiff

“The writing and drawings are funny. Nutty. Heartwarming. Smart. Loopy. Full of love.” ―Maira Kalman, New York Times bestselling author and illustrator of #1 New York Times Bestsellers Food Rules by Michael Pollan and The Elements of Style by William Strunk, Jr. and E.B. White

“A thoughtful, kind and funny story about the love people can have for their pets and the weird places that this love and accompanying devotion can take them. But it also travels beyond the realm of human-pet relationships, offering commentary on all relationships and the roles of those we love, and sometimes don't love, in our lives.” ―PBS "Newshour"

“As author Caroline Paul and illustrator Wendy MacNaughton chart their discoveries in the feline world, they unfurl an uncommonly charming and wise tale.” ―Alexis Madrigal,

“Caroline Paul's LOST CAT: A True Story of Love, Desperation, and GPS Technology is revelatory…. it moves easily and hilariously from one sentence and chapter to the next. Like the storyline, though, the form only appears simple; in truth, it's ingeniously crafted…. All of this may sound a little over the top, and it is, especially for such a short book. But the effect is a fiercely charming narrative that sneaks up on a reader, just as the best fantastical books do…. LOST CAT is an incredibly endearing work, a snapshot of the madness of loving and agonizing over and chasing after animals.” ―Jillian Steinhauer, Los Angeles Review of Books

“[Paul's] text and Ms. MacNaughton's ink and wash drawings record the sometimes true, sometimes fanciful results of her sleuthing (and guesswork) in memoir form.” ―Liesl Schillinger, New York Times

“Utterly beguiling… the results are deeply satisfying, profound and funny.” ―Joanna Connors, Cleveland Plain Dealer

“This playful, quirky book is like a cat that climbs into your lap and purrs; it's impossible not to love it.” ―Gayle Brandeis, San Francisco Chronicle

“Cute without being treacly, LOST CAT has an appeal that even dog partisans will have to acknowledge.” ―Sarah Rothbard,

“A tender, imaginative memoir infused with equal parts humor and humanity…. an absolute treat from cover to cover.” ―Maria Popova, Brain Pickings

“The book is filled with some seriously heartbreaking (and heartwarming) moments, but is ultimately a testament to adoration in all its human and animal forms.” ―Fast Company

“Hilarious and moving…. Even non–cat lovers will find this an engaging read, charmingly illustrated by [Caroline] Paul's partner, [Wendy] MacNaughton, as Paul easily makes her strong emotions for her pets accessible and universal.” ―Publishers Weekly (starred review)

“Lost Cat was my most delightful literary discovery of last year . . . . It's funny, poignant, and as original as they come.” ―Cheryl Strayed, Entertainment Weekly

“This addictive read, marvelously illustrated by Wendy's ink-and-wash drawings, will captivate all pet lovers.” ―Nancy Bent, Booklist

“You don't have to be a cat person to thoroughly enjoy reading Lost Cat... Paul cracks jokes about her feline stalking, but she makes a surprisingly poignant meditation on the vulnerability of our relationships with animals and humans. MacNaughton's illustrations vividly bring their search and subsequent revelations to life on the page.” ―PureWow

“A beautifully illustrated, touching, and often hilarious tale of searching for a cat gone missing. If you love animals, you will love this.” ―Jezebel


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 176 pages
  • Publisher: Bloomsbury USA (April 9, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1608199770
  • ISBN-13: 978-1608199778
  • Product Dimensions: 5.4 x 0.8 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (394 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #80,338 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

80 of 81 people found the following review helpful By feemeister VINE VOICE on March 11, 2013
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
This is really hard. On the one hand, this is the funniest book I have read in ages! The illustrations ROCK! I was very drawn to this book. I recently had a cat disappear for a little over 3 weeks and was afraid he was done for, but he showed back up in perfect health, like he had been gone overnight or something. I could totally relate to what the author wanted to do and was just dying to know what she found out, to see if it would apply to my cat.

What I didn't expect, and what none of the reviewers or the writeups mentioned, was something that happened in the book that was very upsetting to me and made me cry. I was totally blindsided by it.

While this book is a total blast in most ways, I would not recommend it for people who get drawn in and attached very quickly and don't want to deal with heartbreak. I lost a very dear trooper of a cat to cancer last year and just can't deal with anything like that right now.

If you are able to deal with a bit of heartbreak, then this book can't be topped, for a bit of fun! Both Caroline and Wendy are very fun and likeable. Poor Caroline really went through a lot in a short amount of time with her babies (and her own injuries). She turned lemons into lemonade with this book. Very beautifully done
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30 of 32 people found the following review helpful By Trudie Barreras VINE VOICE on January 31, 2013
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
This book is without question one of the most fun I've had a chance to read in a long time, and yet because I, too, have had numerous feline companions over the years, it definitely strikes a deeper chord with me as well.

Although Wendy MacNaughton's illustrations make this at first glance seem like a children's book, it is definitely for adults. This, by the way, is another occasion when I regret that as an Amazon Vine reader, I'm only seeing the advance reading copy. Most of the illustrations in this format are rendered in grey tones, whereas the final version will be in full color. From the few examples given, I know that they will be spectacular; even the B-W renderings are delightful.

What makes this book meaningful in the extreme is, of course, the insight into both feline and human psychology that Caroline Paul manifests. I can relate on several levels; as already mentioned, I have had cats for most of my own life. My most recent cats have indeed been of the "indoor-only" variety, but prior to that I experienced the anguish of feline disappearances and can therefore relate to Caroline's distress over Tibby's vanishing act. Also, much more recently, I've had the experience of a spouse with a broken ankle, and therefore I can sympathize with Wendy for her difficulties in dealing with Caroline's disablement, and admire her willingness to hang in there during the ups and downs of the recuperation and the "great tracking endeavor".

The fun, of course, comes with the utter hilarity of the situation of trying to "track the cat" with the GPS device, the cat cam, and various direct canvassing efforts. If the reader doesn't ROTFL, or at least chuckle, he or she must be CATatonic...LOL. I strongly urge any cat fancier, and even those who are somewhat indifferent, to allow Paul's and MacNaughton's book to brighten their day. For those who hate cats...well, they probably don't have what it takes to appreciate this mini masterpiece.
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41 of 47 people found the following review helpful By Mr. Joe TOP 1000 REVIEWER on March 11, 2013
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
"Trust is good, but there's always GPS." - from LOST CAT

Author Caroline Paul had lived in her San Francisco neighborhood for twenty years, thirteen of those with her twin cats, Fibby and Tibby. While Caroline was convalescing from significant injuries sustained in the crash of an "experimental plane" that she was piloting, Tibby ran away from home - and stayed away - for the first time ever. All frantic efforts to find him failed.

Five weeks after disappearing, Tibby nonchalantly returned apparently none the worse for wear.

After the initial relief over her beloved Tibby's homecoming wore off, the author began to wonder. Where had he been? He weighed slightly more than when he left, and his fur was sleeker. What's that all about? Had he gone looking for, and found, a better provider after all these years?

The ungrateful and unfaithful little wretch.

Using everything from flyers distributed around the neighborhood to a miniature CatCam purchased from a German inventor, Caroline - still hobbling on crutches - and her friend Wendy MacNaughton, who illustrated LOST CAT with drawings, set out to discover what had been Tibby's secret home away from home. What they discovered helped the two better understand the nature of Tibby, their neighbors, and perhaps felines in general.

LOST CAT is an utterly charming little story that can be read over two coffee breaks and a lunch period at work. Paul's humorous narrative is reflected and complemented by Wendy's drawings, which are clever and well done.

LOST CAT is meant for those that are owned by, or simply love, cats, and who will certainly award four or five stars just for the charm alone. (My wife and I have three: Amanda, Sissy, and Rags.) Those indifferent to or repulsed by the creatures will be less amused, no doubt, and the book is not for them.

So, take your cat in your lap and purr along with this good book.
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20 of 22 people found the following review helpful By Sleepless VINE VOICE on March 23, 2013
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
This was a light read, it went very quickly, humorous, well written, with cute illustrations. I have so enjoyed the adventure of Tibby and Fibby. (and Caroline and Wendy too)

I too have lost a precious kitty friend before. He disappeared for an entire year, and yet somehow, he found his way home, showed up on the porch for breakfast one day like he had never been gone. I couldn't believe it. I am still mystified over where he went for such a long time, how he got lost in the first place, and how he found his way back. I loved that this author chose to find out about her cat's disappearance and to track her cat to see a glimpse into a cat's world. I think it is something we all wonder at times.

I also currently have a (collar-free) stranger cat who comes right into my porch every morning, eats with my cats, gets petted for awhile, then he parks himself on the swing cushion with my Calico, and they sleep there all afternoon. Around dinnertime he disappears again, and I assume he goes home, where his owners probably wonder where he has been and what he has been doing all day... After reading this book I am planning to send them some kind of note so they know what a boring life their baby actually leads in my yard.

Overall this was a delightful peek into the lives and habits of the felines we love. I am planning to buy several copies of this book to gift to my cat loving friends.
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