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Under the Paw: Confessions of a Cat Man [Paperback]

Tom Cox
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (137 customer reviews)

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Book Description

2 Mar 2009
For years, Tom Cox might have seemed like a regular, hard-living sort of bloke -- a lover of late nights, rock music and beer -- but he had a dark, furry secret. Tom was a cat lover. For a while, he kept his passion in check, but there was only so long he could postpone his true dream, especially after he met Dee, his moggy-loving soulmate. He let London and his job as a rock critic behind, and he and Dee, her cat Janet and three new kittens, moved to a remote part of Norfolk. They thought it would be easy. They thought their cat madness had reached its limit. They were wrong. In Under the Paw, Tom records the chaos of owning seven of the most charismatic, idiotic and duplicitous cats in the country. Suddenly on call around the clock for multiple sets of whiskers, Tom encounters death, depression, flying fur and the first human sentence spoken by a feline. Running through all the maelstrom is the heartbreaking story of his relationship with The Bear, his oldest cat: a 'painfully sensitive' survivor moggy who may or may not be an evil genius.

Product details

  • Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Pocket Books; reprint edition (2 Mar 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1847391834
  • ISBN-13: 978-1847391834
  • Product Dimensions: 12.9 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (137 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 109,239 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Tom Cox was born in Nottingham in 1975. Since leaving his post as The Guardian's Pop Critic in 2000, he has written seven books, including the Sunday Times top ten bestseller The Good, The Bad And The Furry. His writing has appeared in The Guardian, The Daily Telegraph, The Sunday Times, The Observer, Esquire, and many other publications. He lives in Devon.

Tom Cox is a very funny writer.' - Kate Atkinson

'Made me laugh out loud.' - David Sedaris

'Tom Cox writes brilliantly about golf.' William Boyd

Product Description


'Brilliantly funny and moving ... will act as an antidote to all the soppy, sloppy, spinsterish rubbish written about our feline f(r)iends'
-- Julie Burchill

'Tom Cox is a very funny writer, and he knows his cats' -- Kate Atkinson --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
99 of 99 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Any animal lover will love this 9 Jun 2008
I admit to being a Mad Cat Woman, in secret, but here is a man who has come out. He's a Mad Cat Man (a little known breed) and he admits it. This is the story of his life-long love for cats and how he currently lives at the beck and call of six of them, with his equally cat-loving wife.

It's a very funny, at times sad, always entertaining book about a man with an obsession. He explains how it started, and how he tried to control it: giving them up completely, and finding himself compulsively chatting up strange cats in the street, before finally giving in when he meets the girl of his dreams and a cat out of a nightmare. He writes about how all their different personalities emerge, and his attempts to understand and deal with them - The Bear: troubled sensitive artistic cat and Evil Genius; Ralph: Pretty Boy Rock Star cat suffering from depression. He explains how difficult it is to find a new house, deal with builders, work to pay for it all, when there are rather a lot of different opinions to take into account. Although he does know each cat's Catch Phrase and Theme Song, he is adamant that he knows they're not children and swears he would never refer to himself as their 'Dad'.

I would recommend this book to anyone, whether Mad Cat Person or ordinary animal lover - it's wryly funny, never over-sentimental and a very enjoyable read. It did make me want to rush out and get a few more cats, though, but maybe that's just me.
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46 of 47 people found the following review helpful
It has to be said that I come from a family of cat lovers, I think that it must be something genetic because it doesn't matter what sex we are we all wear our love of cats on our sleeves (The numerous cat hairs & blobs or purry drool can attest to that.)

Anyone becoming a member of our family has had to cope with this inherent moggy love. My dad just sneezed his way through it. My previously mog resistant uncle found his affections swayed by a particularly grumpy black stray with an unhealthy taste for raw liver & my husband, who had only ever lived in a dog household, found himself seduced by a slightly barking but completely adorable little tabby girl & is now also hero worshipped by a very camp ginger & white moggy named after a deceased movie star. So it was my husband that actually picked up our copy of Tom Cox's excellent book chronicalling his journey through his personal cat history that has lead to him being owned by no less than six cats.

This wonderfully written tail (sic) bristles with humour & anecdotes that even a reader giving lodging to just one cat can identify & empathise with & provides a wonderful insight for the non-cat person into the appeal of these little, beguiling but oft misunderstood creatures. I found myself laughing out loud from the first chapter in found it hard to tear myself away from its pages, though my cats found that an outstretched set of claws dug into a fleshy bit had the desired effect when trying to get my attention. A great read guaranteed to soften the resolve of even the steeliest catophobe.
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17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Being a lifelong incurable cat adorer, I am always on the look out for books about the feline species. However, most specimens I have tried so far have been either too brief, boring, or more often than not merely the authors' autobiographies in diguise, with more of the books being spent on themselves than on the main subject in question, i.e. cats.

Tom Cox's book, however, fitted the title and my requirements perfectly, and was the first book on cats I had picked up and read from cover to cover in a while. You could see his devotion to the species leaping out from every line, every page, every chapter. Every single one of his cats took on their own character and was given their own space. He even managed to make me fall in love with the malignant sounding 'The Bear' by the end of the book, which was no mean feat considering this was a creature that initially sounded like the cat from hell!

Finally, not only did this book fulfil all my criteria of what a cat book should be like, I thoroughly loved the style, wit and humour with which it had been written. Truly a cat lover's book - are there any more coming??
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Another cat man exists! 17 July 2008
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Fabulous read! I thought i was married to Cat Man, but glad to see another exists! Tom Cox certainly knows his cats (and mine too). Loved it. Want to hear more about The Bear.
Another book soon please!
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28 of 29 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Gribbly bit-tastic 26 Jun 2008
Is your cat a puss, a mog or a supervillain? Were you as proud as I was at your kittens' first mousetache? Are you unable to drive past a cat rehoming centre without feeling guilt for weeks afterwards and then having to go back to take on 3 new additions to the family? This is the book for you - absolutely brilliant - I didn't put it down once!
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Scouser Cat Woman Loves Book 24 Jun 2008
I finished this book reluctantly. I didn't want to put it down.
It's the life and cat-times of Tom Cox, author, golfer and since childhood, passionate about cats. He is not afraid to admit in public that he is a 'Cat Man' and proud of it.
He shares his life with his wife, Dee and 6 cats. That's 24 paws to be under.
I highly recommend this book. You will learn about Tom's early life and cats. Lots about living in East Anglia. How to feed 6 cats together at the same time - hilarious and Tom's ongoing, at times troubled, relationship with The Bear.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars A brilliant cat lovers read!
Very humorous and sometimes emotional observation of Tom Cox's "family", moggies very much at the fore, obviously, right where they should be!
Published 2 days ago by M Wells
2.0 out of 5 stars Woof !
If you like BOTH cats AND anecdotes then this book is for you.
Otherwise you may find yourself falling asleep on the armchair, table, bookcase, TV, fish-tank .....
Published 10 days ago by Mr. M.C.
4.0 out of 5 stars Purrfect
Bought it as I'm a cat lover and was interested to see how other people live with their cats and actually was more interested in the life of the author and his wife. Read more
Published 13 days ago by T.etch
4.0 out of 5 stars Enjoyable
A flippant writing style that carries you through at a fast pace. But must be well written as it worked for me as a book to be read aloud.. Read more
Published 16 days ago by Rosemary Blake
3.0 out of 5 stars Love @MYSADCAT and @MYSMUGCAT on Twitter
So was quite sad to be entirely unmoved by the writing in this book.

The witty inter-chapter bits, for me, fell flat. The story itself.. I don't know... Read more
Published 22 days ago by Anne Cowling
5.0 out of 5 stars A book for all cat lovers
I enjoyed the book very much. An entertaining read! Just another reminder why cats really are the best pets and why cats end up owning us, instead of us owning them.
Published 26 days ago by Shells
5.0 out of 5 stars Tom Cox certainly Knows his cats
Having acquired two kittens I can relate to both Tom's experiences and love of cats.
Very funny and very true.
Once started I found it very hard to put down .
Published 1 month ago by Antony Skrzypczyk
5.0 out of 5 stars so funny
This book is just so funny, it is entertainingly written and really well-observed, I found myself grinning all the time I was reading it.
Published 2 months ago by K. Annamaria
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Read
Enjoyed every minute on this great little read. Can't wait to read the next book. Loved hearing about the ups and downs of owning a cat, The Bear is a star
Published 2 months ago by T. E. Olsson
5.0 out of 5 stars Awkward Prawn Loved this
Made me laugh. The family thought I had lost it (again) due to the laughing. A wonderful book about cats without all the soppy, slushy stuff you get in some cat books. Read more
Published 2 months ago by Jane
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