Tuesday, March 5, 2024
black catsbook reviewbooksbooks about cats dogs and animalsgiuseppemr. sunshine

We’re in a National Geographic Book! Well, Not Like That…

two black cats with book
Giuseppe and Mr. Sunshine assess their fame.

They’re going to be impossible to live with! Giuseppe and Mr. Sunshine are even more famous than before for their discerning abilities as art critics. Their photo appears in a newly-published book titled 67 Reasons Why Cats are Better than Dogs by Jack Shepherd, editorial director of BuzzFeed, published by National Geographic books.

In mid-January 2014 one of the book’s freelance photo editors sent me a message through my Etsy shop introducing the book and saying she’d love to use a certain photo in the book if I would grant one-time rights to it. Of course!

The book has nine chapters, each extolling the feline virtues in such subjects as “Athleticism”, “Companionship”, “Charity” and “Work Ethic”. Each “reason” within each chapter has its own title, photo and explanation along with a photo of a dog’s method of extolling the same virtue and the comparison of the two. We are reason #38 in Chapter 5 concerning “artistry”. The two-page spread is at the top and the single page is below.

page in 67 reasons why cats are better than dogs
The boys’ page in the book

And this is the dog’s experience of art.

"67 reasons why cats are better than dogs" by Jack Shepherd
The dog’s page.

Of course, it’s all in fun, like the Animal section on Buzzfeed, which Shepherd launched in 2012, often including posts with collections of animal photos under a certain topic like cuteness and fun plus entertaining and inspiring articles about animals.

Really, even though it’s a book about why cats are better than dogs, all the interpretations are silly and humorous for both species. Reason #19 tells us, “Cats are always there for you,” which also explains why they need to be in the bathroom with you as well as other places while the Husky is sleeping in the partially-packed suitcase as if he’s packing to leave, and in Reason #45 both a cat and a dog war aluminum foil hats, but for very different reasons.

"67 reasons why cats are better than dogs" by Jack Shepherd
“67 reasons why cats are better than dogs” by Jack Shepherd

The book also has real facts about cats every few pages as well, such as the frequency of a cat’s purr at around 25 Hz really does promote bone healing and pain relief, as well as a few that are possibly loosely interpreted as in a cat’s heartbeat being twice as fast as a human’s because they have “two times as much love.”

The book is beautifully designed and has a nice feel for handling and readability. It’s a compact 7” x 7” square—I love the square format in books and art prints, so I’m a little biased—and nearly 1/2” thick, perfect-bound. The text pages are printed on a substantial 100# matte-finish text stock, easily handled without damaging corners and accidentally folding, and quite opaque enough that the colorful and detailed layouts incorporating a lot of rich red background don’t show through from one page to the next. I like the matte finish as well which holds the color and detail without the glare of gloss-finish stock which sometimes makes viewing the page difficult and gathers fingerprints…and sometimes pawprints. The cover is uncoated with a spot varnish over the art and text that almost makes it look dimensional. Most of the photos were, like mine, obtained from photographers and simply people who managed to get neat photos of their cats and dogs; other photos were obtained from photo services.

67 Reasons is dedicated to Shepherd’s cat, Cuteyface, an incredibly beautiful torti-calico with a big splash of orange down her nose and perfect white paws.

The book can be found on National Geographic Books under “Animals and Nature” and also on Amazon.com.

black cat with "67 reasons why cats are better than dogs" by Jack Shepherd
“Perhaps Mlle. will be impressed!”

. . . . . . .

Another book my famous felines have appeared in


“Cat Confessions”, a Book Review by Me and Mewsette
page spread from Cat Confessions
Mewsette and Jelly Bean are stars!

(Mewsette attempts to write a book review.)

“You see my photo here all the time, but you don’t know I’m famous.”

“I’m famous too, Mewsette, I’m in the photo with you!”

“Shut up, Jelly Bean, you’re sitting behind me in the photo so you’re obviously not the subject.”

“But I’m cuter than you, everyone says so!”

“Jelly Bean, the only thing you’re good for is being cute. Go away and be cute!”

“Our photos are in the book too, Mewsette, stop acting like you’re such a star!”

“Who asked the two of you?! Everyone go away! Just let me finish what I’m saying!”

(Mewsette shoves her brothers, they shove back, a four-part wrestling match ensues.)


Well, so much for Mewsette and her book review, but she’s young, I think she can learn. I’ll finish this one for her since she’s otherwise occupied.

cover of cat confessions book
Cat Confessions: A “Kitty Come Clean” Tell-all Book

The book Mewsette refers to is Cat Confessions: A “Kitty Come Clean” Tell-all Book by Allia Zobel Nolan, a book that does just that—allows kitties the chance to come clean about all the naughty things they do behind their humans’ backs!

“All we did was tell Mommy’s date how old she really is. We don’t know why he left,” say Sugar and Spice from Duluth, Minnesota each bearing totally innocent round-eyed expressions.

And many more in this beautifully-designed 64-page book, thoughtfully written by Allia after her years of observations of her cats and others’.

A sweet little hardback gift book, Cat Confessions is a great way for both new feline aficionados to find out what to expect from their new housemates and long-term human slaves to felines get a good laugh at what they know to be true. At just under 5″ x 5″ it’s a great stocking-stuffer or anytime gift. That way, whenever your cat or any other is wearing an expression that can’t be determined, you and your friends and family can check this book to find a clue.


. . . . . . .

And here is the original post in which the photo appeared.


. . . . . . .

Daily Photo Reprise: Art Critics, 2011
two black cats looking at painting
Art Critics

Look, mom put a new painting up on the easel.

I don’t think I like this one. It’s just not detailed enough. I don’t like those “fuzzy” landscapes.

It’s water, goof, not a landscape. When did she go there?

How do you know it’s water? You’ve never seen anything like that.

I look at the internet with mom, and I’ve seen her other paintings. This is her style. Look at the way she worked these waves here, colors you’d never imagine were in water.

Well, it’s boring to me. I like real places where I can see all the details, like that one up there of the bare cherry tree that’s right outside this window. Looks just like what you see when you look out the window.

Don’t you have any imagination? You can see that all the time! Look, squint your eyes and then look at it, you’ll be surprised at what you see.

Well, it looks a little more interesting this way, but I’d like it better if it at least had a cat in it somewhere. Maybe a bird. How can I relate to this?

Look, Mister Sunshine, the world doesn’t revolve around you and what you like. Don’t you want to learn about new things? Doesn’t this make you want to go and see this for real?

I’d rather look out the window and see what’s really real. You think you’re so smart, Mister worldly opera star Giuseppe with the foreign girl friend.

You’re a waste of good black cat fur.

I just like to give you a hard time. You know I don’t mean it. I don’t like this one as much as mom’s other paintings, but that doesn’t mean I don’t like it at all.

Well, what do you like?

I like to look at other animals, especially cats. I’m an animal, I like to look at other animals, what do you expect? And I like the outdoors, like the backyard. I like what’s familiar. And I’m mom’s engineer cat. I like real, concrete things. What do you like?

Well, I like those things too, but this is really eye-catching, I could look at it all day.

You know what I like about it?

No, what?

Our mom did it.

Yeah, sometimes that’s all it takes.

This conversation between Mr. Sunshine and Giuseppe is patterned after a conversation I overheard between two men looking at art hung in a gallery in an office building lobby. You can see the framed painting here.

Read other reviews of books and other works.

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All images used on this site are copyrighted to Bernadette E. Kazmarski unless otherwise noted and may not be used without my written permission. Please ask if you are interested in using one in a print or internet publication. If you are interested in purchasing a print of this image or a product including this image, check my Etsy shop or Fine Art America profile to see if I have it available already. If you don’t find it there, visit Ordering Custom Artwork for more information on a custom greeting card, print or other item.

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