Animals have enough attitude to keep us thoroughly entertained, and sometimes even spark so much love that we get pet tattoos to celebrate them. Our furry and not-so-furry friends cover the whole spectrum: some sincerely want to help us (or at least don’t hate hugs), some are a little crazy and some are just bloodsuckers. This week’s books feature a loving and loyal dog, a collection of cartoon cats (take note: ladies who are crazy about cats) and a tick that nearly ruined a young woman’s life.
1. Teddy and Me: Confessions of a Service Human by Michael Savage ($18): Michael Savage is the host of The Savage Nation, a popular abrasive conservative radio talk show. His show is also well-known for having a co-host who never speaks. It’s not just that it’s hard to get a word in edgewise during a rant, it’s that Teddy, Savage’s silent support, is a dog. In this book, Savage largely (though, warning, not completely) puts politics aside to primarily tell sweet stories about his loyal companion (and other family pets).
“Teddy is my best friend. There’s no question about it. Everything I do, he does,” writes Savage. Acknowledging that dog friendship is very different in many ways from human friendship and can’t necessarily achieve the same goals, he nevertheless concludes that “There is no more consistently loyal friend than a dog.” Savage tells us about their trips through the streets of San Francisco, their restaurant adventures, shared bedtime stories and Teddy’s tendency to protect the radio equipment. Of course, he includes the necessary dog photos. Politics may be contentious and draining, but most of us can get behind puppies as a force for good.
2. Breaking Cat News: Cats Reporting on the News That Matters to Cats by Georgia Dunn ($11): If anything in the animal world resembles politics, it’s the friendly rivalry between dog people and cat people. If a dog’s most famous trait is loyalty, well, cats will forever be linked with curiosity. “The idea for Breaking Cat News struck me one night with a CRASH when our cat Lupin knocked everything off a shelf in our home. In a flash, our other cats Elvis and Puck were on the scene, investigating and meowing like crazy, while my husband and I cleaned up the mess,” writes cartoonist Georgia Dunn.
In Breaking Cat News, Dunn tells us the story of three cats and their “news channel,” in which they report the various goings-on in their household and with their people. Based on Dunn’s three real-life cats, Elvis (the cynic), Puck (the sweet one) and Lupin (the joker), the cats of BCN are committed to reporting the most hard-hitting stories they encounter (at least until a stray red dot or food bowl gets in the way).
The watercolor kitties are expressive, and the stories range from funny to heartwarming (and even a little suspenseful), including “The Vacuum Cleaner Is Back!,” “That Cat Is in the Backyard Again!” and “The Woman Is Cooking Bacon!” If you’ve ever wanted to get inside those little fuzzy heads, this might be a book you can get behind.
3. Bite Me: How Lyme Disease Stole My Childhood, Made Me Crazy, and Almost Killed Me by Ally Hilfiger ($16): Cat people vs. dog people aside, most of us (who aren’t soul-dead robots) can see the cuteness of one or both. If we’re looking at other kinds of animal life, though, ticks may be VERY last on the lovable scale, vying with mosquitos for the insect we’d most like to see shot into space for good. Not only do they hide in the otherwise-tranquil woods, but their blood-sucking bites can cause a permanent and debilitating disease. Ally Hilfiger, daughter of famous designer Tommy, uses her celebrity status to bring awareness to Lyme disease, which is often misdiagnosed and misunderstood.
When Hilfiger was seven years old, she began suffering physical symptoms that no doctor seemed to completely understand — a mixture of memory loss, confusion, joint pain and nausea. Though she seemed to be able to function normally, beginning a career in producing and acting, at the age of 18 she woke up in a psychiatric hospital, having suffered a psychotic break. The horrifying experience would eventually give her some sort of peace, as a ward doctor finally deduced what she had been going through.
Hilfiger chronicles her therapy for and painful recovery from a disease that eluded definition for 11 years, as well as talking about her life in the, uh, limelight, and trying to reconcile the two. Hilfiger is now an international spokesperson in the fight against Lyme disease, trying to prevent others from suffering the way she did.
What books are your most trusted companions? Tag us in an Insta of your next purr-fect read @BritandCo.
(Featured photo via Getty)