Cats 1, Me 0, Until Now — Maybe

I returned home from ten days in Europe with a damaged laptop to find my website had somehow been damaged.  Fixing it involved losing the post and comments where I had explained my absence. So, sorry about that.  Using my desktop while I wait for my computer to dry out and/or my new one to come.

Great trip and I will post photos later, but here is a post I wrote on the plane on my way to Europe, and which I didn’t get to post before the moisture ate my screen.

How to Argue with a Cat

HOW TO ARGUE WITH A CAT coverA Human’s Guide to the Art of Persuasion
Written by: Jay Heinrichs
Read by: Jay Heinrichs
2 Hours and 25 Minutes
PRHA: Imprint: Random House Audio
Genre: Language Arts & Disciplines – Communication Studies
Release Date: June 19, 2018

I voluntarily reviewed an advance readers copy of this book. No remuneration was exchanged and all opinions presented herein are my own except as noted.


Learn how to persuade cats–the world’s most skeptical and cautious negotiators–with this primer on rhetoric and argument from the New York Times bestselling author of Thank You for Arguing!

Cats are skilled manipulators who can talk you into just about anything without a single word. They can get you to drop whatever you’re doing and play with them. They can make you serve their dinner way ahead of schedule. They can get you to sit down right this instant and provide a lap. On the other hand, try getting a cat to do what you want….

While it’s hard, persuading a cat is possible. And after that, persuading humans becomes a breeze, and that is what you will learn in this book. How to Argue with a Cat will teach you how to:
* Hold an intelligent conversation–one of the few things easier to do with a cat than a human.
* Argue logically, even if your opponent is furry and irrational.
* Hack up a fallacy (the hairball of logic).
* Make your body do the talking (cats are very good at this).
* Master decorum: the art of fitting in with cats, venture capitalists, or humans.
* Earn any creature’s respect and loyalty.


My Take Oblong Shaped


I have four monsters monkeys cats so, when I saw that Penguin Random House audio was offering a book about arguing with, as in convincing, cats I was intrigued. As a woman with four cats how could I possibly pass this one up – especially as my oldest, most venerated cat is so very argumentative.

I don’t always thoroughly read the description of a book so I thought this would be a manual to teach me how to persuade my little evil critters to not howl in the car, or just because they feel like it.
It’s also interesting that Jay Henrich talks a lot about Rhetoric and my degrees are in Rhetoric and Communication.

He uses terms like “enthymeme,” possibly the least used word in the English language, and one of my favorite words. It is an argument in which one premise of an argument is not explicitly stated. That allows the reader, or your boss to draw the conclusion on his/her own. When humans do this, it can convince the person to think it is true.

More than a manual to help us convince cats, Heinrich offers a treatment of argument with cats as exemplars of persuasion. It’s a bit of an “Everything I Know about Arguing I Learned from My Cat” approach. He does offer a couple of strategies for getting a cat to behave as you want her/him too. He does a great job explaining some aspects of cat behavior – especially about jumping on the table and play-hunting. But those are secondary.

It’s a bit of a device in teaching argumentation – and he is a powerhouse of the theory and practice thereof.   He explains it all really well.   I learned some practical strategies to help me help people to negotiate with me (so I can convince them to do what I know is right).

Heinrich does a lovely job narrating the book. He obviously has a history in public speaking and as the writer knows where he wants the inflections and emphasis. My only problem is that the cats also heard the book and now they will be wise to my tricks.

It is a device, but these skill-teaching books often use devices as a way of reaching people. If it works to teach them who cares.

I laughed frequently but think the book offers serious skills using humor.

Now, if I could just get the cats into the damn car.


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