I have enjoyed Volume II of I Am a Cat as much as I have Volume I, probably more so as I have become immersed in the novel and attuned to its narrator and satirical humour. I Am a Cat is highly amusing with wry perceptions through the eyes of a cat. Volume II has been more episodic -with the setting and premise established in Volume I- with the cat (or Neko, as I refer to him when posting) venturing out to a Japanese bathhouse, spying on neighbours and being the only witness to a burglary in his master's home (of course burglars are also known as cat burglars). The scene were Neko attempts to prove his worth by catching rats -before a visitor to the Sneazes' home takes him to eat- is a moment of high comedy. Neko's commentary is insightful as well as scathing at times but it is always witty; when he is not participating in his own escapades then he is observing the domestic dramas of his owners, their friends and acquaintances. I also enjoyed a cheeky reference to Sōseki and his poetry by Sneaze and his friends, Coldmoon and Waverhouse.
I am finding I Am a Cat immensely readable and enjoyable and have definitely found my stride with Volume II; the characters are more fully-fledged and less annoying than in Volume I (not that they irritated me that much but Mr Sneaze is rather pompous) and the cat, himself, is more humanised, which is a development interesting to follow. The cat is by far one of the most intriguing and compelling narrators I have ever had the joy of reading. The concept of an omniscient narrator that is a character and a cat is awe-worthy and it still impresses me two volumes on; I am very excited -but also disappointed- to read the third and final volume for January 15th.
How are you finding I Am a Cat? I know that some of you have borrowed it from the library on my recommendation and I hope that you are enjoying it as much as I am.
Some quotes from Volume II:
So who the hell is this that has so blithely appropriated the cushion which was destined, sooner or later, to have eased Suzuki buttocks? Had the interloper been a human being, he might well have given way. But to be pre-empted by a mere cat, that is intolerable. It is also a little unpleasant.
But cats, I can assure you, just like anyone else, feel the heat and feel the cold. There are times when I consider that I really wouldn't mind, just that once, soaking myself in a bath, but if I got hot water all over my fur, it would take ages to get dry again and that is why I grin and bear the stink of my own sweat and have never in all my life yet passed through the entrance of a public bathhouse. Every now and again I think about using a fan but, since I cannot hold one in my paws, the thought's not worth pursuing.