How To Get Ahead In Business With Office Cat by Ariana Klepac and Pete Smith
Review by Kylie Thompson
Rating: 3 stars
Genre: gift, parody
There’s a certain resignation that comes with being owned by a cat. Let’s be honest, we don’t own them, we just obey. Hence the long-suffering sighs as we open and shut doors half a dozen times while our favourite fuzzballs contemplate changing locations, or the game of opening the fridge almost as often to prove that there’s nothing to eat in there they’d ever actually deign to try.
Cats have mastered the boss mentality, and we could probably stand to spend a bit of time figuring out how to emulate our furry overlords, if only to stop doing our best doormat impressions whenever they happen to make a sound.
For those looking to learn some hints, there’s ‘How To Get Ahead In Business With Office Cat’, a parody of the business self-help guides far too many of us have tried to struggle through. Packed full of wisdom that might not be much good in any office space outside the home, it’s a wonderful primer for human minions to better understand how cats set about running their worlds.
Office Cat, for those unaware, is an adorable ginger tabby with the sort of perpetually disapproving gaze that probably buys him a lot of treats from his owners. If you’re a fan of cats wearing ties, this is possibly going to be a must-buy, and if you know someone who turns to mush at the sight of cats in costume, this is a pretty safe-bet of a gift option.
‘Office Cat’ is the sort of ridiculous guide capable of amusing the lunch room, or at least providing a much-needed respite from the daily grind. If you’re looking for serious business advice, then clearly, this isn’t the book for you. But if you’re looking for an appropriate gag gift for a cat-fan friend? This is probably a good choice.
It’s rather wordy for a parody book, though. This isn’t your ‘Blue Day Book’ style of picture narrative, with short quippy comments beside or atop beautiful, evocative imagery. The pictures are adorably cheesy, but the word count is far higher than you might expect. Clearly, the writers had a field day here. There are times when the joke seems to run overly long, and where short and snappy would have been more impactful than maintaining the long-winded nature of many business focused texts, but at least it’s true to the genre tropes it parodies. This might not be the sort of book that requires multiple re-reads, but there’s wisdom to be had here if you’ve got a sense of humour and a little time to spare.
‘Office Cat’ is published through Smith Street Books/ Simon and Schuster, and is available through the publisher’s websites, and through leading booksellers.