Upsetting Day: 52 Devotions for Cat Lovers 🌭

No one. I’m not sure this book exists.

I feel weight, and see text. The pages smell like unwashed fur and embalming fluid. The Little Free Library outside my lair has a paperback-sized gap. Yet 52 Devotions for Cat Lovers is not there.

The lack of names on the front, side, or back stands out. A little pride’s natural, even if you list it next to murder as a sin. People autograph madness, hate speech, criminal confessions, and guides to mixing all three. 52 Devotions for Cat Lovers, at a glance, comes from the aether.

But the authors exist: 52 Devotions for Cat Lovers emerged in 2019, before automated plagiarism bloomed. This is handcrafted air. The legalese page credits Michelle Cox, Sylvia Schroeder, Lori Brown, Linda Gilden, and Edie Melson as “composers.” Solid word choice. “Writers” feels strong.

As for the cover? Pay artists. Just do it. They train to spare your dignity. No design student would let that clip art touch a printer.

If you were raised to honor pets, or even God, you’ve got the concept. But the intro’s worthwhile for parasite-free readers. Parasites from cats, I’m not Bill Maher. Unless you’re with HBO.

About ten minutes ago, we retired “Please drown my wife” jokes. I think cats absorbed that wink-nudge anger. It had to be someone; Honeymooners punchlines are a constant. Next time you see an overfed Birman, thank them for preserving the balance.

Back to our premise. For a full book. 160 pages of text, spread across a human year.

You might not be panicking yet. Welcome to the site! We celebrate offbeat media, personal favorites, and the guttural screams of the unsane. This is a personal favorite.

52 Devotions for Cat Lovers has a simple task: improvise cat stories, and staple-gun Bible quotes to them. You could do it. I’ve taught students at every level of drive, ability, and fluency. You could, barring allergies, write this in a week. This effort has five composers, determined to change hearts.

It doesn’t go well.

Here’s our opener. The starting gun for January 1, 2020. God’s balm for nightmare hangovers and the normal year that followed.

Note: I’m skipping all the Bible quotes. They’re fine. The book’s eaten enough empires for a clean edit. Try the second half for drama, and the first half for frog rain. If there isn’t a Wicked-style POV flip about Delilah, someone at Penguin is slacking.

I’ve never heard a softer customer rageout, so these must be clean stories. On that curve, this is devastating. This brute’s clearly unsaved by Bast Jesus. But why target Michelle/Sylvia/Lori/Linda/Edie? After all, they take equal pride in their customer service and dialogue.

It’s cats. The answer’s always cats. Even when it should be Christ or Satan, it’s cats. Before we’re done, you’ll wish this book featured twice the brainwashing and half the fur. Michelle/Sylvia/Lori/Linda/Edie don’t have Eric Ludy’s open hatred of people that fuck. They have cats.

A clever reverse-strawman might say “that happened.” Don’t bother. It’s a waste of neurons. You won’t make it to February questioning the composers’ honesty. Michelle/Sylvia/Lori/Linda/Edie are all about emotional truth, which the flamewar scorecard says is good now.

How do we powerslam that into faith? Poorly, like a county fair deathmatch.

I didn’t cut a word between quotes. The best tracts skip transitions to leave room for His Light. I call it “thinking in tongues.” It’s how “love thy neighbor” cuts to “let’s jumpstart the apocalypse.”

Thinking in tongues works in other genres: if you watched closely, the Holy Spirit turned Daenerys into Albino Atilla, and wove years of conflict between Arya and the Night King. For we are sinful, and have left the bowls of our betters empty.

They’re into lions, I’m on-topic.

Then there’s the stinger. Two sections that redefine effort:

Dog portraits would make better padding. 52 Devotions for Cat Lovers is four lazy cash-ins duct-taped together, and two are stolen. It is, by default, duller than letting a cat sleep on the keyboard. That’s where most horror sequels come from.

If you’re into God, stories, or customer service, you’ve been insulted. None of those matter in publishing, so I’m laughing like the middle hyena. I may be the composers’ first fan.

“Paws to think” isn’t a one-off pun. Those words hit me 52 times. This is my first column with hazard pay. I almost called it “Pet Seminary” to continue the cycle.

In fact, your lives are still too easy. Here are some other Devotion titles:

Fantastic move. Hell is mostly puns.

The book’s voices are distinct: two members of Michelle/Sylvia/Lori/Linda/Edie love puns. The other three love money. Church gets a few nods too, but there’s tangible passion for wordplay and retirement.

All five like fun facts. Leading to Sources for Fun Facts, the first bibliography I’ve read of my own free will. It’s a classy turn: a good Works Cited page separates plagiarism and still plagiarism. Here’s the truncated list of scholars:

In the composers’ defense, 52 Devotions for Cat Lovers overlapped with Buzzfeed’s longform journalism phase. That, like groundwater, died in a shareholder meeting. I hope you’ve prepped for Mad Max instead of Waterworld.

Note Quora. Where any of us can contest the moon landing and beat Buzz Aldrin in views, replies, and lives changed. Points to Shittier Askreddit for outliving arena rap and home ownership.

Now that we’re 950 words in, a second example might help. Most devotions cover unremarkable cats, but some remarkable owners sneak in.

Pierre. Cute. I finally understand Civ V’s culture victory: it’s conquering Earth and getting “fussy” as your stereotype. Let’s see how this child handles a Ming vase with feelings.

Now that’s adorable neglect. I came in expecting Chastity Garfield, not LMG: Into the MatchstickVerse.

“Disappeared” means expired. Bit it. Died freezing. Fox put starlets on farms for ratings, not mountain trails in the dead of winter. That ends in a high-fashion Lord of the Flies, and dibs. My idea. Mine. Yellowjackets meets Zoolander is money. Enough for me to forget this expensive cat starving to death.

A fine ad for apostasy, or at least PETA. How’s this lead to mass?

Great message, on its own. Today’s underdog is an emaciated popsicle. And Pierre’s traits were on the outside. His label said “I am a Warrior Cats jobber. Leave me in the cold, and I will die.” He still got a permafrost taxidermy. Pierre’s story is like Goliath stomping David into a closed casket funeral.

Maybe Buzzfeed can bring this home.

You know what? Points for relevance. Half the trivia says “try not to feed cats chocolate,” as if Easter snacks aren’t for the whole family. Or complete inania:

While 52 Devotions for Cat Lovers centers cat worship, the resentment subplot persists. Some sinners don’t deserve statues. There’s Shadow, who simply watches mice instead of culling them. He represents ignoring donation buckets, evening mass, and lonely pastors. Or Callie, who…kills too many mice. How much murder does God want? Why can’t I kill in peace?

Alright, fair enough. To impress God, don’t try to impress God. Take the Bruce Lee route and pray without praying. You might think Callie deserves a break, but St. Peter has other opinions.

Finally, consider Mr. Fritzy.

Is there another kind of cat? You don’t really have to like something much to be obsessed with it, do you? That explains dating coaches.

Aloofness and fur sound like every cat alive. But, based on my sales, I can be wrong.

Ah. Mr. Fritzy is the first cat in hell. I enjoy cats a sane amount, so I’m glad we’ll have one downstairs. We can hang when demons aren’t feeding me my eyes.

What’s wilder: guilt-tripping a cat, guilt-tripping a fourth cat, or guilt-tripping readers by association? I get the intent, and this book needs variety. But hellbound pets are the dumbest way to get there. You’re just adding reactionary voices to your singular fixation. This is a chapel bathroom reader, not a newspaper.

Cat epics only end a few ways: jokes about Mondays, endangered tiger lists, swordfighting Death, and mind-erasing isolation. Three of those take work, so 52 Devotions for Cat Lovers sprints into solitude.

At first, the cat story offers more nothing:

You might forget that as you read it, so the repetition has purpose. Then tension creeps in:

The narrator’s gritted teeth are much more compelling than her non-story. I kept a cat alive long enough to admire this passion. If you don’t feel rejection on your pet’s behalf, do you really love it?

Finally, the despair hits:

Someone check on Michelle. Not the other four, I know it’s Michelle. Pure loneliness demands a stock name. Sylvias and Edies use cats as living props for rich, full lives, annoying a varied social calendar. Virtuoso stereotype fulfillment takes a Michelle. Loving the Unlovable is at least 0.8 Madeas of friendly fire.

Pitch black, misspelled, and perfect. It honestly counts as a poem. For some reason, our narrator keeps running into unlovable people. Almost as if–look! Kittens!

This was never about Christ, cats, or cash. Pet prayers are just the lyrics to dying alone. Loving the Unlovable has a main-event slot, making this psychic scream the book’s point. Five composers wrung heartache from work, friendship, confidence, and pet ownership.

I came looking for a Copeland-adjacent speedbag, and found tears. 52 Devotions for Cat Lovers catfished me, and I deserve it. Consider Eric Ludy avenged.

Still, I’m glad something’s here. Most storytellers ask “what makes the audience give a shit?” Budget prophets stop at “God says they have to.” That’s dragging the cart uphill and shooting the horse. Try harder. Changing someone’s spiritual life might take a draft or two.

Don’t let McDonald’s GospelFest fool you: fundies aren’t a captive audience. Bored Christians can read the Book of Judges, featuring one-man graveyards centuries before Lu Bu. Why the fuck should they read about your cat? If they want to taste hell, they can just go to GospelFest.

Though there’s some competition.

This article was brought to you by our fine sponsor and Hot Dog Supreme: Badger who, like the Scottish Fold, knows that humility is currency in the shadow of God.