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Sammy's Shelf
November 2013:
Now that's not funny!!!

I realize that children find bathroom humor hilarious but the picture book entitled Farty Marty (Simon & Schuster. ISBN: 9781442439016) by B.J. Ward and Steven Kellogg definitely crosses over the line of decorum. In fact, if you are a cat, you may well find this illustrated volume offensive.

Marty is an adorable tabby who occasionally releases intestinal gases in such a manner that there is an accompanying 'tweet, toot or whoosh'. Well, when Marty's person takes him to school one day, Marty has a 'musical moment' and the students go ballistic. Naturally the embarrassed feline is ordered out of the classroom because he disrupted the educational ambiance.

Then an odd thing happened. Mary Jane, the cat's person, noticed that when Marty consumed certain foods (French cheese) his flatulence resembled a famous melody associated with the country (Clair de Lune).

My goodness, what a strange gift. Realizing that Marty's audio output was inspired by his diet, Mary Jane had an idea. She took Marty to a pet show where a generous portion of baked beans and hot dogs resulted in the gifted feline supplying quite an auditory fireworks display to open the show.

'Pow, Blam, Wham, Pop!' Everyone was delighted by the sound effects except the police, who thought a bomb had been set off!

Obviously this garnered quite a lot of attention in the press and before you could say holy hairball, Marvelous Marty was the toast of the town. He performed with the opera, country music singers, rap musicians, and pink bands.

What's more, soon this talented cat was in demand in faraway places like China. Egypt, Germany and Italy. The French even bottled a new perfume in honor of the famous feline (we'll skip the name!) and Marty's biography made it to International Best Seller lists.

Yes, I realize that this is just a silly children's story that will probably make four and five years olds giggle uncontrollably, but I believe this book is really doing my fellow kitties a grave disservice. We are not like dogs who create foul smells and then run and hide in another room.

Admittedly, on rare occasions a cat may have just a wee bit of tummy distress that might, just might, result in a slight alteration in a room's atmosphere but that doesn't happen often.

Granted, hairballs might make us regurgitate our latest meal but other than this unfortunate response to overgrooming, we do not release nauseous odors in the vicinity of other creatures. (Litter box deposits do not count!)

This being the case I think the authors of Farty Marty owe all cats an apology. The closing lines of their book 'So the next time you're watching TV with your pet, and detect smells and noises ... please ... please don't be upset! Be delighted if you hear a gurgle or tweet. You might have a gold mine asleep at your feet' just doesn't cut it!

Doesn't the Good Book say something like 'Let him who is blameless cast the first stone!' Right! Don't tell me that Mr. Ward or Mr. Kellogg never ever had a distressing auditory reaction (in my house we call that flicker fun!) to an onion, anchovy and limburger cheese pizza!
Sammy shares living quarters with Bob Walch. Not only does Bob provide the basic essentials for this loquacious feline but he occasionally offers editorial assistance. Find more of the Maine Coon's musings at
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