In the long history of mankind's relationship with felines, one cat stands head and shoulders below the rest. Highly inflammable, the glass-jawed Birmingham lurches from one catastrophe to the next. Through encounters with washing machine spin cycles to his lovelorn pursuit of the aggressively uninterested Sammy, Chris Pascoe's hilarious book paints an intimate portrait of the author's calamitous relationship with a cat wholly unsuited to being feline.
Persistently molested by an irate sparrow, physically incapable of negotiating the intricacies of the cat-flap and with a near-fatal appreciation of the effects of gravity, Brum nevertheless remains steadfast in his subconscious pursuit of oblivion.
Worryingly, these stories are true. Will nine lives be enough?
P.G.Wodehouse had his pekes, A.A. Milne his teddy bear - Chris Pascoe has his cat. A CAT CALLED BIRMINGHAM is the debut of an original comic voice - wry, assured, sometimes whimsical and sometimes surreal but throughout refreshingly uncynical. As a result of reading his book, I have taken to laughing at cats in the street, much to the puzzlement of the owners.
We all know that the funniest bits of You've Been Framed are the animal slapstick - well, this book is all that and more besides: Pascoe relates the comic misadventures of his pet with unflagging energy and relish, underpinned with an affection that never becomes mawkish. He has the ability to fashion fine humour form the minutiae of everyday life - which is the best kind of humour. I have news for anyone who has laughed at the antics of an animal but not bothered to write it down. Someone has - Chris Pascoe.