Hedonistic, adjective: engaged in the pursuit of pleasure; sensually self-indulgent.
My cat Stan Lee is a hedonistic little man. He loves catnip treats, feather boas, his electric blanket, laying on me the second I sit down so he can demand attention from me better, and humping the cozy winter pajamas I got for Christmas a couple years ago- particularly if they're still warm from the dryer and clean. He also can't stand not being the center of attention, and the second he decides I'm too busy with other stuff, he'll head butt me for head scratches, love, and catnip treats. In honor of my furry hedonist, here's 3 books to read if you're a hedonistic cat (or just a hedonist).
1. Seconds of Pleasure, by Neil LaBute
Neil LaBute is known for his salacious, frequently controversial films, and that seems to have spilled over into his short story collection, Seconds of Pleasure. Several of of the main characters are, or were, salacious, self-indulgent hedonists to varying degrees, just like Stan Lee is. The characters were also similar to him in that they were pursuit of amorous activities, although their end goal was generally activities other than getting praise, attention, and head scratches. Case in point: the main character in the first story, Perfect, talks about certain activities he liked engaging in before he got married. Also like Stan Lee, he was a bit of a ladies' man before he tied the knot with his wife. Stan Lee really really likes the ladies, or at least human ones, because they think he's a furry, dark, and handsome little man and love giving him tons of attention and head scratches. He seems to like cat-loving humans in general, but women in particular. Seconds of Pleasure had an air of hedonism right from the beginning; you didn't even have to open the book, all you had to do was look at the title. Used, $4.99. Buy here.
2. Goddesses Can Wait, by Kim Baccellia
Goddesses Can Wait is decidedly less salacious and controversial than Seconds of Pleasure, but it's still fairly hedonistic. After all, there's not a whole lot more hedonistic than going to Paris with your grandma and best friend, kissing boys, and eating macaroons before the Greek goddess of love, beauty, pleasure, passion, and other hedonistic activities switches bodies with you? 15-year-old Jordan is in Paris with her grandma and best friend Serena when Aphrodite switches bodies with her. Jordan has to get back to the Eiffel tower before midnight, or she might be stuck in Greek mythology forever. Goddesses Can Wait goes well with the prequel, No More Goddesses, and it would probably make more sense if you read the prequel first. The book might be less salacious and controversial than some of the books on this list because it's aimed at the teen girl audience, but the macaroons and Greek goddess of love make it a hedonistic cat's dream. (Especially the Greek goddess of love part.) Buy the bundle here (new, $23.99), or buy the books separately: No More Goddesses here (new, $14.99) and Goddesses Can Wait here (new, $14.99).
3. Sin in the Second City, by Karen Abbott
You remember when I said there wasn't a whole lot more hedonistic than going to Paris, kissing boys, eating macaroons, and the Greek goddess of love, passion, and all that jazz switching bodies with you? I think luxurious brothels catering to the uber rich circa 1900 might top that. Sin in the Second City is all about the Everleigh, an upscale brothel that catered to the rich and famous of the early 20th century: business owners, actors, senators, and even foreign dignitaries. Even the name they used for the girls who worked the brothel conjures up hedonism: courtesans. I can't help picturing women in racy clothing catering to King Louis XVI when people talk about courtesans. The sisters who owned the Everleigh were so controversial that news of them ended up in the White House, and the brothel was so notorious that rival madams tried their hardest to put them out of business. Local politicians also tried to put them out of business occasionally because of the titillation surrounding prostitution, despite bribes to look the other way and the club's immense popularity. Used, $4.99. Buy here.
1. Amusement Only, by Paul Schiffbauer and Darrian Hopson
Amusement Only is the book that originally got me thinking about books that would be perfect for hedonistic cats. After all, with a title like that, it's purr-fect for hedonistic, self-indulgent furry little dudes. It's set in the underbelly of Baltimore City during the 1990s. Army vet Michael Bowers is unsettled after his military service when a chance meeting with sociopathic millionaire Sonny Warner ushers him into the world of illegal gambling. Along the way, Lieutenant Jessica SIlver gets involved and starts reconsidering whether her suspects are worth considering in this story of greed and conspiracy. New, $16.95. Buy here.