My beloved cat, Biddo, was a book biter.
Biddo loved to rip up paper, any kind of paper – usually in the middle of the night. Didn’t matter if it was the newspaper, business papers, or, his true love, books.
I tried packing the bookshelves tightly, but Biddo still seemed to be able to get whatever he wanted off the shelf. And just forget it if you left a book laying around.
I lost my wonderful Biddo about a year and a half ago, and I miss him dearly. I delight, however, every time I stumble across his bite marks in my library. I got to thinking about it lately, and perused my shelves.
Turns out, Biddo was a discriminating biter. For example, George Orwell. Biddo did a good job of biting up the cover of 1984. He entirely ripped off the back cover and several pages of Animal Farm. At the same time, he left Huxley’s Brave New World entirely unscathed. What’s up with that?
Stephen King’s On Writing suffered Biddo’s wrath, but all three copies (can you have too many?) of The Elements of Style were untouched.
A Course In Miracles and the accompanying meditations both drew Biddo’s ire. Sharon Salzberg’s LovingKindness drew a few bites. There’s just some gentle nipping on Louise Hay’s work.
Stephen Hawking’s A Briefer History of Time, as the picture shows, sustained a prolonged onslaught on the outer cover – seeing as how little damage could be done to the hardcover, I suppose.
There’s not a single bite in any of my works by Shakespeare. Chaucer was safe, too. Hmmm.
Biddo always left the inside pages pretty much intact, except for corner bite marks. The only exception was Animal Farm, where you’ll have to go elsewhere to read the ending.
This is just a sampling. I frequently lay hands on a book with bitemarks. Biddo left quite a legacy for me.
I’m not sure whether Biddo was biting approval or distaste in my books. Biddo was nothing, though, if not intentional.
It was a little upsetting in the moments when I discovered yet another ripped up book, but gotta say, I love to find them now.
Another item he thoughtfully left all bitten up? My yoga mat.
Miss you, buddy.