Published by: Ingrid King. Last Updated on: February 1, 2023 by Crystal Uys


If you love cats, you’re going to not only love this book, you’ll probably recognize yourself in at least parts of it. Kitty Cornered: How Frannie and Five Other Incorrigible Cats Seized Control of Our House and Made It Their Home is Bob Tarte’s account of the challenges of a household run by cats. The book chronicles Tarte’s journey from being a one-cat household to ending up with six cats, one of them a hard to manage stray named Frannie.

Tarte writes with an often self-deprecating humor that will make you smile, although it sometimes made me wince a little, too. He portrays himself as a somewhat troubled soul who finds day to day living quite demanding. Despite this, or maybe because of it, I enjoyed the book. This is the story of someone who does not give up on a cat because she presents some challenges. Whether it’s rearranging the house to accommodate feline feuds, sitting up at night worrying about a sick cat, or trying to win over a recalcitrant stray – you can’t help but love Bob Tarte.

For me, the best part of the book was the story of Frannie, a nervous black-and-white stray  who wins Tarte’s heart a little bit more than the others. I loved watching the relationship between Tarte and Frannie develop as the stray cat slowly learns to trust.

By the time I got to the end of this book, I felt like I had just had an extended visit with Tarte and his colorful household of not only six cats, but also parrots, ducks and other assorted critters. And just like a visit with good friends, I was a little sad that I had to leave.

Bob Tarte wrote for The Beat magazine for twenty years. He has also written for the New York Times, the Boston Globe, the Miami New Times, the Whole Earth Review, and other publications. He hosts the What Were You Thinking? podcast for He and his wife Linda live in Lowell, Michigan, and currently serve the whims of parrots, ducks, geese, parakeets, a rabbit, doves, hens, one turkey, and way too many cats. For more information, and pictures of the cats featured in the book, visit

I recieved a copy of this book from the publisher. Receiving the complimentary copy did not influence my review.

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2 Comments on Review: Kitty Cornered by Bob Tarte

  1. hi, Ingrid! Glad you reviewed Kitty Cornered. I reviewed it for our library website. I absolutely loved it and have bought at least eight copies to give to people. I consider it a “safe” book because no cats die, but it’s also so well written, funny and respectful of cat ways. I really like Bob’s sense of humor, too. I laughed more at this book than I have at a book in a long time because he captures catness so well… and human reactions to it. Like Bob, I spend a lot of tine trying to thwart my cats from behaviors that I think aren’t good, and also like Bob I end up looking foolish as the cats out maneuver me. (Books with cats tend to be reviewed often at the library’s website– what are the odds?)

  2. Hi Ingrid! Loved your review!!! As you know since I reviewed this fabulous book as well I just ADORED it!! People MUST add this to their kitty collection!

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