People Like Cats
A 2016 Foreword INDIES Book of the Year Award Finalist for Pets & Animals
People Like Cats is a collaborative book with art by Chuka Susan Chesney and poetry by Laura Madeline Wiseman published by Red Dashboard. Featuring Chesney's lush and varied art and Wiseman's prose poetry, it features all things of cat fancy as it meditates on the human itch for feline companionship.
The book’s title poem embodies the clever ambiguity which characterizes Wiseman’s playful and engaging games with language. Chesney’s illustrations, with hues as soft and warm as cat fur, complement the poems with stark whimsicality, attractive cat portraits, and emotional registers.
– Michael Skau
Praise for People Like Cats
Cats are both comfort and bane in this quirky and charming combination of poems and visual art. They hold down the four corners of the book as they would a quilt on a futon, witchy familiars, seeing our future as they turn into externalizations of ourselves. No mere lap kitties here, this is the eternal cat, speaking to how the self proliferates, without decision or pattern, when we aren’t looking. — James Cihlar
At least since the time of Christopher Smart and Thomas Gray through that of T. S. Eliot, poets have focused on their affection for cats. Laura Madeline Wiseman and Chuka Susan Chesney’s People Like Cats continues this strong tradition with beauty, variety, and sensitivity. Wiseman's witty verbal play on common language about cats does not undermine the serious theme of a growing girl’s encounters with the complexities of life. — Michael Skau
Chuka Susan Chesney's cats are fluid, graceful, languid, impressionistic, and magical. Her art work makes a purr-fect pairing with the poetic, free-form short stories crafted by Laura Madeline Wiseman, whose words claw at memory and scratch at desire…it is their love for cats that is the most compelling. Together Chesney and Wiseman’s work is as subtle and intense as a cat curled and ready to pounce. Go ahead and let it pounce on you. — Genie Davis
Life is a balance. Laura Madeline Wiseman weaves personal stories with universal truths of what it means to live with and learn from cats. This eclectic collection of poetry is paired with images by Chuka Susan Chesney that capture the energy and complexity of the feline character and the mark they leave on our hearts…and around our home. — Amy Kollar Anderson
Chuka Susan Chesney’s curiously original artwork is a visual feast. She mixes together humor, luscious textures and colors, a sensitive delicacy plus a healthy dose of eccentricity to keep viewers on their toes. A subject like cats could easily become trite, but Chesney is able to create an endearing quality in her artwork. — Diane Greenseid
Just as cats consider us from every angle, judge us with slight of eye and paw, Wiseman untangles the world, examining cat ownership, possession, and obsession. If cats ‘are a question we keep trying to answer,’ then Wiseman’s prose is the hand that keeps knocking on the door, insisting on a response. People Like Cats is a compelling read, one that engages the reader in a giant game of swisher, moving back and forth between playful reverie and serious consideration. Let The Cat in, you won’t regret it. — Raylyn Clacher