This book was sent to me by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
19.09.19 / Non-Fiction / W&N (Orion) / Hardback / 240pp / 978-1474613422
Target Audience: Readers interested in gaining more insight into what comes after death, literally speaking, and what happens to a body from a biological, sociological and personal perspective.
About Will My Cat Eat My Eyeballs?
What happens if someone dies on a plane?
Can we give Grandma a Viking funeral?
Why don’t animals dig up all the graves?
Will my hair keep growing in my coffin after I’m buried?
Every day, funeral director Caitlin Doughty receives dozens of questions about death. In this book she offers factual, hilarious and candid answers to thirty-five of the most interesting questions posed by her youngest fans, sharing the lore and science of what happens to, and inside, our bodies after we die. Why do corpses groan? What causes bodies to turn strange colours during decomposition? and why do hair and nails appear longer after death? The answers are all within . .
Will My Cat Eat My Eyeballs? Review
‘To be fair, death is hard! We love someone and then they die. It feels unfair. Sometimes death can be violent, sudden, and unbearably sad. But it’s also reality, and reality doesn’t change just because you don’t like it.
We can’t make death fun, but we can make learning about death fun. Death is science and history, art and literature. It bridges every culture and unites the whole of humanity!’
Mortician and enlightened mediator of death, Caitlin Doughty returns to writing with Will My Cat Eat My Eyeballs? Within is a collection of answers to inquisitive questions on the subject of death put to her by curious youths. Inquiries that include all manner of fluids, smells, bone tokens, bodily noises, pranks, challenges and moral choices with answers that will definitely surprise and amaze. Caitlin believes, rightly, that children should be educated about death as early as possible. Avoiding or curbing interest in the subject of death is not practical or sensible when it is an occurrence that affects all of humanity.
Death should be explored, unveiled and understood and a child’s curiosity about death is unblemished by life and their interest is genuine. It is an opportunity that should be taken advantage of to improve death literacy and to soften the dread, distress and grief that accompanies the loss of a loved one. Caitlin Doughty has worked hard for many years to encourage death positivity, even going as far to create The Order of the Good Death which is a collective of professionals, teachers and artists who work together to develop a more open perspective on the end of life.
Will My Cat Eat My Eyeballs? is an unreserved, fascinating and informative offering on the many queries that surrounds death, funeral practices, corpse care and burial or cremation of remains. Caitlin Doughty succeeds on delivering candid answers to a range of hypothetical, rational and bizarre questions whilst keeping the subject upbeat even in the most macabre of circumstances.
Contemplating as well as elaborating on the many cultural, medical, historical and personal approaches to, and accounts of, putting the dead to rest. Questions such as can your corpse be preserved in amber? (if you have a spare million years). Why do we turn a range of colours after death? (There are quite a few). Do cemeteries pollute our water? (Surprising answers to that one). Is it true people see a white light before death? (Or is it all in the brain?). And is there a casket out there for everybody? These are just a handful of the 35 questions included in this book. With some of the finest illustrations and artwork to catch the eye and draw you in closer in so you can enjoy each and every page.
Caitlin Doughty describes, in generous detail, the many ethical dilemmas, physiological restrictions, unfortunate misconceptions, biological wonders and natural complications when it comes to dying, handling remains and being buried or cremated successfully. Taking the time to break each query down with her amazing blend of charm, wit and gag-worthy descriptions of some of the more testing areas of her job. Another reminder I am in fact squeamish. Each answer is well fleshed out (sorry!) with superb information that taught me so much about the procedures, laws and cultural concepts involved in undertaking and interment.
Caitlin is mainly about death but she is full of life too. The humour, sincerity and energy in Will My Cat Eat My Eyeballs? is infectious (sorry again) and the passion and intrigue that CD shows to her work is commendable. I couldn’t imagine facing what she faces everyday and still being able to leave the house let alone write inspirational books on the matter. Caitlin is brave, connected and informed enough to discuss, debunk, clarify and explain what happens when we die and she does it to protect us. To encourage us to face death long before it comes to meet us properly. To greet it as an old friend (Harry Potter FTW) and to pass that mentality on to future generations. There are cultures who embrace death fondly but most countries are systematically becoming more separated from it Maybe one day we will all embrace the same views on death and that is what Caitlin’s work strives to achieve.
I highly recommend Will My Cat Eat My Eyeballs?, and From Here To Eternity, to everyone as it is vital reading and Caitlin Doughty is the perfect person to make the subject fun and entertaining whilst educating readers on accepting death as a experience of life.
About Caitlin Doughty
Caitlin Doughty was born and raised in Hawaii before gaining a degree in Medieval History from the University of Chicago. She currently lives in Los Angeles where she owns an alternative funeral home, Undertaking LA. She is the creator of the ‘Ask a Mortician’ web series, the founder of the death acceptance collective The Order of the Good Death and co-founder of Death Salon. She is the author of two NEW YORK TIMES bestsellers – SMOKE GETS IN YOUR EYES and FROM HERE TO ETERNITY.