Reviewing: Will My Cat Eat My Eyeballs? : Big questions from tiny mortals about death by Caitlin Doughty

Content Warnings: Deals with death and dying, some elements may make readers squeamish.

My Rating: 5 books out of 5

Highlights:

  • For a book about dying this thing cracked me up.
  • Shout out to morticians this sounds like one hard job.
  • I really like the idea of being a form of space navigation one day.
  • Doughty mixes facts and fun very well especially given the subject matter.

“We can’t make death fun, but we can make learning about it fun. Death is science and history, art and literature. It bridges every culture and unites the whole of humanity!”

WE’RE ALL GOING TO DIE.

Right, now that’s out of the way, let’s move on to the book review. 

Caitlin Doughty is a funeral director who gets a lot of questions about death – especially from children. Will My Cat Eat My Eyeballs – subtitled ‘Big Questions from Tiny Mortals About Death’ – answers a few of these questions in a manner that perfectly balances light-hearted humour with truthful and honest accounts about difficult subjects. What happens if you die in space? Are Viking funerals a thing? Can you keep a friend’s skull after they die? 

Honestly I didn’t know what to expect from this book. Light hearted and death don’t tend to be sentiments that go hand in hand, an dI have to admit that there were a few moments reading this that the EXISTENTIAL DREAD ratcheted up a few notches, but it also made me consider things in quite a different light. I love learning, and this book is both incredibly informative and fun to read. I never thought I’d be sat at work thinking ‘boy I can’t wait to read more of that library book on death tonight’ but it seems this is just where my life has ended up and I’m okay with that. In many ways this book was actually quite comforting to read, taking something so taboo and unapproachable in everyday life and discussing it so candidly – and this is a book that while written in response to children’s questions, more than holds its weight as an adult read.

Doughty doesn’t shy away from some of the more unpleasant aspects of her job, so if you’re particularly squeamish this may be a book to approach with caution in places, but nothing is excessive. Descriptions are there to teach, to dispel fears and myths about our entry into the great beyond. No, your face won’t stay like that if you pull a funny face when you die, yes you might poop when the inevitable finally occurs. But don’t worry, morticians are used to that. And if you’ve ever thought your job was bad, at least you never had to sit in a room of corpses watching to see if any of them aren’t actually dead. 

I really enjoyed this book, and I felt like I learned a lot and maybe made a move towards not being freaked out by death. I definitely want to read more of Doughty’s books, and recommend this to any readers with a taste for the macabre who either read plenty of nonfiction or want to give it a go! 

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