If Cats Disappeared from the World | Genki Kawamura

Cover of If Cats Disappeared From The World


This book will stay with you long after you finish it…

Living alone with his cat, a young man’s days are numbered, having just been diagnosed with a brain tumour and told he has only months to live. What does he do? Make a bucket list? Somehow that feels empty to him.

Then one day the Devil appears to make a bargain… the universe requires balance and so to gain something, he must lose something.

What would YOU choose to lose if it meant one more day of living?

Quirky and fun

This book drew me in from the very first paragraph! The main character is the narrator who starts off by quickly calculating that if he gets rid of one thing for one more day of living, then he needs to get rid of just 14,600 things to live to seventy. With all the useless junk cluttering up the modern world, that ought to be easy, right?

Well, there’s a catch… the Devil gets to choose what goes! And as the Devil says, when it comes to actually having to erase things from your life, you start to think…

Chocolate? No, food is pivotal in our lives. Smartphones? Humans are driven to connect and communicate. Movies? Our memories? Clocks? Our heartbeat – always with us until the day we die. Cats? Well, there IS a talking cat!

What do you take for granted?

But this is not a story about phones or clocks or even cats. As the simple narrative unfolds it makes you think about your life and the real point to this insightful little book: what do you take for granted? How many things do you do without thinking about it?

How many people go unnoticed, even when you see them every day? Our busy lives are so cluttered that we often don’t see what really matters.

In the end, this quirky little book is about the fragility of life, how we let the day-to-day grind make us forget to actually LIVE.

Would we live any differently?

We will all die, and we will all leave unfinished business when we do. We live our lives thinking we have all the time in the world, but it could all end before the sun sets tonight. None of us know how long we have – and would we live any differently if we did?

Instead of a bucket list of meaningless trendy activities, make a list of all the things that are good about your life. Because the answer to a meaningful life is utterly mundane: live every day fully awake and aware of all the wonderful things in your normal, boring life! In the end, it’s those things that make us who we are – our memories, our feelings – the things that give our lives meaning.

Reminiscent of Johnathan Livingston Seagull, this was a quick read – it only took me a few hours – but it will stay with you long after you finish it.

So… how do you decide what makes life worth living? Is it time to clear out all the clutter in your life and evaluate what really matters to you? And since none of us know how long we have left, the time to do it is right now!

If Cats Disappeared From The World by Genki Kawamura is published in paperback by Picador on September 20, RRP £8.99

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Allison Hay

I joined the My Weekly team twelve years ago, and I love the variety of topics we cover both online and in the magazine. I manage the digital content for the brand, sharing features and information on the website, social media and in our digital newsletters. I also work for Your Best Ever Christmas - perfect as it's my favourite time of year!