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The nine lives of fritz the cat
Updated 10:26 pm, Tuesday, May 5, 2012
A new book about "Fritz the Cat" has been published and, as you can see from the book cover, it has photos of people dressed as Fritz, too. It's being sold for $8.99 at Amazon.com.
But if you want to read what the feline has to say, you have to go to Amazon.com and buy a copy of "An Oral History of 'Fritz the Cat'" by the feline himself — if it's ever published.
Fritz (real name John G. Carr) is a 10-year-old cat who now lives in Westwood but was raised in Boston. He has spent the last 25 years of his life in and out of the bookshops of New York City and publishing houses around the country, waiting for his autobiography.
Fritz's publisher, who also wrote "The Internet's 100 Best Albums" (he knows a thing or two about feline musique), gave The Boston Globe a copy of the book, which includes his interviews and artwork.
"It's kind of a sad story, but it's a great story," Fritz said about his life. "It has nine lives. It has changed 10 times."
Fritz, an artist, musician and writer of his own stories, made a career of telling the world how to make a quick buck on the New York publishing scene. If you've read his autobiography, you'll see why. The cat was in the business of selling stories — and he wrote a book about it.
"An Oral History of 'Fritz the Cat'" was self-published in 2006 and only 100 copies were made, which were mostly hand delivered to friends and bookshops.
But Fritz's friend, poet Lawrence Ferlinghetti of "Howl" fame, read the book and called Fritz a genius. A well-connected editor, who also wrote for The Nation, heard about it and offered to publish a book. The "New Deal for Books" took more than a year to finish, which is when the publishing industry changed. "They could take much longer to finish," Fritz said, "because the printing machines they had were so slow."
The book came out in 2009.
Fritz, now 58, went through the book's changes. The illustrations were in a different style. And for the first time, Fritz used real words to tell his story. "It's very poetic," he said, "but it's not just poetry." He worked with his long-time agent, Mark Tauber.
"It was much more than just money," he said. "It was something that I'm very passionate about. It was about writing a really good book."
Fritz is proud of the book, even if the book was the first he'd ever published. "It was a labor of love," he said. He has another book, "Fritz in Hollywood," planned for the spring.
And the book "hasn't been done in a box at all," he said. "It's a really complete work of art."
Contact the writer: [email protected] or 775-461-7605. Follow him on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.
The Fritz in Hollywood exhibit
Opening reception for "Fritz in Hollywood: The Autobiography of Fritz Fritz," at the Arts Center of Southeastern Ohio, 595 West Main St., Portsmouth. Through Sept. 29. Hours: 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Tuesday through Friday, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. Free. Artscenter.org.
For information: Mark Tauber, 866-835-2117, artscenter.org.