Title: Dining and Driving with Cats – Alice Unplugged by Pat Patterson
Genre: Currently #11 in Best Seller’s Rank in Kindle Store, Kindle eBooks, Crafts, Hobbies & Home, Animal Care & Pets, Cats
Publisher: IonPublishers LLC
Publication Date: June 2017
Dining and Driving with Cats – Alice Unplugged – The cover got me (See that “M” on the forehead of the cat at the wheel? That is the distinctive mark of a Maine Coon)
Dining and Driving with Cats – Alice Unplugged by Pat Patterson could as easily have been titled An Ode to Alice–or–An Ode to Gastronomy. The author could wax as poetic over exotic and very expensive dishes (maybe more so) than Alice at times, and it became a toss-up as to who won. I guess the answer is that we did, as neither you nor I will likely ever indulge in a Boudin from the “Boudin Capital of the World.” Personally, I never knew of a boudin (boo-dahn), much less that there was a capital.
And most of us will never have the kind of money this successful ex-D.C. executive Alice and her loving, indulgent hubby have to experience a road trip like the one they took from San Miguel de Allende, Mexico to discover new dining adventures in the US and visit a friend or relative. The author describes these dining experiences in effusive, glowing descriptions. Indeed, the dissertation on bourbon alone might be worth the price of the book for some aficionados.
Alice has mapped out a route where they will visit exclusive and well-known restaurants, bistros, pop-ups, landmarks, and friends of distinction along the way.
They do all this in a Honda Fit with two cats, their fat-bottomed girl, Tuffy, and a wily Maine Coon, Munchie, whom Alice has insisted they bring. From Gautreau’s to Clancy’s, no exotic restaurant, their premier menu or dish is overlooked. Detailed arguments comparing a dish from one restaurant to the same of another restaurant ensue in which the reader is finally given their considered opinion. (And with their world-wide sampling [including Paris] of the finest, should no doubt be given considerable weight.)
There are even recipes included, of which I hope to try and duplicate one or two at least once, albeit with a few more affordable substitutions. (I can hear Pat heaving a heavy sign and crying “nooooo”–[sorry] but remember–my budget isn’t as broad as yours.)
As if driving with one or two dogs wouldn’t be adventure enough, a road trip with two free-roaming kitties should probably have been termed distracted driving with cats. Alice, however, under most circumstances, seemed to have the situation in hand–except for one or two notable exceptions resulting in hilarious adventures.
As the miles flip the odometer, we are given insight into how this unusual relationship came to be, evolved, and gradually, at the end revealed in a secret you didn’t see coming. What, you say? There is a twist in a dining dialogue? Yes! And you’ll just have to read it for yourself–no spoilers here. Dialogue is so natural between the two; you’ll swear he recorded the entire trip.
The links included in the manuscript worked just fine in my cell phone, and when I saw a link destination that interested me, did not hesitate to click for additional info.
My problem was with the kitties being allowed not only in the restaurant, but sampling exquisite, haute cuisine. Having set your mouth up for the taste of a particular dish only to discover it was being sampled by a cat almost had me sputtering in indignation.
Still, this is one travelogue you likely won’t experience again–until the second in the series is released! If you love your kitties, love food, or enjoy traveling–don’t miss the first. Tucked between the restaurants, landmarks, and kitty anecdotes is a plot–of sorts–a very human one, though possibly not one quite like this. Don’t ask me how it got classified in the Animal Care & Pets category–you’ll have to argue that one with the Amazon algorithm. As the book ended rather cryptically when the destination was supposed to be Blowing Rock, NC, it was obviously left hanging for “Dining and Driving with Cats 2 – Alice Rising.”
Highly recommended even if your summer is a Staycation, then enjoy the trip vicariously. As this author quotes another author (British even), Sir Terry Pratchett, “In ancient times, cats were treated as gods; they have not forgotten this.” Nor, I suspect have Pat and Alice.
Rosepoint Publishing: Five of Five Stars
The Author: Pat Patterson served a two-year stint as a Lieutenant in Field Artillery after grad school. From there he fell into the computer industry during an exciting growth leap in the industry and honored as co-creator of search algorithms being used today as standard by the major search engines. He is also known as a pioneer of DRM (Digital Rights Management). Mr. Patterson lists six patents currently in relicense as well as his 541 patent, the iTunes Patent licensed by Steve Jobs for the iTunes platform. He and his wife recently relocated to the US. ©2017 Virginia Williams