These Animals Are Killing Me

A Year of Ridculous Interruptions - Courtesy of Pesky Wildlife, Quirky Pets and Two-Legged Mammals

Non-Fiction - Humor/Comedy
178 Pages
Reviewed on 03/30/2016
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Author Biography

Finding innovative ways to entertain an adult audience is something Katrina has done for decades. With a background as a corporate trainer, and years organizing civic events and fundraisers, she understands the importance of not only capturing an audience's attention using humor, but also maintaining their interest using flawed characters and a conversational tone. She has a poem published in Poetry.com and several of her short stories have appeared in local newspapers. She blogs and writes regularly and generally likes to put a humorous spin on what might be an ordinary occurrence. Her second book, "These Animals Are Killing Me" is due to be released in February 2016. The author keeps herself busy working, maintaining the family home and acreage, writing three additional books, keeping up with a busy website, and volunteering as often as she is able. Katrina currently lives in Medina Ohio with husband, John and son Spencer. Her other children, Michael and Deanna live nearby, keeping the family close and connected.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Hilary Hawkes for Readers' Favorite

These animals are Killing Me by Katrina Morgan is a light-hearted but perceptive account of day to day life for mom Katrina as she juggles all that is entailed in being a full-time parent to three, a wife, and owner of beloved but often slightly crazy pets. No two days are the same and different personalities (both human and animal), events, mishaps, opportunities and natural disasters affect one situation after another as the author retells moments that have stood out for her with great humor and honesty. From her youngest son’s first day at school, taking a reluctant cat to the vet, a skunk in the hot tub, to lost dogs and a well-deserved holiday in Mexico (what could go wrong there?), the reader will be carried along on the hilarious and entertaining family adventure.

Katrina Morgan has a talent for storytelling and finding the moral or message in just about any situation she may have found herself in. These Animals are Killing Me is a wonderfully entertaining story that had me hooked from the start and soon had me laughing out loud. Anyone who has brought up children or animals or both will detect something uncannily familiar in these 30 accounts of events and episodes. When things go wrong or anxieties and stress threaten to take over, it can be too easy to view life in a negative way. But Morgan teaches us to laugh at ourselves and realize, in amongst the busyness and coping, that it is having those we love in our lives (both human and animal varieties) that is important – and that it is important to notice and treasure the little things and moments. The stories illustrate how animals - with their focus on fun or safety, adventure or comfort - can teach us about trust, determination or acceptance. Morgan often finds she has to give up her need to control and oversee every situation too, when children or pets or husbands appear to have different agendas that can create chaos and disturb even her best laid plans.

My favorite stories were the hilarious accounts of the skunk and the hot tub, husband John’s baseball game injury horror, and the weekend of respite for Katrina when she finally gets time to herself. Most poignant and touching, though, is when Chance, the beloved and elderly cat, after a life-time of loving, teasing, annoying and entertaining his owners, reaches his end days; a time when owners realize how deeply touched their lives may have been by a pet. Funny, moving and entertaining throughout, this book reminds us to notice what matters most and, above all, to keep a sense of humor.

Jack Magnus

These Animals Are Killing Me: A Year of Ridiculous Interruptions - Courtesy of Pesky Wildlife, Quirky Pets and Two-Legged Mammals is a non-fiction collection of humorous accounts written by Katrina Morgan. The author's life is sometimes completely taken up with the non-stop and often bizarre caretaker duties she's somehow ended up with. It's not just her three children who keep her busy and expecting the unexpected, but it's also the twenty-something cat and younger Labrador retriever mix dog, who just don't get along -- and not for the lack of efforts on the dog's part. Then there's her husband, and that's another story entirely. Somehow, between all their minor crises, first steps and family life in general, Morgan gets a moment here and there to breathe and even a chance to get away with a girlfriend for a few days. But then, surprisingly, she realizes that her car is much too empty as she drives on her own travel adventure, and that she's grown to crave the craziness of her family life.

While I was somewhat perplexed when I realized that Katrina Morgan's non-fiction humor collection, These Animals Are Killing Me, was actually much more about her human family and life than the typical animal-focused book I usually look for, I found much to enjoy in this author's recollections of a year in her family's life. Some of the episodes drift dangerously close to slapstick, especially the time when Morgan decides to stalk her youngest son's bus driver on her rounds in an effort to make sure the beleaguered driver functions as she should. Others veer towards an unusual mix of the dramatic and absurd, and I'm remembering the author inching along on her stomach on wet ice to try to save her dog from a cold and watery doom as I write this. Then there's the road trip from hell, complete with an ever-present awareness of the sounds and smells in the family car that only a mom can probably appreciate. Morgan's stories are breezy and fun, and I suspect her target audience, other moms and perhaps some dads as well, will find themselves nodding and appreciating every word she writes.

Rosie Malezer

These Animals Are Killing Me is a humorous collection of anecdotes written by Katrina Morgan. Described as ‘Chicken soup for the animal lover’s soul,’ the stories depict a year in Katrina Morgan’s life, which shows that some animal antics are stranger than fiction. With her oldest son attending a new school, her youngest having to catch the bus alone for the first time, and a frantic moment during a pelvic exam which scares three lives out of the doctor, Katrina’s anxiety is through the roof, while tickling her own funny bone in order to see the lighter side of things. Other misadventures take place in the form of bloodied gifts from the cat, chew toys of the dog which freak out the neighbors, large eagles swooping to grab stray rabbits from nearby, wrangling the cat for a vet appointment, and more.

I literally had to take a break from reading this book in some places, as I was unable to see through my tears of laughter. Katrina Morgan can spin a yarn better than most, with her unique gift of the gab. The riotous hilarity of most of the stories is off the charts. Everyday innocent situations go wrong for all of us at some point in our lives, but reading about them in such detail, inclusive of the thoughts inside Katrina Morgan’s head as they happen, is side-splitting. These Animals Are Killing Me is truly a champion of all humor books. If you are not afraid of reading about a woman’s most personal thoughts which accompany mild screw-ups, this is most definitely the book for you. While I caution readers that some aspects of animal welfare gave me pause for thought in a few chapters, the tales which featured mishaps of the two-legged species had me in stitches. I recommend this book to readers of all ages who enjoy a bit of a giggle.