Amazing but True Cat Stories

Amazing but True Cat Stories

Amazing but True Cat Stories is a collection of stories about feline antics, illustrated in vivid 8-bit color by true mspaint artists. Stolen pants, pooped-on veterinarians, fur on fire, foretold seizures, and much more! This book was entirely written by the anonymous crowd. All stories and illustrations were submitted by workers on Amazon's Mechanical Turk. I selected, edited and laid out the stories in a short but sweet coffee table book.

7x7 inches, 38 pages, available in Softcover and Hardcover from Blurb. Take a look at the Preview.

Here are some sample spreads from the first delivered hardcopy of the book (click through to higher-res versions on Flickr):


And a sample story:

When we first received our cat, my father brought her home in his car. She was only a kitten and was running around his car like crazy. To keep her from getting lost he put her into the glove compartment. After about fifteen minutes he began to hear meowing from behind the dashboard. He reopened the glove compartment to find the cat had chewed through the plastic. He later had to remove the radio in order to get her out. The look on his face was priceless after the event. This was an omen of times to come with our new kitten.

The idea for this book was born in Terminal A at Washington Dulles, where I was stranded for some hours in late July 2008. To spend my time, I posted the following two tasks on MTurk:

  1. What's the craziest thing your cat has ever done? Write at least one paragraph about a funny, unbelievable or otherwise memorable incident involving your cat. This should be a real story that happened to you or your family.
  2. Sketch a cat. With or without an environment and toys. The cat can be drawn in software or on paper. Do not upload photographs of cats. Have fun!

Before I got out of that terminal, it was already clear that the submissions were too good to keep to myself. My fiancee Tania suggested turning the stories into a book. So, after a few days of collecting, I selected about 25 stories and 20 images and spent an evening doing a nice layout for a Blurb book.

Here's the Toonlet comic I originally posted about the project:

To recap the project, I also posted a step-by-step how to on Instructables, entitled "Don't Do It Yourself: How to Start a Publishing Empire With Mechanical Turk."



Amazing but True Cat Stories
By Folks on the Internet
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