If Cats Disappeared From the World by Genki Kawamura

What We Think We Can Live Without

“For all we know, there might be all sorts of things that have already disappeared without our having noticed it, things we’d assumed would always be around.”

~ If Cats Disappeared From the World 

A thirty-year-old postman, who is estranged from his family and lives alone with his cat, Cabbage, receives the news that he has a brain tumor and probably only has one week to live. As he soaks up the information and ponders his options, the postman encounters the devil – a being who looks just like him, but wears Hawaiian shirts. “Aloha” grants the postman a deal – Aloha will give him an extra day to live for every item that he erases from the world. 

This beautiful tale is a fresh reflection on life and how we choose to live it. As the postman chooses items to disappear from the world, he sees the significance of these things in his life, reflects on his past relationships and discovers meaning for the items and his time on earth.

Succinct, crisp and evocative writing. This is a moving and thoughtful contemplation. While ailurophiles (those who love cats), may appreciate the cat’s role in this book even more than non-cat lovers, this is a stirring tale that will help you notice the little details in this big world of ours.

Incidentally, this novella was made into a movie in 2016.

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