Date Published: October 25, 2012

If Cats Disappeared from the World: Summary

Every cat's ninth life is more valuable than you think. In "If Cats Disappeared from the World" by Genki Kawamura, we journey through the streets of Tokyo, following a postman with a bleak prognosis: he has only days to live. However, a devil offers him an odd proposition: for every additional day he wishes to live, something will disappear from the world. As the postman grapples with the weight of his choices, he embarks on a philosophical and emotional exploration of the intangibles in life, and the complex relationships and memories that shape us. What is truly indispensable? Phones? Films? The heartfelt bonds with loved ones? Kawamura weaves a melancholic yet playful tapestry of human existence, and the little things we take for granted. It's a poignant reminder that sometimes, the seemingly inconsequential can mean the world.

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If Cats Disappeared from the World

Author: Genki Kawamura

Date Published: October 25, 2012

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If Cats Disappeared from the World: Genres

Magical Realism
Philosophical Fiction
Contemporary fiction
Coming of age novel

If Cats Disappeared from the World: Main Characters

The Postman: A young man facing imminent death, he’s a reflection of our deepest fears and hopes. Throughout the story, his courage to let go demonstrates the value of memories, as shown in his cherished moments with Cabbage.

The Devil: A quirky, unpredictable figure who offers the postman extra days of life at a heavy cost. His role brings forth the theme of choices, highlighted when he tempts the postman with the dilemma of erasing items from existence.

Cabbage: The postman’s beloved cat. Beyond being a pet, Cabbage embodies the deep emotional connections and memories we form with those we love. His moments with the postman, like their quiet evenings together, encapsulate the significance of shared time and experiences.

If Cats Disappeared from the World: Themes

The Value of Memories: The story underscores how memories, even the mundane ones, shape our lives and identities. The postman’s recollection of his times with Cabbage, from playful antics to serene moments, emphasizes this.

Choices and Consequences: The postman’s daily decisions of what to erase from the world to gain more life epitomize the weight of our choices. His contemplation about erasing phones or movies showcases this theme.

Interconnectedness of Life: Everything, no matter how insignificant it seems, is intertwined. The disappearance of one entity affects the entirety of existence. The ripple effects of erasing movies from the world, impacting not just entertainment but also jobs and memories, delineate this interconnectedness.

Mortality and Legacy: The postman’s impending death makes him (and the readers) ponder about the meaning of life, the legacy one leaves behind, and the things truly worth holding onto. His selflessness in the end, choosing memories over more days, resonates this message.

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