A Furry Faux Paw by Jessica Kara

Maeve is about to turn 18, and her greatest wish is to attend Furlympia, a furcon where she can finally fully realize her inner fursona–MauveCat, “a cozy warm pink and fuchsia striped” cat “with shining amethyst eyes,” and connect with her dozens of online furry friends IRL. There’s only one thing standing in her way: her compulsive and controlling mom. After her grandmother died of cancer, Maeve’s mom turned her grief into hoarding. And when her dad couldn’t take it anymore and her parents divorced, Maeve decided to stay with her mom to try and keep the unrelenting piles of “Stuff” at bay. But she’s slowly being smothered by her mom’s anxiety and the mounds of laundry, junk mail, shopping bags and dollar store gadgets that seem to multiply daily, no matter how many bags of trash she hauls to the curb. Now her guilty dad has offered her the ultimate graduation present: a fully paid trip to Furlympia, complete with hotel room and spending money. All she has to do is find and ride and figure out a way to convince her mom to let her go. But when her mom says no, Maeve decides to go anyway, never imagining that the fallout might be way more than either she or MauveCat are emotionally equipped to handle.

This deceptively cute looking read is actually a fascinating and informative glimpse into furries and hoarders, two diametrically opposed communities that each have their own sets of rules and norms. One is a healthy communal expression of fandom, inner peace and joy, the other a solitary disorder that causes fear and anxiety. Author Jessica Kara digs into both fearlessly, and the results are furtastic. As a veteran conference goer myself, I absolutely loved the descriptions of the furcon, and connected immediately with the gratifying feeling of being surrounded by many of my own people (in my case, librarians). Do not let this MauveCat get away, pick up a copy of Furry Faux Paw TODAY! (Posted with abject apologies for the puns and bad rhymes:)

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