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Secrets of the Cat: Its Lore, Legend, and Lives

by Barbara Holland

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1231164,933 (3.82)2
"Smart, bright, well-written....A book about cats as good as this one is rare." --Smithsonian "May be the most elegantly written, witty, perceptive statement about felines ever published." --Philadelphia Inquirer   In Secrets of the Cat, author Barbara Holland engagingly explores the lore, legend, and lives of humanity's much beloved furry companion, the often inscrutable feline. An essential book for every cat lover--and for anyone wishing to understand cat lovers--Secrets of the Cat includes a new introduction by the author.… (more)
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    Nine Emotional Lives of Cats by Jeffrey Moussaieff Masson (TheDivineOomba)
    TheDivineOomba: It is a similar book to this one, its interesting because there is a decidedly feminine feel to Secrets of the Cat, The Nine Emotional Lives of Cats is more masculine, while covering the same topics with the same sorts of conclusions.
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Its not often that a cat book surprises me. I've read many of them, all with more or less the same information. This book has information, much of it I had not heard before, interspersed with interesting, non-cutesy stories of cats that the author had known.

She discusses such things as the ever controversial cats indoors or inside/outside, declawing, and the topic that is sure to drive cat people to arms, diet.

She does this with great humor, grace, and a full understanding of cat behavior. The anecdotes that she describes are humorous, but with respect to the cat. She manages that fine balance between current cat science, and keeping things easy to read, accessible.

I think this book has the best reason I have ever seen as to why to get a cat fixed: A cats sexuality is like a drug or addiction, the cats vision is narrowed to a pinpoint, its mental landscape contracted to a single thought. Getting a cat fixed will release a cat and allow him the opportunity to discover the world on his terms.

One thing the author does say - is that kittens are cute and adorable. The book was written in 1988. At the time, modern animal rescue was just starting to take off and best practices were being developed. I suspect the act of fostering animals, specifically kittens, was not something that was available.

This is a very well written book about cats. I would recommend it to anyone who likes cats, and even thinking about getting a cat. One think to note, at the end of the book, there is a sort of "guide to cats", essentially a few sentences about a topic. It includes things like medical, diet, behavior, etc. I would suggest investing in a book aimed at the topic of cat health, rather than depend on a few sentences at the back of the book. ( )
  TheDivineOomba | Apr 11, 2011 |
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"Smart, bright, well-written....A book about cats as good as this one is rare." --Smithsonian "May be the most elegantly written, witty, perceptive statement about felines ever published." --Philadelphia Inquirer   In Secrets of the Cat, author Barbara Holland engagingly explores the lore, legend, and lives of humanity's much beloved furry companion, the often inscrutable feline. An essential book for every cat lover--and for anyone wishing to understand cat lovers--Secrets of the Cat includes a new introduction by the author.

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