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The Silent Miaow (1964)

by Paul Gallico

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467850,161 (4.24)1 / 16
A delightful manual which instructs stray kittens and homeless cats in how to obtain, captivate, and dominate the families of their choice. 200 black-and-white photographs.

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Group TopicMessagesLast Message 
 Cats, books, life is good.: best cat book ever!!!32 unread / 322wonderY, May 2019

» See also 16 mentions

English (7)  Italian (1)  All languages (8)
Showing 1-5 of 7 (next | show all)
A book from the cat's perspective which details how a one may successfully take over and run a human household to their own liking. When done skillfully, the humans won't even realize this is happening. It's all about clever, subtle manipulation, making the humans think they're getting their own way, while really they end up doing everything to the cat's desire. It's more smug and self-assured in tone than The Devious Book for Cats, and very charmingly illustrated with professional photographs of a cat in her home by Suzanne Szasz. It doesn't at all feel outdated, except maybe for a few remarks on the nature of men and women. The feline advice is on things like: getting people to serve what you want to eat, claiming your own chair, making it a given that you will sleep on the bed, dealing with travel and visits to the veterinarian, coaxing the man of the house to give you tidbits from the dinner table, how to treat unwelcome houseguests, making sure doors will be opened for you, training humans to recognize your different miaows (including the voiceless one which must be used very strategically), what poses and attitudes are most becoming to win people's admiration, making the holiday fuss all about you, and finally- if you happen to have dalliance with a tomcat and become a mother- how to properly pass on these lessons to your offspring so that they, too, may acquire and influence a human household. There are also remarks which let you that know in spite of her calm sense of superiority, the cat behind this book obviously loves her humans as well.

There's more, but really you should have the delight of reading them for yourself! so I will stop here. I am sure anyone who loves cats would be charmed by this book, and the photographs, while all black-and-white, are so perfectly composed with precise focus and contrast, you almost forget there's no color to them.

from the Dogear Diary ( )
  jeane | Dec 5, 2020 |
Have you ever been adopted by a stray? The Silent Miaow is is a how-to manual for homeless cats on finding homes. It's authored by one with personal experience! Each chapter addresses each phase of training the new family to provide new kitty's every wish. The clever instrucions are accompanied by irresistible illustrations. ( )
  Phanouria | Feb 7, 2013 |
I love Paul Gallico. I also am an ailurophile (a word used several times in this charming book). I loved the premise of the book - that a housecat used her owners' electric typewriter to write a manual for kittens on how to take over a household - and keep it.

The gender differences described are a little - um - dated, for example references to how women and cats are alike in that they manipulate men into providing them treats, or Gallico's discovery that the cat in question is female, causing him to state, "...the author reveals herself to be a 'she,' though even without this admission the sheer bitchery contained in many passages of this illuminating textbook could be ascribed only to the distaff side."

However, most of the book is very funny and apt for anyone who's ever owned or known a cat.

Even more charming than the cat's instruction to kittens on the various issues of note is the accompanying photo diary of the cat suspected to be the "writer." I would recommend the book just for the pictures and captions. Taken by photographer and cat owner Suzanne Szasz, they really bring the lessons of the book to life. ( )
5 vote anna_in_pdx | Oct 20, 2010 |
I checked this book out from the school library at least 30 times in 3 or 4 years. LOVED it. One of my first 'cat book' memories. ( )
1 vote runnergirl2 | Mar 30, 2008 |
This is a cute little book. I was written by the point of view of the cat and how to "manage" your humans. Great pictures and a fun read. ( )
  gerleliz | Mar 9, 2007 |
Showing 1-5 of 7 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (2 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Paul Gallicoprimary authorall editionscalculated
Szasz, SuzannePhotographersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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The original manuscript of this handbook came to me under most unusual circumstances.
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A delightful manual which instructs stray kittens and homeless cats in how to obtain, captivate, and dominate the families of their choice. 200 black-and-white photographs.

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