A lively adventure through history, natural science, and pop culture in search of how cats conquered the world, the Internet, and our hearts.
House cats rule back alleys, deserted Antarctic islands, and our bedrooms. Clearly they own the Internet, where a viral cat video can easily be viewed upward of 10 million times. But how did cats accomplish global domination? Unlike dogs, they offer humans no practical benefit. The truth is they are sadly incompetent rat catchers and pose a threat to many ecosystems. Yet we love them still.
To better understand these furry strangers in our midst, Abby Tucker travels to meet the breeders, activists, and scientists who've dedicated their lives to cats. She visits the labs where people sort through feline bones unearthed from the first human settlements, treks through the Floridian wilderness in search of house cats on the loose, and hangs out with Lil Bub, one of the world's biggest feline celebrities.
Witty, intelligent, and always curious, Tucker shows how these tiny creatures have used their relationship with humans to become one of the most powerful animals on the planet. The appropriate reaction to a cuddly kitten, it seems, might not be aww but awe.
©2016 Abigail Tucker. All rights reserved. (P)2016 Simon & Schuster
"A thoughtful look at the illogical human love of felines." (Publishers Weekly)
"Dig deep into the history, biology, and science of house cats in this charming, highly informative read that explains how cats came to rule." (B&N Reads)
"[An] intriguing history.... Read this entertaining book and you will be convinced that house cats are 'the most transformative invaders the world has ever seen.'" (Kirkus Reviews)
I kept waiting for the author to contrast all the negative data about cats effect on the environment, and potentially on health, with some inkling of positive information on our relationship with them, and the bonds we are able to form. Instead, this read like a cat haters manifesto, highlighting the bad and never touching on the good. At times it even felt like she was advocating whole scale cat slaughter. After all, cats are terrible for the environment, and for our physical and mental health, and according to this book, apparently don't like or bond with us in any way at all. Some interesting science, but overall a shortsighted and shallow interpretation of cats relationship with humans in the modern world.
Narrator was the best part, otherwise....Meh. A definite downer, although I'm sure it's all too true (casts cats as ultimate, unchangeable villains, responsible for entire species being wiped out, or nearly so, by predation -- a given if you allow cat(s) free, unlimited/"unchaperoned" access outdoors). No "on the other hand", good news, implying that cats aren't "capable" of bonding with humans, merely tolerating being kept, fed, etc. No example (s) of feline/human bonding, we're expected to believe cats are incapable of it. As I said above -- a disappointment (and waste of time). But it IS just one person's take on "cats" in general.
Covering everything from prehistoric cats and their unique dietary needs to Lil Bub and Grumpy cat, this brief history of how we got from lions and cheetahs to lolcats and cheezburgers is just delightful. A must read (or listen, or whatever) for all aspiring crazy cat people.
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