Nancy Paulson Books, Penguin Young Readers, 2012
From the dust jacket, “Cats rule! And this funny, endearing look at cat culture celebrates all the wonders of our fabulous feline friends – from whiskers to tail. Do you ever wonder how cats achieve the perfect balance of “cattitude” and cuteness? How they’ve mastered the art of charming humans? Here, all the tricks of their trade are revealed as a wise cat happily shares essential advice with the younger generation. Entertaining lessons abound, including a catwalk through history, guidance on what animals to catch (mouse = do, gerbil = don’t), and the importance of purr therapy to calm your humans.”
Loved this book! It’s funny and so true!! We cats are shown to be superior to humans in every way, especially in communication skills. Humans are so weird – and LOUD! We really need to teach our humans the more refined, subtle message of ‘cat’. And I loved the closing ‘words of wisdom’ – “Keep your outside mild, but your inside wild.”
Rating: 4 out of 5 – for absolute total cuteness and fact!!!!
Lost Cat A True Story of Love, Desperation, and GPS Technology
Caroline Paul Drawings by Wendy McNaughton
As the book opens the author has just been involved in a horrific plane crash and wakes up in the hospital. When the doctors say that her tibia and fibia are broken and her ankle is crushed like potato chips all she can think of are her cats Tibby aka Tibia and Fibby aka Fibia. She spends many months recovering and during that time Tibby disappears for 5 weeks. She is not only in a lot of pain and severely depressed due to her injury but when Tibby goes on his extended ‘walkabout’ she is heartbroken. One day Tibby does come back and is none the worse for wear – in fact, he has actually gained weight. This piques the curiosity of the author and her girlfriend on “Where has Tibby been?” Through a GPS device small enough to fit on the wandering feline’s collar as well as other high- and low-tech ways they learn that her cat is not at all what he seems to be.
Thoroughly engaging and funny, the book is illustrated with adorable drawings. The author pokes fun at herself throughout the book and I laughed at the antics of the humans searching for knowledge of the feline brain. Try as they might they will never be able to figure us out! Humans have their agendas and we have ours and never the two shall meet. If you love cats, this is the book for you. If you don’t love cats, then after reading this book, you will love cats. As the author says, “Sooner or later everyone becomes a cat lover.”
Henry Bergh was born in 1813 to a wealthy family and lived a privileged lifestyle. As many rich children often do, he had no desire for real work and instead wandered the globe as a young man living off his family’s wealth. He eventually settled down and got married. While on his honeymoon in Europe he and his wife witnessed the horrific and bloody end of 25 horses and 8 bulls in an afternoon of bullfighting. His response to the enthusiastically cheering crowd was “Never before has a similar degree of disgust been experienced by us, or such a hearty contempt for a people calling themselves civilized and at the same time Christians.”
Later on he spent time in Russia where he came to the defense of a wagon driver beating his horse. In 1865 he moved back to New York with a new found mission in life – that of saving animals from a life of abuse and cruelty. February of 1866 saw Bergh form the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to animals. From that time forward he spent his life fighting for the rights of abused animals everywhere. Through the hard and diligent work of Mr. Bergh we have laws against animal cruelty today.
I enjoyed reading this book – it is written for middle grade kittens but is easily accessible to all ages. For younger kittens, it might be wise to have an older cat read this to them so they may skip over the abusive parts. Although not overly graphic in description, the abuse suffered is nonetheless terrible and for sensitive kittens, it might be nightmare inducing. The illustrations are interesting but don’t necessarily add anything to the overall message of the book. There are photographs as well and it is always interesting to look at records of a long-gone era.
This biography provides a good overview of Mr. Bergh’s struggle with changing the way society looks and treats its animals. It reinforces a lesson of perseverance in the face of resistance. Mr. Bergh endured years of humiliating articles and cartoons in newspapers as well as ridicule and mocking. But he continued to work without fail. Through his life we can learn to fight for what we believe in, and know that it is okay to go home, have a good cry and get back up the next day and do it all again. If you are in animal rescue and need encouragement, want something uplifting and very quick to read (I read it in about 3 hours), consider this book. It may have you reenergized to get out and fight the good fight.
We read this book as a part of the Summer Reading Challenge!
Pepper is a grey cat who is very happy with his (her?) life. He loves Sunday curled up asleep near his human, Monday playing with yarn and Tuesday tormenting the dog. But Wednesday – terrible Wednesday – his human brings home Poe, an adorable white kitten that Poe absolutely does not like. He spends the rest of the week trying to get away from Poe and then by Saturday, Pepper has had enough, but not Poe. Together they create a huge disaster and when the human asks who did it? They both blame the dog!! After that, Pepper warms up to Poe.
This an adorable picture book about learning to get along by finding some common ground – like blaming everything on the dog. Whatever works! The illustrations are very cute and digitally created. The type is large enough for early readers; the font (called Litterbox ICG) is a little wonky but I don’t think it presents too big of a challenge to kids or kittens.
Do you remember the movie, Up? If you do, what a fun movie! One of the best parts of the whole balloon/house adventure was the dog, Dug. He was so funny! And remember his ‘cone of shame’? Too funny. This book is about Dug while he searches for the rare and exotic bird his master wants so much. He enlists the readers’ help buy asking if you can help him find the bird, but is all too often distracted too easily and can’t seem to locate the bird. He also has an obsession with peanut butter. This would be a really great read-out loud story-time book because Dug needs the help of his audience. Unfortunately the book is out-of-print so readers will have to search for it on a secondary market or at their library – but it is well worth the search!!
Rating for both books:
Click on the author’s & illustrator’s names to go to their respective websites!
Jackson Galaxy & Kate Benjamin
Jeremy P. Tarcher/Penguin, an imprint of Penguin Random House LLC, 2015
It’s time to catify your home!! In other words, make your home a more stimulating, pleasing and safe place for the fantastic feline who lives with you!
1. Base Camp: The Heart of Catification – this section covers how to create comfortable spaces for your cat, especially if he is new to your home. I like the cocooning idea – not for me or my cousin Toby – we’re both people-cats. But it would be great for BobbieSue and Simon – they are both terrified of humans. I think Toby’s mom is going to try a couple of the cocooning suggestions to help them out.
2. Scratching Solutions – there are some great ideas for scratching areas for my fellow felines. It is interesting how all of us have our scratching preferences Toby likes tall vertical, BobbieSue and Simon prefer more horizontal. I think there some improvements coming our way for scratching! Which, by the way, it is better for us to be allowed to scratch than to mark in other ways – especially the way boy cats like to mark their territory!
3. Let’s Talk About Litter Boxes – the conversation is very frank in this chapter and I think the authors make a good point regarding litter box resentment. Some humans just don’t get the point about litter boxes, so sometimes we cats have to teach them – the hard way. I do think the authors go on and on about ambushes at the litter box – that really depends on the cats that cohabitate; I just think it is redundant to mention it 25,000 times in one chapter (a bit of an exaggeration, but you get my point). There are some good tips that most people can apply and for those rare few who have woodworking skills there are a lot of ideas.
4. Cat Superhighways: Navigating the Vertical World – wow! Tons of ideas on taking advantage of vertical space. It certainly has us thinking about how to get up on the wall!
This book is really an idea book – a dream book of sorts. It has only a couple of DIY things so if your human isn’t used to creating something from nothing all on their own, the book might not work for them as a guide. But for inspiration purposes it is wonderful! I love all the cat superhighways and quite honestly, a little jealous!!