I admit when I was first given the opportunity of reviewing Good Cat by Steve Dale that was my overwhelming feeling.
I couldn't have been more wrong.
When I think of Steve Dale the first thing that comes to mind is knowledge of dogs. I had the pleasure of reviewing his sister book Good Dog a few weeks back. I did not know, until I read Good Cat that Steve has a deep passion for cats, in fact he shared his life for years with a piano playing cat, to think I thought that Nora was first, named Ricky. Sadly, Ricky passed in 2002 after having been diagnosed a few years earlier with hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM) which sadly also took the life of my beloved Bobo.
|Steve and "Ricky"|
Photo Courtesy of Steve Dale
Shortly after Ricky's death Steve started the Ricky Fund with the Winn Feline Foundation. (See description listed under Additional Resources further into this post)
What initially grabbed my attention in Good Cat was Steve's acknowledgment of that in many people's minds cats are "second-class citizens."
He jokingly states that: "Cats are the Rodney Dangerfield of pets; they get no respect."
Steve also mentions how there are more pet cats than dogs, but cats are taken to the vet less than half as often as dogs. (Often dog owners also don't visit the vet often enough and imagine that cat owners take their cats to the vet even less! This must change!)
He also mentions how "cats are more often given up to animal shelters than dogs. They are sometimes so disposable that people just open their door and give them the boot. Cats are also less often adopted from shelters than dogs, which means more are euthanized."
In Good Cat the information that Steve covers is invaluable to everyone from a veteran cat owner like myself, to the individual acquiring their first cat hopefully through adoption.
You will find topics such as:
Training Your Kitten: Patience Makes Perfect
Adoption Is A Wonderful Option
The Litter Box
Cats and Dogs: Are They Mortal Enemies?
Good Cat also offers:
130 questions covering:
- Cat training
- Feline fears
- Cat-to-cat aggression
- Cat-to-people aggression
- Inappropriate elimination
- Cognitive dysfunction
- and more!
Within each chapter are common cat questions that are posed and Steve gives informative and often humorous answers. For those questions that he feels should be responded to in more depth he refers the individual to the appropriate professional.
One of my favorite parts of Good Cat is the treasure trove of resources that are listed in the back under Additional Resources. There you will find everything from a list of books Steve mentions in some of his responses to the questions asked in Good Cat, as well as one of the most comprehensive lists of websites, not just cat lovers, but for pet lovers as a whole.
Examples of these include:
Alley Cat Allies-A superb resource for Trap, Neuter and Return (TNR) information.
CATalyst Council- which seeks to increase veterinary visits and pet adoptions of cats
Pet World Radio-The site for Steve Dale's national radio show.
Ricky Fund (Winn Feline Foundation): Steve Dale established this fund following the death of his Devon Rex Ricky to feline hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, a common cause of death in cats and the awful disease that took my beloved Bobo from me. The fund supports studies for the treatment and prevention of the disease.
Steve Dale's Pet World: The website includes archives of newspaper columns, blog posts, podcasts, videos, etc.
Steve Dale's Pet World Blog (Chicago Now)
Steve Dale's YouTube Page
Your Cat's Heart which offers the latest information on the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of heart disease in cats.
In Good Cat Steve Dale's hope "is that people read and learn and sometimes are entertained by these questions and answers. If one cat is saved from a shelter as a result of the advice offered in these pages. I've done my job."
Educating cat owners, saving cats from shelters, helping cats to achieve the status that they rightfully deserve...isn't that what it is all about?
In Good Cat, Steve Dale gives us the information, advice and resources that we need, it is not just another "cat handbook". Good Cat should be required reading for anyone who shares their heart and their home with their feline friends.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
- Kindle ($2.99 at Amazon)
- Nook ($2.99 at Barnes & Noble)
- iPad ($2.99 regular version &
$4.99 enhanced video version on iTunes)
- Kobo ($2.99 at Kobo)
- Sony Reader ($2.99 at Sony)