Monday, July 17, 2017

Cat Book Review: "the Inner Life of Cats" by Thomas McNamee (Give-Away!)

(The Science and Secrets of Our Mysterious Feline Companions)
Cover Courtesy of Thomas McNamee

FROM THE INNER LIFE OF CATS WEBSITE:

Our feline companions are much-loved but often mysterious. In The Inner Life of Cats, Thomas McNamee blends scientific reportage with engaging, illustrative anecdotes about his own beloved cat, Augusta, to explore and illuminate the secrets and enigmas of her kind.

As it begins, The Inner Life of Cats follows the development of the young Augusta while simultaneously explaining the basics of a kitten's physiological and psychological development. As the narrative progresses, McNamee also charts cats' evolution, explores a feral cat colony in Rome, tells the story of Augusta's life and adventures, and consults with behavioral experts, animal activists, and researchers, who will help readers more fully understand cats. 

"Augusta" Courtesy of Thomas McNamee's Facebook Page


McNamee shows that with deeper knowledge of cats' developmental phases and individual idiosyncrasies, we can do a better job of guiding cats' maturation and improving the quality of their lives. Readers' relationships with their feline friends will be happier and more harmonious because of this book.


Courtesy of the Inner Life of Cats 



FROM CAT CHAT WITH CAREN AND CODY 

Beautifully written,  the Inner Life of Cats by Thomas McNamee begins when kitten Augusta was found wandering in the snow. It follows Augusta's life from kittenhood, to becoming a full-fledged cat, her death and how life and love continue on with the arrival of another kitty, "Isabel" whom this book is dedicated to. Experiences in Augusta's life, her development, quirks, feline characteristics and more are accompanied by extensively researched scientific studies, essays and more that are provided by Thomas McNamee. The book is heavy with facts/history and lighter on the actual story of Augusta's life.

"Isabel" as a kitten
Photo Courtesy of Thomas McNamee's Facebook page

I have to confess, while overall I enjoyed this book, my favorite parts were the parts where Thomas shares experiences and details about his beautiful black cat Augusta.  It was so heartfelt and beautiful, that I could have read an entire book that was focused entirely on Augusta. Now, that is MY opinion. Many of you will appreciate the ENORMOUS amount of research and documentation that went into the Inner Life of Cats in order to bring you detailed results of scientific studies, etc. I am NOT a scientific person and my mind tends to completely shut off when presented with many facts. Many of YOU who have more of a scientific/detailed mind than I do will greatly appreciate that. I wanted more Augusta. 

Now, don't get me wrong there was MUCH that I learned (and had confirmed) when I read this book. "The sensitive period of socialization for cats to people is from two to seven weeks of age." I had long thought that part of the reason for Cody's affable, flexible, friendly, confident, loving and trusting nature was that he received a ton of early socialization from his foster mom. I was right!

For those of you deeply immersed in the world of feral cats, you will LOVE the detailed information that is provided in this book. You will find the pros/cons of feral cats/colonies and more.

Being a long time fan of Jackson Galaxy, there are also numerous pages devoted to Jackson, his extensive experience in educating owners about how to correct unwanted cat behavior, and his esteemed title of being "The King of Cat Whisperers."

ON LOVING A NEW CAT AFTER LOSING AUGUSTA:

"All over the world, cats are coming into people's lives all day, kittens, middle-aged cats, old cats, damaged cats, grouchy cats, placid cats, cats sleek as otters, bony cats, fat cats, suspicious, trusting, restless, scaredy, fuzzy, fizzy, timid, foolish, crazy, cool. Wanted, unwanted, somewhere in between. Some will be abused, some ignored, many misunderstood. Some will be lonely, some will be sad, some will run away and be run over, some will sicken and die. Some will never know a day that isn't happy, full of birds and children's chatter or timeless and serene. Nearly all will love someone."

"Their lives are shorter than ours. We can witness their lives from beginning to end, not just witness but BE IN them, from naming to knowing, from wonder to love, an arc, and then-now-another. We can, we must mean to be kind. "Let us not be weary," wrote Paul to the Galatians, "in well doing." Every day of her life, the kitten and the cat she becomes will make the effort worth our while."

If you are on this blog, you more than likely LOVE CATS. I urge you to pick up a copy of this beautifully written and superbly researched book which will increase your understanding of the fabulous feline(s) who shares your life, and help to enhance the lives that you share together.

AVAILABLE ON:








Thomas McNamee
Courtesy of his Facebook Page


ABOUT THE AUTHOR: THOMAS MCNAMEE is the recipient of a 2016 John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation fellowship. He is the author of The Grizzly Bear, Nature First:Keeping our Wild Places and Wild Creatures Wild, and The Return of the Wolf to Yellowstone, among many other books. He lives in San Francisco.


GIVE-AWAY: Thomas has generously agreed to GIVE AWAY 5 COPIES OF The Inner Life of Cats to those who reside in the U.S.A AND WHO ARE 18 and OVER (an approx $20 value). Entering is easy! Just enter on the rafflecopter below, good luck! 
a Rafflecopter giveaway








41 comments:

  1. My human checked this out on her Kindle reader recently... and then never got around to reading it! So I hope I win it for her... and I'll MAKE her sit down and read it.

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  2. Thank you sharing! We can't participate as we're outside US. (We understand the restriction of course - overseas postage is crazy expensive!)

    We've to admit that we're skeptical as we believe that cats shouldn't be kept alone, especially kittens. There's of course exceptions and so on, but we're convinced that most cats need other cats. Preferably same age / sex / personality.

    Now, we don't know whether Augusta was an only cat, that's only the impression we got from your review. We neither claim to know that Cody is unhappy!! That being said, we think that scientific books on cats should encourage its readers to take more than one cat.

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  3. We're very sorry. We just saw that Isabel and Augusta lived together, so our comment above is embarrassing.

    Mom was just drinking her coffee and eating breakfast, and she has somehow managed to miss this "detail". We don't know how to delete our comment-

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    1. no need to apologize...nope, Augusta did not live with Isabel. Isabel came after Augusta passed. Now, what I do strongly disagree with (and I believe many readers of my blog will too), is that not every cat wants to (or NEEDS to) live with another cat. When I found my Angel Bobo as a stray, he was 6 months old. He was beloved, catered to, adored, and...he was the ONLY pet in my household the entire 18 years I had him. Our bond was almost of another world (which most people who read this blog can relate to as well). He HATED other cats. He wasn't thrilled about dogs either......that is why the ENTIRE 18 years I had him, while I had wanted to get another cat (or dog), I didn't........Bobo's bond with me was much too strong to do so. He would have been MISERABLE. As for Cody....I have thought of getting another cat (as you know he lives with a dog)......but there are a few reasons why I haven't. 1) in our condo we are only allowed TWO pets, and I have my two. 2) My Vet strongly advised against it, one for financial reasons, and two......because they bond between Cody and Dakota is so strong, he thinks bringing in a third would be like "two is company and three is a crowd." BTW yes, Augusta was also an "only" cat and lived a wonderful life. Many, many of the readers of this blog only have one cat. While I would LOVE to have a multi-cat household, everyone's situation and EVERY CAT is different. Some would like living with another cat, some would not. Oh and trust me, Cody is FAR from unhappy. That being said, if I had the financial means and a home that was suitable for more than one cat, I would DEFINITELY have more than one cat.

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    2. Hi! Thank you for your long response! I appologize if I didn't make it clear that I can't speak for Cody as I don't know him. I neither can speak for Augusta nor Isabel. I didn't want bomb your blog either.

      I was just thinking that I may add this book to my reader when I realized that one of the most important things (to me!) has not been adressed. It took many people to convince me taking two cats instead of one, and I heard both sides of the story from a lot of other people.

      After reading a lot online in discussion forums, I decided to take sides: that cats, as a general rule, shouldn't be kept alone. Humans cannot replace a second cat. I can't talk feline (because I can't move my ears and I don't have a tail), I don't want to wash them with my tongue, and I don't want to play with a cat like cats do. (fighting with each other).

      Feral cats (not wild cats though) tend to live in bigger groups. When people adopt a single kitten, they choose a kitten of a bunch of kittens snuggling / playing together - and I always ask myself "why".

      For the part "my cat doesn't like other cats". If s/he had been kept away from other cats for a long time, s/he has probably unlearned to speak feline / interact with other cats. Outside cats who meet other cats outside, are often hostile because they defend a territory - which is something different than sharing a territory to begin with.

      That being said, I have read your answer carefully, and I do see your point. For future cat owners who can't afford two cats (for whatever reason): I'd probably suggest to get an older cat which has been seperated from other cats in an early age, and is thus struggling to live with other cats.

      _______

      However, as I said in the beginning of this answer: I can't speak for Cody nor any other cat I've nevet met. I do understand both sides because I once belonged to the other side. After a lot of thinking and reading, I changed my mind.

      I'll send my answer now because I feel like I should answer after provocing such a reaction. That being said, I don't want to make enemies, and I do think that you're a great Mom to Cody.

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    3. no harm done!! I understand where you are coming from. In an "ideal" world, when adopting cats adopting two would be wonderful. Anytime someone can have more than one cat, I AGREE that would be wonderful. But...once again, everyone's situation is different so I don't want to condemn anyone, (including myself) for only having one cat, people have to do what is right for them, and I do believe that one cat is just as happy as cats who live with other cats. I THANK YOU for sharing your opinion!!!!! (((hugs)))

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  5. Wonderful review ! Actually, my mom was about to put this book on her list. She didn't add this book in goodreads because of the rate of stars , but your reviews make this book back on her list again. Thank You !

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    1. Puddy THANK YOU!! You have a most BRILLIANT Mama and I think she would enjoy this book! Wishing you good luck if you entered! xoxo

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  6. Thanks for the chance to win this wonderful book. We have both cats and dogs, and I love reading about them!

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  7. I was about to post our review and you'll understand why I posted something else today. I agree about Augusta and Jackson hasn't done any studies. You meant John Bradshaw?

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    1. Thanks, I corrected it...I was TIRED lol! I wasn't going to mention John Bradshaw anyway so it's all good. Left you a blog comment and sent you a message on FB. (((hugs)))

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  8. Sounds like an interesting book with a slightly different "slant" getting into the back story of cats and what makes them special creatures.....but weaves in the story of two cats to illustrate it all. Nice giveaway - we shall "ruffle the rafflecopter" and hope to win a copy!

    Hugs, Teddy and Mom

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  9. Thanks for the review, Caren. I've observed a lot of cat behavior at home and in the 15 years of volunteering at PAWS. It would be interesting to read the book and check some of my assumptions.
    xxoo
    Maggie

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  10. Ooh, this book looks great! Thanks for the info, and for offering up a copy.

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  11. It sounds like the author did some fantastic research, as well as has shared his life with some lovely kitties. I would certainly be interested in getting a copy of this and learning more about the fantastic felines in our lives. Thank you for sharing this with us!

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  12. I'm in. Way cool.

    I linked this post to Awww Mondays.

    Have a purrfect day, Cody. My best to your wonderful mom. ♥♥♥

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    1. thanks so much for linking us!! Good luck and send much love! xoxo

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  13. I would love to be entered. Thanks!

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  14. I read this book a few weeks ago - I picked it up from our local library, where I think I was the first person to check it out when it came in!

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  15. Dang, that does sound really good, we just might have to read that one!

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  16. Your review makes us want to read this book and especially read about Augusta! Thank you for introducing this book to us! We entered the giveaway and are crossing our paws!

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    1. thank you so much! You are most welcome and I wish you good luck!!!!

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  17. I recently listened to a podcast interview about this book, and it was interesting. The author certainly knows cat behavior!

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    1. He most definitely does and he is extremely nice to boot!

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  18. Great review ! We'll add the book to our list. Good luck to our US friends ! Purrs

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  19. This book sounds great! Sadly I can't enter the giveaway, being in the UK (understand the restriction of postage charges though!). Will share on my blog though, for those who can enter.

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  20. That sounds like a fantastic read, especially now that our mom has found some time to be reading again.

    Emma and Buster

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  21. Pawesome review this book sounds great!!!

    xoxo,
    Matilda (& Matt)

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  22. This is just the sort of book that Penny the Jack Russell dog and modest internet superstar would like to read to me. Nice review.

    Penny has kindly requested that I share this pawst.

    Penny's human dad,

    Gary 😜

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  23. I want to be entered into the giveaway and win!

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  24. I am skipping the giveaway because I read this from the library. I loved it too.

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  25. what a great and balanced review! Sounds like an informative read!

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  26. I would love to be entered. Thank you very much :)

    Renee

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  27. This sounds like a very good book, and definitely the part about feral cat colonies. I read through the above comments as well. And while we have three cats (plus a foster in the house), I think they do overall enjoy each other's company. But I also think that Olive (our tortie) would be JUST FINE as a single cat in the house. She barely tolerates Sophie and rarely cuddles with Dexter anymore. So, I think it definitely varies per cat.

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  28. Admiral and Katie hate other cats and are/were extremely possessive of me. The bond was/is very strong. I will do with one cat. If she showed she wanted a companion she would have one. I would like to read the book and t was isn generous of the author to offer 5 for drawing I haven't managed to get lucky with rafflecopter in over 5 years, so I gave quit going thru the things to do for it. Maybe someone among friends will let me borrow it. xoxo

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    1. Hi my friend, I can't begin to tell you the number of give-aways I enter that I DON'T win. More often than not, I DON'T win...(how often do you see me posting on either blog what I have won? Not much!), but...I continue to enter. If you don't enter, you can't win!! If you see this comment, email me your mailing address (you may have to wait a bit for the book because I am slower than hell about mailing), but if you want, you can HAVE mine. I feel bad that you hate give-aways the way that you do and would love to see you enter again. As I said, more than often, (especially when speaking about cat bloggers), I DO NOT WIN. xoxoxo

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  29. I am going to try to win this book...this time! That does look like an interesting book to pore over.
    Since Pipo lost his brofur, Minko, he seems to have gotten more social with the two leggers and comes to me each evening to beg for playtime:)
    Sometimes he comes and lays in the chair beside my desk, something he rarely did in the past.
    Hubby and I were discussing this the other night; we think he may not be sorely missing Minko as much as we might have expected. He for sure is *not* acting like another kitty we had here who lost his furbling. Wow! Who knew?! But he still hates the camera, flash or not, MOL!

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