I remember the first cat I ever lived with, Shiloe. She was a beautiful lilac point Siamese given to me by a friend’s mom who thought no home was complete without a cat. Cats were completely foreign to me at the time, having grown up with a few dogs and a fish tank in the house. Nevertheless, she insisted and I accepted, and thus began a lifelong love affair with cats. It’s impossible for me to imagine a house without at least one roaming around.
Karlie is our latest addition, and we’ve had her about a year and a half. She is a rescue cat, the only kind we consider anymore, and her personality gets more distinct every day. When we first brought her home she found a place to hide and we didn’t see her for a couple of days. She now spends a few hours every day sitting in my lap, if it’s available, an greeting us in the mornings when we get up as well as anytime we’ve been away from the house.
Cats are unique creatures, and we have enjoyed all the ones who have shared our home over the years. We also enjoyed our dog, a true pound puppy, that we had for about twelve years. It’s not so much that we prefer cats to dogs, they are both enjoyable to have around, but they do fit into our lifestyle easier than a dog these day.
Back when I first got Shiloe, I had to depend of my friend’s mother to help me know what to do every step of the way. I was clueless in terms of taking care of a cat. Recently I read How to Speak Cat, a guide for teens and young adults published by Harper Collins Publishing. Boy do I wish it had been available back then. It’s a great introduction for anyone considering adding a cat to their household. Here’s my review.
An easy to read book that does a good job of acquainting the reader with information about how to interpret a cat’s behavior. The format is enjoyable, with a mixture of pictures, descriptions and narrative regarding specific feline behaviors. The book is designed to be read by young people, specifically teenagers and young adults, and utilizes a combination of pictures, narrative, colors, etc. to increase the book’s appeal. While teens and young adults will likely enjoy the book, adults may also find the book to be entertaining and informative.
For anyone who has a cat, they will recognize many of the behaviors described in the book, and if they are seasoned cat families these descriptions will do little more than confirm much of what they already know. For anyone new to cats, there is a wealth of information that will help them as they transition into a cat oriented household. Regardless of how well acquainted a person is with cats, there is likely to be some information in this book that will be new to them.
There are also a few instructions on how to train a cat to some specific behavior, such as coming when they are called. The method explained within this book can easily be adapted to other behaviors if a person is trying to train their cat to do something special.
At one point the author makes a sweeping statement about cats who aren’t held as kittens remaining forever wild. Personal experience has been more nuanced than this seems to indicate. Having had rescue cats who were feral as well as adopting one that was loved as a kitten, then abandoned as an adult, the wildness of a cat, and their subsequent reluctance to become part of the social fabric of a household, I believe is more complex than simply being held and cuddled as a kitten. However, cuddling a kitten is always an excellent way to help develop a bond.
Overall, this book has some excellent information and would be a good place to start for anyone who is trying to create or improve an understanding of cats. It would make an excellent book to be displayed in a veterinarian’s office, particularly one who specializes in feline health. The table of contents at the beginning of the book offers a quick way to get to specific information an individual may be seeking, and is an added bonus. In addition, it would be a great gift for any young person whose household is expanding to include a cat or two.
My thanks to Collins Harper Publishers and NetGalley for providing me with an Advanced Digital Reader copy of this book in exchange for an unbiased review.
Hopefully this has answered some questions or at least provided you with a resource if you were in need. The book is due to be published on April 5, 2020; so you’ve got plenty of time to go by your local independent bookseller and order a copy. Before I go, let me take the opportunity to encourage you, if you are thinking about adding a cat, or a dog for that matter, to your household, please consider adopting instead of buying. Shelters are overflowing, and there are some wonderful animals in need of homes all over the country. And, on that note, I’ll simply say Happy Reading.