Friday, November 18, 2011

Cat Stories: Tales Of Man's Second Best Friend

I'm a dog guy, basically, but since I took in a feral kitten who survived being poisoned like the other four kittens in her feral litter four years ago, I've grown to appreciate cats as well.

Mark Twain, Ernest Hemingway and Raymond Chandler, three of my favorite writers, loved cats and now I understand why.

My new appreciation of cats makes me want to read Cat Stories, a new book about cats that Claire Hopley reviewed for the Washington Times.

The thing about cats is that it’s not clear that we domesticated them. Humans colonized dogs and horses for hunting, guarding and transportation. They rounded up sheep and cows for wool and milk and meat. But cats can’t be rounded up and are not trained to give useful services. More likely, as settled dwellings attracted mice and rats, cats came a-hunting of their own volition. Perhaps at first they were merely tolerated for their part in keeping food supplies safe, but cats and people found they also could share companionship around a fire.

...Yes, there are dog stories featuring Lassie and Rin Tin Tin, and legendary dogs such as Cerberus, guardian of the Greek underworld, and Gelert, the Welsh dog who saved his master’s baby only to be mistakenly killed as the perpetrator of the attack. But cats feature more often in legends. Typical felines are clever, like Dick Whittington's cat and Puss in Boots, who manages to marry his impoverished master to the king’s daughter. Then, too, over the past couple of centuries, scores of writers have dabbled in cat stories. Nineteen of these have been collected, edited by Diana Secker Tesdell and published as “Cat Stories” in the Everyman Pocket Classics series.

You can read the rest of the review via the below link:

You can also read about how I, a dog guy, came to adopt a feral kitten via the below link:

I love my cat, but I'm still a dog guy.

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