British writer Elizabeth Hamilton investigates too broad a spectrum of cat subjects to do justice to any. And drops lots of literary names but stints on the literature itself. We are presented with an array of celebrities' cats; cats immortalized in poems, stories, and paintings; and assorted anecdotes about straggly strays. We gallivant with Hamilton through the psychology, symbology, language, and mysteries of catdom, pausing briefly in the British Museum, royal homes, parish churches, and the streets of London for peeks at mystical, talking, and even ice-skating cats. The ""Glimpse Down the Centuries"" chapter is no more than that. Inserted are extremely short excerpts from the cat classics of Cowper, Baudelaire, Gautier, de la Mare, Mark Twain, Saki, Colette, Don Marquis, and Paul Gallico, to name just a few; and for the record there are 20 all-too-placid drawings of imperturbable British cats. Only the cat spook tales and the more substantial anonymous stories of intuitive cats evoke the intrigue and/or warmth expected from a book of this genre, and soften its academic tone. New-to-the-cult fanciers would be wise to explore the elegant Macbeth and Booth anthology, The Book of Cats, or the works of Chwaste-and-Suares or Chandoha, both entitled The Literary Cat, before padding through Hamilton's potpourri.