by Michael & Teresa Banik Capuzzo Capuzzo ‧ RELEASE DATE: March 9, 1998
For anyone who has ever been owned by a cat, these selected letters from readers of Michael Capuzzo's (with coauthor Teresa Banik Capuzzo, a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist) syndicated column, ""Wild Things,"" will surely sound many familiar notes. This is very much an either/or book: Either you'll be nodding merrily along as the correspondents detail the strange and curious, the edifying and touching moments of a life shared with a cat; or the whole thing will fly right over your head (likely you and a cat have never cohabited), perhaps setting your teeth on edge when things get mawkish or infantile. A few of the names encountered here will be familiar to any reader of feline literature--Elizabeth Marshall Thomas, Roger Caras, James Herriot, Cleveland Amory, though all of their letters read more like snippets from their books--but for the most part the folks writing to Capuzzo are everyday Joes and Janes (and Hartriono Sastrowardoyos, whose cat, unbeknownst to Hartriono, recorded a greeting message on his answering machine), and they feel fresh and spontaneous and at times terribly vulnerable and quite personal. The chapter headings tell it ali: ""On Love,"" ""Loyalty and Friendship,"" ""Heroism,"" ""Healing and Faith,"" ""Mystery and Mischief,"" etc.; the letters, most just a page or two long, are humble tales of a good mouser or a cat that felt the presence of the departed. Some retell an apt folktale, and there are a few poems and many stories of saying good-bye, of letting go. Not surprisingly, a number of the better pieces, those that with an economy of words convey the beguiling, sphinxlike qualities of a cat, are bylined Michael Capuzzo. In the end, all these letters attest to one simple point: Cats play cat-lovers like stringed instruments.
Pub Date: March 9, 1998
Page Count: 288
Review Posted Online: N/A
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 1998
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