Demented, fragmented advice on how to live with such pets as alligators, snakes, birds, de-scented skunks and, of course, How to Live with a Calculating Cat (1962). Gurney has taken on an addled antiquarian flair; under the history of pets, he offers the proposition that something wandered into a cave, encountered Neanderthalian kindness and responded by dragging in something edible to share. Man got the idea that in return for shelter, his animals should help him. ""This is called poetic justice, and it usually works out only in poetry."" Gurney then points out that in addition to having an arkful, Noah had his hands full and he goes on to prove that it has been ever thus and always will be. There is an appended list of biographical sketches of famous animals which makes up in wacky inclusions what it lacks in sober completeness; among others are Robert the Bruce's spider and Cher Ami, the persistent homing pigeon of WWI's Lost Battalion. Gurney's well-known cartoons tie all this into the sort of nonsensical good sense that animal lovers who have been acquired by pets will welcome as a gift.