Cats are more than just adorable piano players and grumpy sloganeers.
Newman collects the life stories of 23 special pussycats and organizes them by the character attributes that best describe them. Each one is presented in a four- or five-page bio accompanied by full-color photos. Bambi, the deaf Siamese, is “awesome” because she, adopted purposefully by two deaf humans, learned several words in American Sign Language. Welsh puss Pudditat is “caring,” because he became a seeing-eye cat for his blind doggie buddy, Terfel, helping the pooch maneuver and giving him confidence. Hawaiian Kuli surfs and Australian Didga skateboards, among other tricks, making them “adventurous.” Humphrey was Prime Minister John Major’s “hardworking” mouser at 10 Downing St., and Californian cat Bubba actually attends human school, the very quintessence of “curious.” Between the kitty bios, veterinarian Gary Weitzman answers questions about cat behavior. There are a few breed descriptions and tips for training and ensuring a long and healthy life for pet kitties as well as “Just Fur Fun” facts and cat lore, including the 1877 experiment in Belgium that had cats delivering the mail and a comparison of “cat years” to human age. Cat behaviorist Mieshelle Nagelschneider supplies a foreword.
Like an internet kitty video in book form, this should have young cat fanciers lapping it up. (Nonfiction. 7-11)