"THE CAT WHO CRIED FOR HELP: Attitudes, Emotions, and the Psychology of Cats" by Nicholas H. Dodman

"THE CAT WHO CRIED FOR HELP: Attitudes, Emotions, and the Psychology of Cats"

By
Email this review

KIRKUS REVIEW

More sprightly humor and sage advice on house-pet behavior from Dodman. In a sequel to his popular The Dog Who Loved Too Much (1996), Dodman turns his attention to the feline world and follows the formula that proved successful with his earlier book: a narrative filled with case studies, lighthearted but thoughtful vignettes that sparkle with concern and mirth. Are your cats behaving strangely, going native, turning predatory? Do they suffer from compulsive hair-pulling or wool-sucking, or the unspeakable, Tourette-like feline hyperesthesia syndrome? No matter the family of abnormal (and in some cases perfectly normal, like shrieking through the night) behaviors--aggressive, emotional, or compulsive--Dodman is there with a suggestion or two, typically in the areas of environmental adjustment, behavior modification, and psychopharmacology. There was Jonathan, a cat that snapped into aggressive mode for no apparent reason, charging and drawing blood. Classic hyperthyroidism in conjunction with a cardiac condition, Dodman correctly deduced. One woman wanted to devocalize her cat for practicing his natural nocturnal crooning--the titular cat who cried for help. The anxiety-reducing drug buspirone did the trick (though the owner submitted Thomas to a hemicordectomy anyway). And for those wool-suckers out there, those oral retentives that chew not only their own hair but their owner's, Dodman can't encourage endorphin blockers enough. Dodman's simple point is that before you pack your pet off to the axeman for unseemly doings, check for behavioral solutions, for life--in all its vagaries and variety--is not simpy a disposal item.

Pub Date: Sept. 10th, 1997
Page count: 256pp
Publisher: Bantam