A CELEBRATION OF CATS by Roger A. Caras
Kirkus Star

A CELEBRATION OF CATS

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KIRKUS REVIEW

As the companion to A Celebration of Dogs (1982), Caras' tribute to Fells cams is equally sincere but, at times, ranges too far. In attempting to not only document the ancestry of the species, but also to investigate the roles cats have played in numerous cultures (from worshipped ""gods"" to abhorred demons), Corns skips dizzingly through the centuries, compiling endless, all-too-brief stories of cats in mythology, religion, and literature. In examining the feline's current popularity, Caras, an ardent cat-lover, describes them as, among other things, objects of beauty (""living art""), ""tranquil role models,"" and ""hedonistic materialists. . .like ourselves."" (""It seeks the soft, it seeks the warm, it prefers the quiet and it loves to be full."") Also included are descriptions of all the cat breeds, as well as an explanation of the social graces involved in cat shows (events that cats tolerate, says Caras, ""with a stiff upper whisker""). Though Caras' strong convictions about spaying/altering to alleviate the overpopulation problem are welcome, one questions the double-standard he applies to purebreds. The second half of the book offers personal accounts of people-cat relationships. Many, including the story of a catatonic young boy who is drawn out by a cat, are warm and touching; others, about human abuse of cats, are gruesome, and perhaps should have been left out. In the final chapter are choice anecdotes about the eccentricities of Caras' own furry companions from childhood on, which he presents in his characteristically colorful, witty style. A mix of legend and narrative (with knowledgeable tidbits on cat care sprinkled here and there)--of particular appeal to purebred fanciers and Caras followers.

Pub Date: Nov. 1st, 1986
Publisher: Simon & Schuster