TITLE: The Inner Life of Cats: The Science and Secrets of Our Mysterious Feline Companions
AUTHOR: Thomas McNamee
DATE PUBLISHED: 2017
"Our feline companions are much-loved but often mysterious. In The Inner Life of Cats, Thomas McNamee blends scientific reportage with engaging, illustrative anecdotes about his own beloved cat, Augusta, to explore and illuminate the secrets and enigmas of her kind.
As it begins, The Inner Life of Cats follows the development of the young Augusta while simultaneously explaining the basics of a kitten's physiological and psychological development. As the narrative progresses, McNamee also charts cats' evolution, explores a feral cat colony in Rome, tells the story of Augusta's life and adventures, and consults with behavioral experts, animal activists, and researchers, who will help readers more fully understand cats.
McNamee shows that with deeper knowledge of cats' developmental phases and individual idiosyncrasies, we can do a better job of guiding cats' maturation and improving the quality of their lives. Readers' relationships with their feline friends will be happier and more harmonious because of this book."
This book was less about the inner lives of cats, or the science and secrets of cats than an ode and memoir about the author's cat, Augusta.
The science bits were interesting though some of the numbers quoted lack a reference and make verification difficult. There were also many interesting sections on feral cats in Rome, sensory input and raising kittens and the semi-domestic nature of cats, as well as the stupidity of humans who keep wild animals in their homes and are surprised when it eats them or shreds the house. The majority of the book involves stories about Augusta. Sometimes these stories tied in with the more informative parts of the book, sometimes they didn't.
I haven't lived with a cat for years, so I'm not as inclined as cat-owners to go all soppy over the Augusta sections (maybe if Augusta was a German Shepherd it might have been different), but I did find the book entertaining and well-written though lacking in science.
-The Lion in the Living Room: How House Cats Tamed Us and Took Over the World by Abigail Tucker
- Furry Logic: The Physics of Animal Life by Matin Durrani & Liz Kalaugher
- Domesticated: Evolution in a Man-Made World by Richard C. Francis