The-Cat-Encyclopedia-The-Definitive-Visual-Guide

Review From User :

Learning About Cats

Until I got my most recent cat about two years ago, I had forgotten how much I loved the little creatures. They bring something special to life. I pounced on the opportunity to read this new book, "The Cat Encyclopedia: The Definitive Visual Guide" when I found it at the local library weeks after its publication. Kim Dennis-Bryan, PhD, an authority, such as there is, on cats, is credited as the contributing editor of the volume.

The Cat Encyclopedia is a large, heavy coffee-table sized book of 320 pages on glossy paper. It is a pleasure to read but large. As befitting its subject, the book can be a bit difficult to handle. Although it conveys a wealth of information, the book is fun and enjoyable. After all, who wants a dry boring tome when it comes to cats The emphasis is on pictures of cats, mostly in color and well reproduced. The central section of the book consists of photographs of over 130 breeds of cats, both shorthair and longhair, with a discussion of the origin and characteristics of each breed. I was surprised to learn of the recent origin of many of the breeds. The beloved and common domestic short or longhairs remain at the center of the world of cats and receive their deserved attention.

The book offers an interesting and readable account of the biological evolution of the domestic cat and of cat biology. Then, the encyclopedia gives an overview of the sometimes tortured relationship between cats and humans (they were persecuted in Europe during the Middle Ages.) A further section of the Encyclopedia discusses cats in human culture, including religion, folklore, art, religion, and, if you will, the Internet. Following the large gallery of photos of cat breeds, the book concludes with a long useful discussion of cat care, from acquiring a cat, to enjoying it, to taking care of the animal in health and in sickness.

The book reminded me of the difference of getting to know a cat by living with one and getting to know about cats by reading. Knowing about the animal is no substitute for living with a cat but it is a treat and informative just the same. Much of the material in this book was published only about a year ago as "The Complete Cat Breed Book". For those not having that book, it is worth having this new, expanded volume. This book will delight lovers of cats.

Robin Friedman


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