Started by David St John Thomas and finished, after his death, by his son Gareth St John Thomas, this is a lavishly illustrated, entertaining and informative book about domestic cats and their relationships with their
slaves human companions. The book looks at topics such as territory, feeding habits, interactions with other cats and with humans, and feline personality types. There's even a chapter devoted to cats 'with jobs' such as those that work in libraries or train stations, hunting rodents and making friends with customers.
The book gives excellent advice on how to make friends with cats you meet in your local area:
"If you want to make friends with your local cats, you need to be like them, following a routine and being a little cautious. Of course a token of esteem does not go amiss at the right time, but don't assume that every cat you meet will look upon you as a meal ticket. Cats like company and a big friend like you could come in useful one day. So take your time and be consistent and never, ever ignore her."
The part about never ignoring a local cat particularly made me smile, as my favourite local cat will sometimes hide in a hedge or behind a wall and if I don't see her as I pass she will meow after me quite loudly until I go over and pet her for a while.
This is a short, attractively produced book that would make a perfect gift for any cat lover. It is also, for something so glossy and short, perhaps surprisingly insightful about quite a few aspects of cat behaviour and really recognises cats as individuals in terms of their attitudes to cuddles, hunting and which types of cat toys they actually like. There are also amusing snippets such as that about Socks, the Clinton's White House cat who apparently had a staff member to reply to all the letters that were written to him. And when you've read it through, you can flick through again to admire all the beautiful cats that feature in the photos.
Disclaimer: I received a free copy of this book in return for an honest review.
(and talking of books about cats, I still have some copies of CATS, Cycling Across Time and Space, which includes my story The Tiger's Tale. Details here.)