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Thursday, October 27, 2005


Great Feline Authors Series: A Cat’s Little Instruction Book

Just like mama used to tell me

A Cat’s Little Instruction Book
Leigh W. Rutledge
Dutton, 1993
Leigh Rutledge claims to have lived with 28 cats when he published this book in 1993. Who knows how many he lives with now? One of them authored this entertaining and informative how-to book for young felines. I only wish that Rutledge had had the good sense to admit that he was only the amanuensis. Too many great feline authors—much like the great women poets of the past—remain anonymous!

“Never go to a veterinarian who doesn’t have cats himself,” writes the unnamed author of this guide to becoming the perfect feline. Having just been to the vet yesterday, myself, I can certainly confirm that’s good advice. My vet, Sally Dale of East Lake Animal Clinic, has a couple of cats at home and clearly loves them. She pronounced me fit, although she had the bad taste to say that at seven years old, I have reached middle age. I growled, but had to submit to her poking, prodding, and sticking with sharp needles.

While the exam proceeded, my amanuensis related how I’d learned to kill mice, despite the fact that my previous host had my front claws removed. (More about this anon.) My amanuensis stated she would never have done so herself; that was some comfort to me. “Own nothing, and be owned by no one,” says the author of this book. How poignant! But, I would say, to the contrary: if you sit on it, you own it.

And finally, here’s a piece of advice that echoes what my mother always said: “Learn to appreciate fine books, especially when someone else is reading them.”

By the same author: If People Were Cats, Diary of a Cat, Cat Love Letters.

Tags: cats book reviews


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1 Old Comments:

Lucky for us, I stopped Aloysius from posting this review on Amazon.com. Those guys require you to give them a non-exclusive, royalty-free license to publish and reprint your "content" in all media now known or to be invented throughout the universe.

By Anonymous amanuensis, at 1:37 PM  

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