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Secrets of the Cat: Its Lore, Legend, and Lives

3.73  ·  Rating Details ·  127 Ratings  ·  23 Reviews
“Smart, bright, well-written....A book about cats as good as this one is rare.”
Smithsonian

“May be the most elegantly written, witty, perceptive statement about felines ever published.”
Philadelphia Inquirer

 

In Secrets of the Cat, author Barbara Holland engagingly explores the lore, legend, and lives of humanity’s much beloved furry companion, the often inscrutable feline.
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ebook, 240 pages
Published November 23rd 2010 by HarperCollins e-books (first published 1988)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Jim
Dec 29, 2007 Jim rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: people with cats
Not a sentimental or sappy book about cats. This is a serious look at what cats and humans get from each other, and every cat owner will recognize his or her pet in these pages somewhere.
GoldGato
Nov 12, 2011 GoldGato rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I've served the feline species for a while now and as such, believed that I knew all there was to know about them. How silly was I. If I can only have one book about cats, this would be the one.

Barbara Holland gets into the details about the history of cats, how they've been perceived, their relationship with humans, why they purr, and medical concerns that occasionally occur. After reading this, I felt I had a much better idea of why cats act the way they do.

I can't imagine a room of books wit
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Yelena
Feb 01, 2013 Yelena rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I really want to be best friends with Barbara Holland after reading this book. Witty, but not arrogant, knowledgeable, but not preach-y. I really wish we could have tea and talk about cats. Also the fact that she doesn't infantilize or glamorize animals, but is just respectful and accepting, is soooo refreshing.
Alexa Cascade
Dec 12, 2007 Alexa Cascade rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: those who love cats
Shelves: own-and-read, cats
A very personal account of living with her own cats, along with often very opinionated views about cats, how we live with them and how they live with us.
Meg
Jan 20, 2010 Meg rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I may have two cats, but I am not a cat person. I do not dream of having a house of cats and living a lonely life. The two cats I have, adopted me. This book was recommended to me by a friend that thinks I am a cat lover....and I groaned (silently) as she looked so excited to recommend this book, I decided to test it out. I am happy to report that this book is not wishy-washy silly tidbits about cats...it is witty, but informational and interesting. I am not sure if I would take all of her infor ...more
Kay
By turns sentimental and scholarly, this exhaustively researched account of the cat is written in essayist Barbara Holland's trademark lucid prose, with unapologetic candor. The historical chapter on how and when cats came on the domestic scene outlasted my interest, while the chapter on cats' persecution in the Middle Ages was hard for this cat lover to read, but other than that Secrets of the Cat was enjoyable light reading.
lia
Jan 27, 2013 lia rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
description

It's a nice book about cat. A bit scattered. I feel like the chapters are not club together nicely. It is still entertaining though, and read this if you are cat lover


description

Kenton Monjon
Feb 22, 2014 Kenton Monjon rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Surprisingly interesting.

Surprisingly interesting.

This book contains both interesting and anecdotal information about cats and their history. The anecdotal stories are enjoyable as are the legends. She also covers diseases and different breeds. A very enjoyable read.
Kecia
Dec 21, 2009 Kecia rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The personal stories in this book are beautiful and heartbreaking. Every cat lover should own it (if there's one in your life, consider giving it for Christmas if you can find it). And if you don't like cats, this book just might change your mind about them.
MBP
Jun 16, 2008 MBP rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
You can tell the author really "gets" cats - she has a great style, witty and opinionated.
Amber MacPherson
Sep 06, 2008 Amber MacPherson rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: cat folk
This book makes me want to go to the shelter and grab an armful of cats and run.

Jeffrey
A nice read on cats. Nor deeply researched though.
Kat
Jun 03, 2016 Kat rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
One

Why a one? Because they won't let you give anyone a zero. This is the most ludicrous book I've ever not managed to finish.
Sabrina
So far I'm a third of the way through and her elitist writing is making me dislike cats, which according to her makes me just like Hitler.
Danielle
Aug 01, 2012 Danielle rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2012-all
A fun read with some interesting tidbits. And I do have one of "those cats."
Chef
Jan 13, 2014 Chef rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The best way to understand cats is to accept that you cannot understand them.
Susanna
Apr 21, 2014 Susanna rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A bit chatty and somewhat chaotic but still one of the better cats books.
Rachel
Aug 01, 2015 Rachel rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I just couldn't finish this or get into it, despite trying twice. The authors opinions on various topics made me want to throw the book into the wall, completely overshadowing its main focus: cats.
Kathy Canova
Feb 24, 2016 Kathy Canova rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
An interesting book with stories and tips about cats.
Betsy
May 15, 2012 Betsy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Great cat stories for cat lovers from the woman who said she would never write a cat book.
Kim
Kim rated it it was ok
Dec 26, 2014
Matthew
Matthew rated it really liked it
May 20, 2014
Jes
Jes rated it liked it
Jul 22, 2011
Kathleen
Kathleen rated it liked it
Sep 27, 2010
Donna
Donna rated it liked it
May 24, 2016
M—
Feb 15, 2010 M— rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: reviewed
All right but not terribly special.
Brett
Brett rated it it was amazing
May 13, 2017
Susan Ranieri
Susan Ranieri rated it really liked it
Jun 10, 2017
Patti Flanagin
Patti Flanagin rated it really liked it
Feb 12, 2016
Sonic Banana
Sonic Banana rated it really liked it
Jul 12, 2013
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92066
Barbara Murray Holland was an American author who wrote in defense of such modern-day vices as cursing, drinking, eating fatty food and smoking cigarettes, as well as a memoir of her time spent growing up in Chevy Chase, Maryland, near Washington, D.C.
More about Barbara Holland...

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