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

3.68 of 5 stars 3.68  ·  rating details  ·  97 ratings  ·  19 reviews
What is really going on behind thoseluminous feline eyes?

Affectionate yet aloof, intelligentand inquisitive yet dangerouslycareless, the more-or-lessdomesticated house catintrigues us as no other animal can.Now Barbara Holland offers cat loversa fascinating, funny, and refreshinglycandid look at their feline companions:their history, lore, and secrets, and theircomplicated
ebook, 240 pages
Published November 23rd 2010 by HarperCollins e-books (first published 1988)
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Dec 29, 2007 Jim rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  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.
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 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: those who love cats
Shelves: cats, own-and-read
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.
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 is witty, but informational and interesting. I am not sure if I would take all of her infor ...more
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
A bit chatty and somewhat chaotic but still one of the better cats books.
Kenton Monjon
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.

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


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.
The best way to understand cats is to accept that you cannot understand them.
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.
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.
Interesting mix of history, lore, personal experience and info about - what else cats. Fun read.
Great cat stories for cat lovers from the woman who said she would never write a cat book.
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 5 of 5 stars  ·  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.

A fun read with some interesting tidbits. And I do have one of "those cats."
A nice read on cats. Nor deeply researched though.
All right but not terribly special.
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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...
Endangered Pleasures: In Defense of Naps, Bacon, Martinis, Profanity, and Other Indulgences They Went Whistling: Women Wayfarers, Warriors, Runaways, and Renegades When All the World Was Young: A Memoir The Joy of Drinking Gentlemen's Blood: A History of Dueling from Swords at Dawn to Pistols at Dusk

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