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The Silent Miaow: A Manual for Kittens, Strays, and Homeless Cats
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The Silent Miaow: A Manual for Kittens, Strays, and Homeless Cats

4.3  ·  Rating details ·  542 Ratings  ·  67 Reviews
A delightful manual which instructs stray kittens and homeless cats in how to obtain, captivate, and dominate the families of their choice. 200 black-and-white photographs.
Paperback, 160 pages
Published October 13th 1985 by Three Rivers Press (first published 1964)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Jul 18, 2009 rated it really liked it
For cat lovers, the title of this book speaks for itself. The Silent Miaow and the chapter devoted to it spell out all that is most endearing in our feline companions.

Put forth as a secret manuscript typed by a cat and transposed for publication by Paul Gallico, The Silent Miaow is subtitled, 'A Manual for Kittens, Strays and Homeless Cats. The tidy volume does just that, setting out rules and suggestions for taking over a family and how to deal with each situation as it arises.

Amusing and perh
Carla Bonney
Jan 09, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I've carried this book fondly in my memory for 30+ years. I reread out recently and it did not disappoint. Add to the "essential" list for cat people.
Jul 08, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Marvelous - definitely written by a cat.
Oct 18, 2016 rated it it was amazing
really a great book, funny, with a lot of witty comments - just loved it
The Badger
Sep 01, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
It's written by a cat, and translated by a human. Need I say more?
Oct 12, 2012 rated it really liked it
My favorite quote (pg. 29)
[written by the stray kitten the family has taken in]

"That's the way I entered my house.
Now I will begin my book on Taking Over."
Jan 17, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Se c'è una cosa che mi è rimasta impressa de I Promessi Sposi al liceo, questa è il suo preambolo - ovvero come Alessandro Manzoni dica di aver trovato il manoscritto nel quale sono raccontate le vicende di Renzo e Lucia.

Qui la situazione è la medesima: l'autore ci informa che un suo amico editore una mattina si è trovato un manoscritto arrotolato sullo zerbino di casa al posto dei giornali e che gli ha chiesto aiuto in quanto suddetto manoscritto sembrava crittografato. E dopo qualche momento d
Apr 13, 2015 rated it liked it
This is a book any cat lover would enjoy. I know this because I have an Aunt who is a major Cat lover. It describes the cat traits so well. Like check out the descriptions he used to descripe kitty's tricks. I like how he wrote it from a cat's view. Its a funny read. It might even make your day! I think this will be a nice gift for my Aunt and it might be for someone you know who loves cats and even has cats.
Sep 08, 2013 rated it really liked it
Very clever book written from the point of view of a cat on how to take over a family. Things from this book book have become part of my family's daily lexicon when dealing with our kitty and we certainly don't view her in the same way now. Funny quick read.
Mar 19, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
From the preface: “In the very existence of this book we have a most concrete example of the manner in which at least one of these marvellous creatures [cats], acquiring both an editor and a publisher, has advanced the eventual complete feline take-over of the human race.”

'Nuff said.
Jim Berkin
Jul 22, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Every cat lover must read this book, even though if you're a cat lover, you probably already know everything in it since you've lived it! A stray kitten's adoption of a human family, told through its point of view.
Tricia Lynne
Very insightful.
Sep 13, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Misanthropy and cats. Can't get much better than that.
Jan 08, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: humor
Una piccola meraviglia.
Mona Mohamed hamed
Jan 09, 2013 rated it really liked it
Hilarious advice on the art of living from less than a foot off the ground, and a few astute observations of human behaviour also. Must read for cat lovers.
India  Flanagan
Jan 30, 2017 rated it it was ok
A cute concept and I thought this would be a great read but unfortunately it didn't quite hit the nail on the head (it was close!) but just not witty enough to make for a good read. The audiobook was read in a perfect 'cat' voice though!
John Moore
Mar 01, 2017 rated it really liked it
A good book for men to read. Although it is presented as a book on how a cat takes over man's life, it is actually an allegory about how women take over men's lives.
May 29, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction
This book was absolutely hilarious. It's written as if translated from a story the cat wrote as a guide to getting yourself adopted and taken in by humans. She gives advice on kittens, Christmas, getting into the house, and keeping yourself ingratiated with humans of both genders. The book is illustrated with photos of the author herself along with witty captions as she describes her tactics. A must read for cat lovers.
Dolly Anderson
Mar 06, 2015 rated it liked it
I learned about this book after reading an article in Goodreads ~ Good Minds Suggest—Lynne Truss's Favorite Clever Literary Cats. I happen to have 3 cats currently, and in the past never really considered reading cat themed stories, so I have decided that I would check out all 5 books on her list this year and including the one she recently wrote "Cat Out of Hell"

Sadly, according to the take out slip the library puts in books,it has been 11 years since anyone has read 'The Silent Miaow'. The boo
Mar 20, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Paul Gallico "found and translated from the Feline" this manual to help cats and kittens to win their way into a household, take over the family, and achieve control over each member of the family, get the food they want, sleep where they choose, and get doors opened at their demand. Accompanied by 200 well-chosen black-and-white photos by Suzanne Szasz. published in 1964. Delightful. Any cat owner will appreciate this one. So will cats, if they missed some of the lessons, or would like a refres ...more
Jan 22, 2012 rated it it was amazing
this book counts as one

this is one of the greatest books i have ever read of all time. this book teaches the owner of how to be a better owner to the cats, and how to build up relationships.

this book has a lot of pictures and a whole lot of words. this book really touches my heart because im a cat owner and cat lover. i really learned how to deal with certain situations. this book does a really good job of explaining it with words, im actually really surprised. the best part about this book, i
Apr 03, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I came across this book in a discount store years ago. I just loved it. The photos really told the story (though there was text, too) - and also gives the reader a real feel for the early 60's. And ALL cats employ the silent miaow at some point. Alas, I gave it away as a parting gift to a cat-loving friend, before moving across Canada 16 years ago now. I still miss it all the time, and wish I had it. I sure hope my friend appreciated it - because she stopped all contact with me when I moved, sad ...more
Oct 11, 2009 rated it it was ok
Recommends it for: hmm..
Shelves: cats
I loved the Snow Goose, Ludmilla, Thomasina... loads of Gallico books I read years ago, and so was delighted when I mooched this one. However, I found it repetitive, a good joke taken too far, and it became tedious. My early training had me struggling on to reach the end, but I could only stomach it in small pieces, and there were small jewels, but a lot of 'padding' to read through. It is probably just me ... we have always kept and cared for both domesticated and wild animals but apart from my ...more
Mar 17, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Re-reading this after many many years... and it is wise that I did so. Because I *was* pondering about what appears to be the sudden coldness of Lewis, or should I say, my realization that I really *wasn't* his special human. Hah! He had to work extra hard as a kitten, when he arrived, because I was not open to the idea, so soon after Lily's death. But now, two years+ later, he has me wrapped around his paw.... and I am all too sad by the awareness brought about by this book....

No really, it's f
Apr 10, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Paul Gallico knows cats. This book is humorously presented as a manual, written by an older cat for kittens on how to deal with humans. As someone owned by four cats, I can testify that this book is a "best-seller" in the cat world - at one time or another, I've recognized many a technique from this book being used against me. Her commentary on humans (especially males) as viewed from a cat's perspective is a bit dated but still hilarious reading. A must-read for cat lovers of all ages.
Apr 27, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 1980
I love this book. I found it at my local library years ago and took it out a few years later to re-read. It didn't disappoint, it was just as good the second time through. If you love animals, and can accept that this book was supposedly written on a typewriter by the subject cat, you will love it, too. This one of those books I'd love to have on my personal bookshelf, to share with my family and friends. BTW, it's also laugh-out-loud funny.
George Ilsley
The text is purported to have been written by a cat, and there are photos of the cat with her paws on the typewriter. There are lots of cute photos, such as are common today on buzzfeed or tumblr. The text however is a document of its times, and reflects the sexist and stereotypes of the day. I picked away at this book but was never able to read much of it. Perhaps it was funny in 1960 to have these things pointed out (by a cat!). This humour does not age well.
Dear old Betty unexpectedly presented me with this book because I have a marmalade cat! I used to own a copy way back when and am now rediscovering its charms. It's slight in content and really only for dotty catlovers (like me) but Paul Gallico, after all, knows his felines. Of all his books, 'Jenny' (an Edinburgh cat who teaches a small boy how to be a cat) is one of my favourites.
Nov 23, 2009 rated it really liked it
A lovely book for any cat lover, beautifully illustrated, a manual for strays on how to take over a family. Given my relationship with Wally I was particularly taken with the "two timing" chapter (without doubt, 100% accurate...) and I have noticed he's a particularly adept practitioner of the silent miaow...
Mar 20, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
Unable to think of another way to describe this book other than PERFECT (or should I say, PURRFECT, haha). Every cat owner and/or cat lover needs to read this book. I laughed out loud multiple times and the pictures are great too. It made me love my little fur babies even more than I already do. They are stinkers, but they are MY stinkers :)
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Paul William Gallico was born in New York City, on 26th July, 1897. His father was an Italian, and his mother came from Austria; they emigrated to New York in 1895.

He went to school in the public schools of New York, and in 1916 went to Columbia University. He graduated in 1921 with a Bachelor of Science degree, having lost a year and a half due to World War I. He then worked for the National Boar
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“This is her home now...of her own free will.” 0 likes
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