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On Cats

3.88  ·  Rating details ·  1,057 Ratings  ·  153 Reviews
Doris Lessing's love affair with cats began at a young age, when she became intrigued with the semiferal creatures on the African farm where she grew up. Her fascination with the handsome, domesticated creatures that have shared her flats and her life in London remained undiminished, and grew into real love with the awkwardly lovable El Magnifico, the last cat to share her ...more
Hardcover, 256 pages
Published October 7th 2008 by Harper (first published 1967)
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Dewey by Vicki MyronThe Cat in the Hat by Dr. SeussOld Possum's Book of Practical Cats by T.S. EliotAlice's Adventures in Wonderland & Through the Looking-Glass by Lewis CarrollThe Incredible Journey by Sheila Burnford
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Community Reviews

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Teresa Proença
Em Abril de 2005, entrou na minha vida uma pequenina bola de pelo. Tinha dois meses e, em poucos dias, curou-me daquela doença a que os médicos chamam depressão e que, tal como noutros casos, não passava de desalento, tristeza, ou mero cansaço. Em Dezembro de 2013 partiu, curando-me pela segunda vez (não de uma "doença", como a anterior, mas de um grande desgosto), apesar de ficar com o coração partido pela sua perda (uma dor amortece outra). Durante o tempo que me dedicou ensinou-me a amar esse ...more
trina
Feb 01, 2009 rated it it was amazing
there exists within me, i am not ashamed to admit, a crazy cat lady who lives to talk about her cats in excessive and colorful detail, pretty much until my unsuspecting listener is fed up enough to stop me. this book is the vindication of my cat lady ways beyond any reasonable doubt.

i picked it up on a whim, in the mood for some light reading, and as we all know, nothing makes for good light reading like cute animal stories. little did i notice that this dinky little book was written by doris l
...more
l.
Jan 21, 2015 rated it did not like it
Doris Lessing would be the one person on earth who would begin a book marketed to cat-lovers with a literal cat massacre. This event [and some other horrors, cats being mistaken for snakes and killed, kittens killed by eagles etc] sets the stage for Lessing's incredibly old-fashioned 'life is harsh, and to cats too' approach to pet ownership.

Stories about tom cats fighting over your cat are not charming. Spaying your cat is not a feminist issue. Don't characterize your spayed cat as a bitter, dr
...more
Özgür
Jul 13, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2018
Bu Lessing'den okuduğum ilk kitap oldu, sonuncusu olmayacak sanırım.

Lessing ve kedilerini şurada görebilirsiniz.
Dawn
May 14, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
I had no idea what I was getting myself into here. Checked this short book out of the library digitally on a whim and the next thing I knew, I was hooked. And the next thing I knew after that I was lying on the floor crying for all the cats I've ever known, loved, or had eye contact with. And Lyra was concerned, but annoyed because I kept trying to pick her up and squeeze her (she hates that).

Yes - I tend to be sentimental about my cats - all cats. And also about dogs, pigs, giraffes - pretty m
...more
Anna
Oct 26, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Last week, my family accidentally acquired a fifth cat. It happened like this: As my father prepared to back out of the garage on Wednesday, he was suddenly stopped by the appearance of a small, black-and-white creature—“There’s a cat in here!” he cried. My mother moved forward to look: “It’s a KITTEN!” Said kitten was amenable to being picked up and held, out of the way of the vehicle; when we offered her food (as ailurophiles do) she gobbled and gobbled, and then looked around for more. By tha ...more
Dion Yulianto
Dec 21, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
"Menulis, penulis, tidak muncul dari rumah yang tak punya buku." (hlm. 236)

Buku 'Tentang Kucing' ini sedikit banyak mengingatkan saya pada Istambulnya Pamuk. Jika Pamuk menggunakan kota sebagai refleksi memoarnya, maka Lessing menggunakan kucing. Lebih tepatnya, menggunakan kucing-kucingnya. Ada banyak sekali kucing di buku ini jadi mungkin kalau dibaca sekaligus bisa bikin bosan. Tapi, Lessing menghadirkan cerita tentang kucing-kucingnya dengan cara yang istimewa. Pecinta kucing bakal manggut-m
...more
Adriana Scarpin
Tremendo livro para os amantes de gatos, Lessing não procura subterfúgios para mostrar o âmago da convivência com gatos, na morte, na doença, nos pequenos atos desses felinos com que dividiu anos ou horas, ela desbrava um universo quente de que também me orgulho de fazer parte.
Tempo de Ler
Comprei este livro com a ideia de que o seu alvo seriam pessoas que gostam particularmente de gatos e, no entanto, eu - que adoro gatos (e nem me atreveria a dizer o contrário tendo neste preciso momento dois magníficos representantes da espécie aqui sentados em cima da secretária a olhar para mim…) - não senti, em tempo algum, que este livro era «para mim». Acrescento até que houve partes do livro que detestei ler, como sempre acontece quando me deparo com relatos de crueldade contra animais.

...more
Smand
Nov 07, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: kitaplık
Kafamı karıştıran bir okuma oldu. Lessing'in hayvanseverliği tartışılmaz belki -kedilere dair duygusal bir kitap yazacak kadar sevmiş en azından- ama doğan yavruların bir kısmını sayıları çok diye boğup öldürmeyi hayvanseverliğin neresine koymalı bilemiyorum. Kalan anlatılarda da kedilere dair iç ısıtacak şeyler değil, bolca hüzünlü anı var.

"Kedileri tanıyıp hayat boyu kedilerle birlikte olunca geriye insanlara karşı duyulandan çok farklı bir hüzün tortusu kalıyor: Onların çaresizliği karşısında
...more
Deborah Pickstone
A memoir of her relationship with certain cats and her observations of them. Funny how many female novelists were fond of cats! As you would expect, well written and interesting.
Ezgi
Feb 03, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
www.kitapezgisi.com

Kedilere dair bir kaç kitap okudum, çoğu sadece kedi severlerin ilgisini çekmek için yazılmış lay lay lom kitaplardandı. Sadece Sevgi Bağı isimli kitabı bayılarak okumuştum.

Bu kadar çok hayal kırıklığı yaşamış olsam da yine de dayanamadım kedili bir kitabı daha kitaplığıma dahil ettim, korkarak okumaya başladım. Fakat ne güzeldir ki hayal kırıklığına uğramadım bu sefer.

Doris Lessing çocukluğunda Afrika’da yaşamış, burada vahşi, evcil birçok kedi ile karşılaşmış birisi. Sonrası
...more
Bilgi
Mar 06, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Adı üstünde, Doris Lessing'in kedilerine dair bir kitap. Güney Afrika'dan başlayıp Londra'ya, İngiltere'nin kırsalına uzanan hayat yolculuğunda Lessing'in dostu olmuş onlarca kediden bazılarının hikayeleri.
Kitap kendi dönemi içinde (1940'lardan itibaren, 60'lara kadar olan dönem) değerlendirildiğinde, kedilerin insanlarla olan ortak yaşamına güzel bir pencere açıyor. O dönemde Güney Afrika'da bir beyaz çiftliğinde, Londra'da, İngiltere kırsalında kedilerle insanlarla nasıl yaşardı görebiliyor o
...more
Rachel Smalter Hall
Jan 19, 2009 rated it it was amazing
I feel kind of weird giving one of those special five-star ratings to a book about, well, cats , but this was a pretty special book. Squeamish cat-lovers beware ~ Doris Lessing starts out by telling of her girlhood growing up on a farm in South Africa, shooting baby kittens with her father because they simply couldn't manage to keep them all. I actually love her for refusing to be sentimental. Yet somehow there is an acute tenderness in her writing about her cats, especially as she grows older, ...more
Pedro Varanda
Livro escrito com grande sensibilidade, mas sem pieguices sobre os muitos gatos e suas histórias, que povoaram a vida desta escritora desde a sua infância até à idade madura. Livro delicioso sobre a interacção destes animais cheios de carácter e independência, com os humanos seus "servos". Recomendo.
Emine Akkülah Doğan
Prepare yourself for reading disturbing things like murdering kittens and cats. not what I expected!
Serra Uysal
Jul 24, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
“..Burnumuzun dibinde nasıl yorumlayacağımızı bilmediğimiz bir sürü karmaşık dil.

..Kedileri tanıyıp, hayat boyu kedilerle birlikte olunca geriye insanlara karşı duyulandan çok farklı bir hüzün tortusu kalıyor: Onların çaresizliği karşısında çekilen acı, hepimiz adına duyulan suçluluktan oluşan bir tortu.”
Aidé Piña
Aug 08, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Los libritos de Lessing siempre nos plantean la empatía y comprensión hacia las necesidades del otro, aunque el otro camine en cuatro patas, esté peludo y sea soberbio.
Cat
Mar 02, 2009 rated it it was amazing
So I'm going to bother typing a disclaimer that anyone who knows me already knows, which is: I am the target audience for this book.

That said, I absolutely adored this book. And it is not a cutesy, "awww, aren't kittens grand?" kind of book. Lessing is not a hugs and puppies kind of writer. There is an onslaught of gruesome cat death in this book, some of it carried out by Lessing herself. There is a kitty forelimb amputation; there are many scraggly and starving cats, ailing and scabbing and pu
...more
dead letter office
Feb 15, 2009 rated it really liked it
Doris ranks 4th from the bottom on my personal list of people I'd like to grab a beer with. But I guess that's not the point. She may be as finicky and uptight as her writing makes her seem, but this book is strangely readable, and anyone who has written a book of cat biographies that ends up being pretty interesting has accomplished something.

Doris writes, "Knowing cats, a lifetime of cats, what is left is a sediment of sorrow quite different from that due to humans: compounded of pain for thei
...more
Amy Palmer
Nov 29, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Cat lovers
Recommended to Amy by: @kayakgal
Upon seeing a book titled simply "On Cats" I knew I would love it. As it turned out, I was right, but some people would be surprised at my adoration of this work when they read some of the less "fuzzy" feelings toward cats that are described. There are many cat deaths at the hands of humans, including the author herself. It should be noted that many of these instances were in times much different than the one we are in now, not to mention a vastly different land.

It is not a warm, cuddly kitty ca
...more
Saara
Aug 18, 2012 rated it it was amazing
On Cats is an omnibus edition of three books by Doris Lessing, a significant contemporary author: Particularly Cats, Rufus the Survivor and The Old Age of El Magnifico. We are treated to stories, enchanting fragments, about some of the cats who have shared her life; in vivid, masterful prose we are shown quirks, conflicts, tender moments, and are made to love these creatures as if we had truly met them in person. While reading I wept, giggled, cooed over the book, seeing in my mind's eye the var ...more
Iowa City Public Library
I feel kind of weird giving one of those special five-star ratings to a book about, well, cats , but this was a pretty special book. Squeamish cat-lovers beware ~ Doris Lessing starts out telling of her girlhood growing up on a farm in South Africa, shooting baby kittens with her father because they simply could not manage to keep them all. I actually love her for refusing to be sentimental. Yet somehow there is an acute tenderness in her writing about her cats, especially as she grows older, ...more
Kai Schreiber
Quite an odd book, and an odd voice. Brutally unsentimental in outlook, yet tender in her description toward individual cats, Lessing manages to both capture the sadness inherent in the idea of keeping pets and the joy of sharing existence with them.

Oddly, the publisher chose to include so much glimpses into Lessing's other works with the ebook, that On Cats itself actually only made up a third of the file. On the one hand, that's fine, as it costs neither me nor them something to do that. On th
...more
astried
Oct 22, 2010 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2010
This is a book truly about cat.It shows how lovable cat is without resorting to sugar coating cat's behavior or pretend that human can read cat's mind or vice versa as in Dewey: The Small-Town Library Cat Who Touched the World. Cats will always be its own master no matter what human would like to otherwise believe. And yet because of it the relationship between cat and human is even more special. Black cat, Grey cat, Rufus, El Magnifico, their stories truly touched me and made me missed my faraw ...more
Steve
Oct 28, 2012 rated it really liked it
Doris Lessing's keen look at the relationships cats enjoy with each other and with us. While Lessing may anthropomorphize feline emotions and motivations, I would hazard most cat owners would view her musings as spot on while at the same time bring a knowing smirk to their lips.

My girlfriends 18 year old cat, Sassy, finally succumbed to her advanced age while I was reading this book. It definitely proved to be good comfort in relieving my mind of the haunted echos of Sassy's last few miaowings.
I
...more
Annie Yang-Perez
Jun 16, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Enchanting, delightful, honest, and sorrowful - it is incredible how cats can ever be understood so well by a human, or how much we see ourselves through cats. A most exquisite little book, about the most magical creatures ever existed.
Kristen
Feb 02, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: auto-biography
Sweet and sometimes heart-breaking reflection on the cats in Ms. Lessing's life. Better than you would think a book about the cats in her life would be, which is a testament to the incredible talent of the author.
Karyn
Jan 28, 2012 rated it really liked it
ranges from flat out disgusting to positively enchanting. full of astute and poetic observations of the cats the author has loved & lost... with interesting accounts of how cats are treated in different cultures and in different times.
Judy Abbott
Apr 30, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Harikulade bir kitap.
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Both of her parents were British: her father, who had been crippled in World War I, was a clerk in the Imperial Bank of Persia; her mother had been a nurse. In 1925, lured by the promise of getting rich through maize farming, the family moved to the British colony in Southern Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe). Like other women writers from southern African who did not graduate from high school (such as Oliv ...more
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“The kitten was six weeks old. It was enchanting, a delicate fairy-tale cat, whose Siamese genes showed in the shape of the face, ears, tail, and the subtle lines of its body. [...] She sat, a tiny thing, in the middle of a yellow carpet, surrounded by five worshipppers, not at all afraid of us. Then she stalked around that floor of the house, inspecting every inch of it, climbed up on to my bed, crept under the fold of a sheet, and was at home.” 18 likes
“If a fish is the movement of water embodied, given shape, then cat is a diagram and pattern of suble air.” 10 likes
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