Purr More, Hiss Less: Heavenly Lessons I learned from My CatBy Allia Zobel Nolan,
Illustrations by Erika Oller
After spending a lot of time observing her cats (always a fine activity for humans), the author has come to the conclusion that there is a lot to learn from her feline friends. Well duh, I could have told her that. Many of her insights appear in this book, alongside whimsical watercolor illustrations. While some of this is clearly and purely cat-inspired (“Give freely without expecting anything in return,” for example, which is illustrated by a kitty serenely presenting his human with a lizard), it’s clear that others have been digested through the human mind. “Relax without guilt,” she says… only humans need that advice because cats don’t have guilt! Or “Never covet your neighbor’s cat carrier.” Trust me, no cat has ever coveted any cat carrier. But she has gleaned onto quite a few catisms that humans would be wise to emulate: “Stretching soothes the soul”; “All things in moderation… except toys”; and “It’s okay to be hooked on a feline.” A couple could be elaborated on just a little more: “You don’t need a corner office; a sunny windowsill should suffice.” Personally, I’ve found that a sunny windowsill in a corner office to be optimal. But overall, I found this to be a good book of cat wisdom for humans. We cats don’t need to be told that “Bird watching defuses stress,” but I get the sneaking suspicion that this will be a revelation to many humans. I liked the paintings too, even though the cats all have Rubenesque proportions. The artist who did the illustrations would not find a slender cat like me an optimal subject, but to each her own.
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