How to Speak Cat: A Guide to Decoding Cat Language by Aline Alexander Newman and Gary Weitzman

How to Speak Cat A Guide to Decoding Cat Language by Aline Alexander and Newman Gary Weitzman National Geographic Kids (Editor)

We know cats are beautiful, secretive, and independent … but even the most loyal cat owners are often baffled by their own pet’s behavior. With veterinarian expert Dr. Gary Weitzman as guide, this fun book helps kids understand what cats are trying to communicate by their body language and behavior. So if you’ve ever wondered what Fluffy means when she’s purring or moving her tail emphatically from left to right – this book is for you! It’s full of insights, expert advice, and real-life cat scenarios, and showcases more than 30 poses, so you’ll soon learn what each meow and flick of the tail means!

How to Speak Cat: A Guide to Decoding Cat Language by Aline Alexander Newman and Gary Weitzman

Apologies to people who don’t visit this blog for reviews about cat books!

 

How to Speak Cat might be marketed as a being for younger readers, but I actually think it’s one of the best books you could pick up to learn about cat care and cat behaviour.

I should have expected National Geographic to put together an excellent guide: they definitely did. Anybody who’s been around cats will know quite a bit of the information already, but what I loved best was that the author took all the theories that are often stated as fact, and questioned them. I learnt more about cats from this than any other “how to” sort of book I’ve read on the subject.

A note, however: DO NOT get this in ebook form! The formatting is – predictably – a mess. The pictures are grey and broken up over a few pages. Some of the text, which I guess is a different colour in the paper version, is in a very light, nearly unreadable shade.

That said, I’d recommend this.

 

Review copy provided by NetGalley.

 

The Week: 20th – 26th August

U.S. Senator John McCain @SenJohnMcCain , Ukraine's friend and greatest US supporter.

Edit: R.I.P. to John McCain.

What an absolutely stupid week in Australian politics. We seem to change Prime Ministers faster than Donald Trump changes staff!

Weirdly, on Thursday afternoon, right after some of the worst drama in Parliament here in Canberra unfolded, I stepped outside and a group of fighter jets flew straight over me. (I’ve been around them many times before, but GOD, those things are loud). People in Canberra were joking that a military coup had begun.

Maybe we need one!

One Week

My review of Watchmaker’s Heart by Juli D. Revezzo

Children’s Book Week

This Is Not My Hat (I Want My Hat Back) by Jon Klassen

Curious Zelda in a Book!

Curious Zelda The Cat

On this day: Human Rights in Canada

Ukrainian Independence Day

National Dog Day

Curious Zelda in a Book!

Curious Zelda The Cat

There are plenty of people who try to make their pets “social media famous”, but few are as fantastic as Curious Zelda, the black and white cat from London. Owner Matt Taghioff runs a funny and clever Twitter account, and it has got publishers’ attention.

It has now been announced that Zelda is going to have her own book. Unfortunately it won’t be out in time for this Christmas, but will be released in 2019.

International Cat Day

The 8th of August each year is International Cat Day.

Cats appear as side characters in plenty of books, from the companion of bookish heroine Amy in Toni Blake’s Willow Springs, to the kittens (and, later, grown cats) in Anne Gracie’s Chance Sisters series, to the stray that moves himself into Lucas Maxfield’s apartment in Easy and Breakable, to those in Beatrix Hathaway’s menagerie in Lisa Kleypas’ Love in the Afternoon.

So, celebrate the day with a book with cats in it!

By the way, the cats at the top are gorgeous stray Jemima, who moved herself into my late-grandmother’s shed in 2014, and two of her three kittens: grey scaredy cat Charlie, who was terrified of everything, and his smaller sister Pheobe, who looked after him (she’s hugging him!). It was lucky we found a home for the two kittens to go to together.

This Cover…

I’m not into “hot firefighter poses with insert-cute-thing-here” images. Not on calendars. Not on book covers.

However… The other day I downloaded this book to review without even reading what it was about because of the cat.

I’ll be starting In Love with the Firefighter soon. The cat had better be a big part of the book!

In Love with the Firefighter (Cape Pursuit Firefighters #1) by Amie Denman

The Week: 16th – 21st April

Autumn Leaves Autumn Colours Sonya Heaney 20th April 2018 Tuggeranong Canberra Australia Blue Sky Sunny Afternoon Autumn Heatwave Garden Nature

Blue skies, summer temperatures, and autumn colours in Canberra this week.

This has been a beautiful week, weather-wise. Why we’re still having summer temperatures when it’s almost winter is very confusing!

We went out to lunch on Saturday (fantastic Spanish restaurant!), and we knew there was going to be back burning in the centre of Canberra, but we weren’t quite prepared to be driving past active burns RIGHT NEXT TO Federal Parliament and the US embassy! I don’t have a proper picture, but here is one from later that afternoon. You can see a sole fire engine on the right, but a few hours earlier the whole place was full of flames and fire engines with lights etc.

The Russian authorities have been making a joke out of everything they’ve done recently. This week they tortured several Crimean Tartars to death. Don’t expect to see it on the Western news…

They’re turning the Novichok assassination attempts in England into a joke, and they now have a food brand named after the poison (“Новичок” is the Cyrillic spelling for the nerve agent – it’s on the labels on the bottles here). And I’d love to know why people think the hammer and sickle symbol tens of millions died under is okay. Imagine if they used the swastika.

This week Twitter *finally* banned Russia’s Kaspersky from advertising on their site. Several years ago I had awkward conversations with young men working at computer shops (JB Hi-Fi – I’m giving you the side-eye!). They were all told to push customers to buy Russian internet security, and I got dirty looks and muttered comments when I told them that – under no circumstances – would I buy Russian-branded security software.

Now, of course, everyone says it. But I am so freaking tired of people refusing to listen to Ukrainians. It’s only been since America and England were touched by Russian misbehaviour that people stopped thinking I was discriminatory and alarmist. It breaks my heart how little everyone listens to people who KNOW.

Recommended Book: The Road to Unfreedom: Russia, Europe, America by Timothy Snyder

The Road to Unfreedom Russia, Europe, America by Timothy Snyder

Coming Soon from Theresa Romain

Lady Rogue (The Roguish Runners Duo #1) by Theresa Romain

Cover Love

Lady Eleanor's Seventh Suitor (The Sutherland Sisters #1) by Anna Bradley

My review of How Do Cats Do That?: Discover How Cats Do The Amazing Things They Do by Peter Scottsdale

How Do Cats Do That Discover How Cats Do The Amazing Things They Do by Peter Scottsdale

Getting Back on Track

Marry in Scandal (Convenient Marriage series #2) by Anne Gracie

Nineteen Years

Columbine_Shooting_Security_CameraColumbine High School massacre

How Do Cats Do That?: Discover How Cats Do The Amazing Things They Do by Peter Scottsdale

How Do Cats Do That Discover How Cats Do The Amazing Things They Do by Peter Scottsdale

How Do Cats Do That?: Discover How Cats Do The Amazing Things They Do by Peter Scottsdale

It was 1am. I was looking for a book to read. Instead of something in the realm of fiction for grownups, I saw the crazy cat on the cover of How Do Cats Do That? and downloaded this book instead.

Written in simple language in order to appeal to all ages, the book does exactly what you’d expect: it explains everything you would want to know about cats and their behaviour.

After having a gazillion stray cats turn up in my life in recent years, I’ve already read everything I could find about this particular topic, but this is a good summary for people who need to know a lot about cats in a hurry.

A quick, easy read.

 

Review copy provided by NetGalley.

Misty – and the end she didn’t deserve

Ricky the Cat Sonay Heaney Oksana Heaney 9th June 2017 Fluffball Tabby Calico Cute

This isn’t the blog post I meant to put up today, but here it is anyway.

Misty, the neighbour’s cat, who would have been twenty this year, died this past week. This is the cat who I singlehandedly nursed back to living after she had a stroke last year, sleeping on the couch with her for a week when the neighbour was away. This is the cat who lived over here most of the time, pretty much only going home to eat, as the neighbour was hardly ever around. This is the cat who had her own set of cat bowls, a special blanket, and a brush for her here.

She didn’t die the peaceful death in her sleep she deserved.

No. She was killed by one of the neighbour’s son’s bullmastiffs. She was so old she’d gone blind and deaf. She didn’t have a hope against a dog I know from personal experience has no business living around people or other animals.

When your dogs are so dangerous you have to put warning signs up everywhere, it’s time to rethink your priorities.

Blind Calico Cat Canberra Australia 26th May 2017 Sonya Heaney Cute 1

I am fed up with dangerous dog apologists, whose chant of don’t blame the dogs, blame the owners sounds too freaking much like gun apologists’ guns don’t kill people, people kill people. Both are ridiculous statements that get people and animals hurt.

Guns DO kill people, and vicious dogs DO kill people and pets. Just recently a woman here was killed by her own pit bull. And Misty, who this dog had known her whole life, is the latest victim of people picking dogs for penis enhancement instead of pets.

Bubbles’ Tale – One Cat’s Story of a Forever Home by Colleen Sheehan

Bubbles' Tale - One Cat's Story of a Forever Home by Colleen Sheehan

Life is tough when you are a little stray kitten. Bubbles, a beautiful black and white cat, shares the antics, challenges and fun in her life that make her part of the eternal cat story. After being abandoned as a kitten, this little stray persists until she finds her forever home.
This brave little warrior diligently keeps her chosen helper happy, protects her boundaries, and faces her fears. Ensuring that there are lots of brushes and naps along the way, she never gives up. Her optimistic approach to life and the love in her heart touches all who meet her.

Bubbles’ Tale – One Cat’s Story of a Forever Home by Colleen Sheehan

This was an odd book choice for me – and this blog – but it was short, and about cats! I read it while spending the better part of a week caring for the neighbour’s gravely ill cat, and it seemed like a good choice to read while I was napping on the couch and not having a chance to concentrate on a longer book.

A memoir, but from the author’s(?) cat’s point of view, this is definitely one for younger readers – or to be read with younger readers. It’s a fast read, humanises the cat, and… Well, it is what it is.

I’d say it is the sort of book families who are considering getting a cat might choose.

Clearly written with love, this simply-written personal little story is also one for cat lovers who can identify with the different stages of a pet’s life.

 

Review copy provided by NetGalley.