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As volunteers in a local cat shelter for eleven years, the Algers came to realize that despite the frequency of new arrivals and adoptions, the social world of the shelter remained quite stable and pacific. They saw even feral cats adapt to interaction with humans and develop friendships with other cats. They saw established residents take roles as welcomers and rules enforcers. That is, they saw cats taking an active interest in maintaining a community in which they could live together and satisfy their individual needs. Cat Culture's intimate portrait of life in the shelter, its engaging stories, and its interpretations of behavior, will appeal to general readers as well as academics interested in human and animal interaction.
Author Biography: Janet M. Alger is Professor of Sociology at Siena College.
Steven F. Alger is Associate Professor of Sociology at the College of St. Rose.
|Preface: Why an Ethnography of a Shelter?|
|1||The Myth of the Solitary Cat||1|
|2||The World of Whiskers||27|
|3||The Human-Cat Connection||50|
|4||The Social Bonds among the Cats||91|
|5||The Feral Cats and Shelter Solidarity||139|
|6||Leaving the Shelter Community||155|
|7||Culture and Self in the Domestic Cat||184|
|8||Animals in the Future of Sociology||199|