Cat Culture: The Social World of a Cat Shelter

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Former Library book. Shows some signs of wear, and may have some markings on the inside. 100% Money Back Guarantee. Shipped to over one million happy customers. Your purchase ... benefits world literacy! Read more Show Less

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Overview

Even people who live with cats and have good reason to know better insist that cats are aloof and uninterested in relating to humans. Janet and Steven Alger contend that the anti-social cat is a myth; cats form close bonds with humans and with each other. In the potentially chaotic environment of a shelter that houses dozens of uncaged cats, they reveal a sense of self and build a culture&#151a shared set of rules, roles, and expectations that organizes their world and assimilates newcomers.

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.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781566399975
  • Publisher: Temple University Press
  • Publication date: 12/23/2002
  • Series: Animals, Culture and Society Ser.
  • Pages: 256
  • Product dimensions: 5.56 (w) x 8.62 (h) x 0.95 (d)

Table of Contents

Preface: Why an Ethnography of a Shelter?
Acknowledgments
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
Afterword 213
Notes 215
References 229
Index 235
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