Cat Culture: The Social World of a Cat Shelter

Cat Culture: The Social World of a Cat Shelter

by Janet M. Alger, Steven F. Alger
     
 

ISBN-10: 156639998X

ISBN-13: 9781566399982

Pub. Date: 12/16/2002

Publisher: Temple University Press

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…  See more details below

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—a 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:
9781566399982
Publisher:
Temple University Press
Publication date:
12/16/2002
Series:
Animals Culture And Society Series
Edition description:
1
Pages:
256
Sales rank:
783,293
Product dimensions:
5.50(w) x 8.25(h) x 0.70(d)
Age Range:
14 Years

Table of Contents

Preface: Why an Ethnography of a Shelter?
Acknowledgments
1The Myth of the Solitary Cat1
2The World of Whiskers27
3The Human-Cat Connection50
4The Social Bonds among the Cats91
5The Feral Cats and Shelter Solidarity139
6Leaving the Shelter Community155
7Culture and Self in the Domestic Cat184
8Animals in the Future of Sociology199
Afterword213
Notes215
References229
Index235

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