Planet Cat: A CAT-alog

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Overview

The cat’s out of the bag—a delightful book on all things feline that no cat lover can afford to miss

Following in the paw prints of Planet Dog, here is the cat’s meow: a lively, entertaining, one-of-a-kind assemblage of more than 400 lists on all things cat. It’s all here, from the origins of the species to care and training to breeds and behavior to famous cats in history, art, and literature. The book even includes a list of celebrity cat people. Illustrated with more than 150...

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Overview

The cat’s out of the bag—a delightful book on all things feline that no cat lover can afford to miss

Following in the paw prints of Planet Dog, here is the cat’s meow: a lively, entertaining, one-of-a-kind assemblage of more than 400 lists on all things cat. It’s all here, from the origins of the species to care and training to breeds and behavior to famous cats in history, art, and literature. The book even includes a list of celebrity cat people. Illustrated with more than 150 photographs and line drawings, this irresistible package is sure to delight cat lovers everywhere.

How to say cat in 46 languages

Hemingway’s cats

Cats who changed history

Why cats paint

Tricks you can teach your cat

Great gifts for the pampered cat

Cat food recipes

An IQ test for your cat

Human habits that drive cats crazy

And more!

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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal

Husband and wife Sandra and Harry Choron (Planet Dog) have teamed up with Arden Moore (The Cat Behavior Answer Book) to create a "cat-alog" of all things feline. Divided into four parts-"The Culture of Cats," "Top Cats," "Cat Anatomy and Behavior," and "Tender Loving Care and Training"-the text mixes 400 trivia lists, factual information, cat humor, and cat tales. Some of the information might be difficult to find elsewhere (e.g., "23 Cat-Friendly Hotel Chains" and "29 Breeds of Dogs That Generally Don't Like Cats"), while other sections compile practical material (e.g., "119 Plants That Are Potentially Poisonous to Cats" and "17 Steps You Can Take If Your Cat Is Missing"). A few lists are just plain silly (e.g., "15 Cat Dreams and What They Mean" and "5 CDs Just for Cats"), but that's part of the fun. With charming cartoons, photographs, and enjoyable quotations, this cat-alog is a browser's delight. For public libraries.
—Eva Lautemann

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780618812592
  • Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
  • Publication date: 11/1/2007
  • Edition description: None
  • Pages: 424
  • Product dimensions: 8.00 (w) x 8.00 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

Sandra Choron is a writer, editor, literary agent, book packager, and designer. She and her husband, Harry Choron, a graphic designer, are the authors of College in a Can, The Book of Lists for Teens, and The All-New Book of Lists for Kids, among other works.

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Introduction

The first cat book in prose was published in Paris in 1727. It was called Les Chats, and for the rest of his life the author, François-Augustin Paradis de Moncrif, was unmercifully ridiculed for believing that a subject as trivial as cats was worthy of an entire volume. He was greeted everywhere by “catcalls,” and when he was elected to the Académie française, cats were released during his inaugural address.
So we thank Monsieur Moncrif for paving the way for Planet Cat, but we wonder how he managed to limit his treatment of the subject to only one volume!
Try to write about cats and you’ll find yourself so far afield of veterinary studies that it’s hard to believe you’re still on Planet Cat. For intrinsic to any investigation of the cat is an understanding of history, anthropology, biology, literature, art, and even physics. My cat seemed to sense my wonder at this discovery. Typically, as I worked on the book, he would purr at me as I typed, incessantly demanding my attention. When I would finally take a break and look into eyes that appear to be every color of green there is, he seemed to say, “Remember that you are not just writing about cats. You are writing about thousands of years of history and a cultural journey that no other animal has taken. You are writing about an animal who has only recently emerged from the wild, whose tradition reflects the adoration, the hatred, and the fear—sometimes simultaneously—of humans who so often did not understand us. We have been deified and we have been vilified, and we have enjoyed or suffered every status in between. “When you write about cats,” Elvis seemed to say, “you write about the world.” We kept his message in mind when marking out the territory this book would cover. Thus Part 1, “The Culture of Cats,” explores the history and tradition of the cat but also points to the ways in which the cat infuses almost every aspect of our existence—our music and our literature, our language, our favorite advertising images, our belief systems, and our folklore. In looking at “Top Cats” in Part 2, we meet the felines whom we have elevated to stardom, ranging from household names such as Morris, Garfield, and the Cheshire Cat to some of the less-wellknown cat stars, who nonetheless tell us much about who we are: the hero cats of the World Trade Center; the literary cats who serve as muses for writers or haunt our libraries; and the amazing felines who have come to our aid in times of war. In Part 3, “Cat Anatomy and Behavior,” we examine the cat, with all its marvels and quirks of physiology and personality; and in Part 4, “Tender Loving Care and Training,” we offer cat-care basics, with an emphasis on how we as humans interact with felines: how to understand them better, how to interpret their special language, when to play with them, and when not to. That is, throughout this book, we have tried to go beyond the basics to fully explore Planet Cat, the space we share with our beloved felines.
We are taught that the greatest difference between cats and dogs is the fact that cats are loners, whereas dogs are pack animals. Why is it, then, that cat-friendly households tend to house multiple cats, but dog- friendly homes usually have only one dog in residence? Do cats hold secrets that they still have not revealed to us? (How does one account, for instance, for the “loner” cats who have adopted birds, mice, and even puppies?) Or is it just that with all their eccentricities and unpredictability, and for the love they provide and the chance they give us to see ourselves in them, we just can’t get enough of them?
Planet Cat suggests some answers.
—S. C.

11 Legendary Cats

1. Bastet, or Ubasti, or Bast Although her duties have changed over the course of time, the Egyptian goddess has been known as the guardian of cats, women, children, love, fertility, birth, music, and dance. She has been dated to at least the Second Dynasty (c. 2890–2686 B.C.) and is often depicted as a young woman with the head of a domestic cat, sometimes holding a musical instrument known as a sistrum.

2. Butter Cat From Scandinavia, a protector and provider. It was believed that cats were “bringers of gifts,” such as butter and milk; thus the name.

3. Cait Sith Scottish folklore tells of a black fairy cat, believed to be a transformed witch.
4. Ccoa An evil cat demon originating in Peru and greatly feared by the Quechua people. He controlled rain and lightning, with which he could destroy crops and human life.

5. Golden Flower In Japan, orange cats, rather than black ones, had all the power. Believed to be supernatural, these cats had the purported ability to transform themselvees into beautiful women.

6. The Scottish Grimalkin This cat was said to be a wraith that took the form of a human by day and a fierce panther by night. Grrrrrimalkins were associated with witchcraft and thought to be just as devilish as their mistresses. The name comes from its gray color and the archaic word malkin, meaning “cat.”

7. Matagot In the south of France especially, it was believed that the Matagot was a magical greedy cat that could bring great wealth. To access its powers, you had to lure the cat with a chicken, take it home, and feed it the first mouthful of every meal you ate. In Britain, a version of the Matagot is known as Chat d’argent, a black cat who was able to serve nine masters at once.

8. Patripatan Of Indian origin, Patripatan was sent to heaven to pick a flower but got sidetracked and didn’t return home for 300 years, during which time his prince and his people had ceased to age. When Patripatan returned, the country was endowed with beauty and serenity.
9. Ra In ancient Egypt it was believed that each night the great sun god, Ra, took the form of a cat as he went off on nightly battle against the serpent Apopis. The sun rose every morning because Ra won all the battles.
10. Sinh According to Burmese legend, Sinh was the founding father of the Birman breed, which is the sacred cat of Burma. Sinh belonged to the high priest Mun-Ha. When the old man died, Sinh placed his paws on the priest’s body and thereby absorbed his soul. As he did so, his paws turned white.

11. Yule Cat In Iceland, a frightening tradition teaches children the importance preparing autumn wool before onset of winter. In the fall, children are given gifts of new clothing. Those who don’t receive them—either because they didn’t participate in gathering wool or because they did merit such gifts—risk the wrath the Yule Cat, a giant feline with glaring eyes and sharp whiskers. The only way to avoid being eaten by the Yule Cat on Christmas Eve is to stand at window wearing a new garment, even if it’s just a new pair of socks.

Copyright © 2007 by March Tenth, Inc., and Arden Moore. Reprinted by permission of Houghton Mifflin Company.

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Table of Contents

Acknowledgments xiii Introduction xvii

PART 1: The Culture of Cats 1

Cats: A Timeline 3 How to Mummify a Cat in 8 Easy Steps 5 A History of Cats in Ancient Art 6 11 Legendary Cats 12 18 Concepts That the Cat Symbolizes 15 Cats in Ancient Cultures 18 Maneki Neko, the “Beckoning Cat” 20 4 Cat Saints 21 How the Church of England Would Deal with the Statement “The Cat Sat on the Mat” if It Appeared in the Bible 21 Cats and Witchcraft 22 The Black Cat 24 40 Cat Superstitions 26 Curiosity Killed the Cat 27 3 Theories on How the Cat Was Created 28 The Very First Cats 28 Cats and Sailors 29 Clea Simon on the Feline-Feminine Connection 30 12 Cat Cures (and 1 Health Warning) 31 41 Cat Proverbs 32 Cats and the Weather 33 8 Cat Games 34 2 Possible Origins of “Cat’s Cradle” 34 11 Urban Cat Legends 34 The Literary Cat 36 Puss in Boots 41 Hamlet’s Cat’s Soliloquy, by Willy Shakespaw 42 Shakespeare on Cats 42 “The Cat’s Tale,” by Geoffrey Chaucer’s Cat 43 Cats in Nursery Rhymes 44 8 Aesop’s Fables About Cats 46 “The Owl and the Pussy-Cat,” by Edward Lear 47 Cats on British Inn Signs 48 Cat Haikus, Part 1 50 2 Theories on the Origin of the Kilkenny Cats 50 6 Cat Museums 51 Cats Who Went Postal: Feline Philately 52 Cat Haikus, Part 2 53 A Brief History of Cat Shows 54 The First Cat Show 55 Cat Haikus, Part 3 55 The Story of Poezenboot 56 The Musical Cat 57 4 Musical Instruments That Sound Like Cats 58 9 Popular Songs About Cats 59 84 Songs About Cats 60 Bands and Artists with Cat Names 61 5 CDs Just for Cats 62 35 Famous Cat Lovers 63 2 Theories as to Why There Is No Chinese Year of the Cat 67 9 Cat Hoarders 68 10 Signs That You Are Turning into a “Cat Lady” 69 14 Famous Cat Haters 70 16 Definitions of the Word Cat 71 21 Weird Laws About Cats 72 76 Cat Idioms 73 The Sound of Purring in 10 Different Languages 74 Cats by Any Other Name 77 15 Cat Dreams and What They Mean 78 20 Cat Words 79 Wacky Cats on the ’Net 80

PART 2: Top Cats 85

29 Movies About Cats 87 5 Movies About Cat People 91 The Fat on the Cat in the Hat 92 Cats Go to the Movies 93 The Infamous Fritz the Cat 96 8 Hollywood Cats 97 3 Cat People 97 6 Actors Who Played Catwoman 98 Mighty Morris 99 45 Cartoon Cats 100 5 Cats Who Appeared on The Simpsons 102 17 TV Kitties 104 9 Cats Who Have Won Acting Awards 104 The World According to Garfield 105 The Major Cats of Cats 106 Cats of Famous People 108 Hemingway’s Cats 112 Richelieu’s Cats 114 Anne Frank’s Cats 115 Colette’s Cats 115 24 Record-Holding Cats 116 7 Cats Who Changed History 118 6 War Cats 120 Faith’s Tribute 120 7 Really Fat Cats 121 First Felines: White House Cats 122 5 Famous Ship’s Cats 123 21 Hero-i-cats 124 3 British VICs 126 World Trade Center Cats 127 9 Lives and Still Counting: 18 Stories of Survival 128 What Goes Up . . . 130 Strange Bedfellows 131 15 Incredible Journeys 132 7 Very Wealthy Cats 134 Koko’s Cats 135 12 Cat Burglars 136 4 Really Bad Cats 139 13 Working Cats 140 Circus Cats 142 8 Psychic Cats 143 The Algonquin Cat 144 11 Advertising Cats 145 7 Cigar Brands Named After Cats 147 25 Cat-Fancying Artists, Illustrators, and Cartoonists 148 3 Great Artistic Imposters 152 8 Really Expensive Cats 153 Library Cats 154 Dewey’s Guide for Library Cats 155 57 Literary Cats 157 The Cheshire Cat 159 11 Cat Fiction Anthologies 160 Mysteries for Cat Lovers 161 29 Mysteries by Lilian Jackson Braun 163 15 Nonfiction Books That Explore the World of Cats 164 17 Photo Books for Cat Lovers 166 7 Cats Who Wrote Books 168 41 Kid Lit Cats 169 The 7 Major Cat Shows 171 Cat Show Know-How 172

PART 3: Cat Anatomy and Behavior 175

18 Cat Commandments 177 26 Feline Laws of Physics 178 The Physiology of the Cat 179 The 10 Most Popular Breeds in the United States 181 41 CFA-Recognized Cat Breeds 190 24 Definitions of a Cat 191 19 Differences Between Cats and Dogs 192 22 Cat Myths Debunked 194 Polydactyl Cats 196 The Life Expectancy of Cats 197 How Old Is Your Cat? 197 The Anatomy of a Cat 198 Astrology for Cats 200 18 Politically Correct Explanations of Cat Behavior 201 The 6 Nutritional Needs of Cats 202 I’m in the Mood for Love: Feline Mating Rituals 203 3 Ways to Tell If Your Cat Is Pregnant 204 Birthing Rituals 204 The 5 Developmental Stages of Kittens 206 How and Why Cats Purr 207 Cats and Scents 207 Those Wise, Wily Whiskers 208 The Fountain of Youth Has Whiskers 208 The Eye of the Cat 209 How to Read a Cat’s Ears 210 Coats of Many Colors and Patterns 211 To Sleep, Purrchance to Dream 213 The Need to Knead 214 How Cats Groom Themselves 2214 Antigravity: The Feline Butterology Theory 215 How Cats Fall 216 Top 10 Cat Behavior Issues 217 Cattitudes: How Cats Think 218 31 Body Language Signals and What They Mean 219 The 9 Most Common Tail Positions and What They Mean 221 Why Do They Do That? 17 Mystifying Behaviors Explained 222 Why Cats Paint 224 Cats Who Paint 227 8 Fine Documentaries About Cats 228 17 New Year’s Resolutions for Cats 229

PART 4: Tender Loving

Care and Training 231 The Cat’s Bill of Rights 234 24 Things Cats Do for Us 235 10 Major Cat Associations and Organizations 236 The 5 Top Cat Magazines 238 3 Great Cat Newsletters 239 9 Reasons to Love Cats 239 15 Great Cat-Care Websites 240 35 Free Things for Cats 241 The 60 Most Common Cat Names 243 171 Cool Cat Names 244 “The Naming of Cats,” by T. S. Eliot 245 43 Pairs of Names for 2 Cats 246 14 Sets of Names for 3 Cats 247 8 Sets of Names for 4 Cats 247 The Top Rasta Names for Cats 247 25 Reasons Why Cats Are Better Than Dogs 248 Are You Sure You Want a Cat? 249 10 Reasons Why Cats Are Brought to Shelters 249 Cats and Courts: 4 Landmark Cases 250 16 States That Have Cat Lemon Laws 251 5 Ways to Avoid Cat-Related Legal Problems 251 12 Pioneers in Feline Medicine and Welfare 252 14 Great Cat Beds 254 Welcome Home, Furry Baby! 255 19 Steps for Cat-Proofing Your Home 256 4 Questions to Ask Before You Get a Cat 256 Kitty Accoutrements: What You’ll Need 257 How Much Will Kitty Cost? 258 Fang Shui 258 The New Cat on the Block: And Then There Were Two 259 12 Reasons Why Two Cats Are Better Than One 260 The Top 10 Essentials of Cat Care 261 10 Things Humans Do That Drive Cats Crazy 262 Children and Cats 264 Basic Training—Before You Start 265 19 Ways to Bond with the Fur Ball 266 If Miss Kitty Hates Mister Right 266 The 9 Most Common Mistakes Made by Cat Owners 268 The Price of Pedigreed Kittens 270 8 Reasons Not to Buy a Kitten from a Pet Store 271 How to Recognize Reputable Cat Breeders 272 The Role of the CFA 273 Cat Breeders to Avoid 273 The Socialized Kitty 274 All About Spaying and Neutering 274 11 Myths About Spaying and Neutering 275 6 Reasons Not to Declaw Your Cat 276 In Defense of Declawing 277 3 Declawing Alternatives 277 5 Reasons to Declaw a Cat 277 10 Basic Rules for Cats Who Rule the Roost 278 The Best Cat Breeds for Allergy Sufferers 281 A Feline Wellness Record 281 10 Tips for Helping Your Cat and Dog Get Along 282 13 Cats That Are Most Like Dogs 283 A CAT-tionary 284 29 Dogs Who Hate Cats 284 How Many Cats Does It Take to Screw in a Light Bulb? 285 How to Choose Your Second Cat 286 Have You Heard That One About the Vet . . . 286 How to Help Multiple Cats Get Along 287 17 Tips for Preparing Your Cat for the New Baby 288 8 Tips for Avoiding Toxoplasmosis 289 6 Things You Should Know About Pregnancy and Toxoplasmosis 290 15 Advantages of Keeping Your Cat Indoors 291 Outdoor Fun for the Indoor Cat 291 Microchipping Your Cat 292 Please Fence Me In 292 5 Hotlines for Information About Cats 293 13 Ways to Protect Your Outdoor Cat 294 Feline High-Rise Syndrome 295 119 Plants That Are Potentially Poisonous to Cats 296 16 Plants Whose Scents Cats Love 296 67 Plants That Are Safe for Your Cat 297 The Well-Fed Cat 298 Curious About Catnip? 299 Feline Feasts 300 3 Reasons to Eat Grass 301 The New Cat Miracle Diet! 302 How to Groom Your Cat 303 Cat Bathing as a Martial Art 304 Bathing Your Cat: Survival Tips 306 The Flea-Free Home 307 Flea-Fighting Tactics 308 All About Flea Collars 309 The Facts on Fleas 309 Caring for Kitty’s Teeth 310 7 Strange Questions Vets Have Dealt With 311 Potty Animals: How to Toilet-Train Your Cat in 8 Sometimes-Not-So-Easy Steps 312 Toilet-Training Cautions 313 The Lowdown on Cat Litter 313 Top 6 Reasons Why Cats Don’t Use the Litter Box 314 Choosy About Cat Litter 314 To Clump or Not to Clump 314 12 Tips for Solving Litter-Box Problems 315 17 Cool Uses for Cat Litter 316 12 Things You Wanted to Know About Hairballs but Were Too Disgusted to Ask 317 How to Massage Your Cat 318 Scaredy-Cats: 4 Signs of Fear 319 7 Ways to Help the Fearful Cat 320 My Cat Has Zits! All About Feline Acne 321 5 Things You Can Do About Feline Acne 321 Living with a Cat Allergy: 16 Things You Can Do 322 Why Do They Fight Like Cats and Dogs? 323 Scratching Post Basics 324 5 Reasons Why Cats Scratch 324 5 Things You Should Know About Cat Scratch Disease 325 Cat Bite Bytes 325 8 Reasons Why Your Cat Bites—and What You Can Do 326 Ouch! Treating Cat Bites 327 When Purrs Become Bites 328 5 “I’m About to Bite You” Warning Signs 329 Nice Kitty: How to Handle Behavior Problems 330 Bad Kitty: How to Prevent Your Cat from . . .
. . . Chewing on Electric Cords 331 . . . Climbing Curtains 332 . . . Eating Houseplants 332 . . . Unrolling Toilet Paper 333 12 Ways to Prevent Your Cat from Disappearing 334 17 Steps You Can Take If Your Cat Is Missing 335 Removing Cat Stains and Odors 336 The 9 Best Things About Older Cats 338 Choosing a Veterinarian 338 If Your Cat Has to Be Hospitalized 339 Toxic Hotline 339 Poor Kitty: 20 Ways to Tell If Your Cat Is Sick 340 Kitty 911: First-Aid Kits for Cats 341 How to “Summerize” Your Cat 342 7 Winter Cat-Care Tips 343 How to Give Your Cat a Pill in 20 Easy Steps 344 How to Give Your Cat Medications 345 9 Vaccinations and Preventive Treatments for Cats 346 How to Trap a Feral Cat 348 About Feral Cats 349 Handling an Injured Cat 350 28 Strict, Unbending Rules for Dealing with Stray Cats 351 11 Things You Should Know About Kitty Acupuncture 352 Cats and Disaster: Be Prepared 353 5 Insurance Policies for Your Cat 354 “Howliday” Hazards: How to Keep Your Cat Safe During Holidays 356 Facts About Cats in Trees 358 11 Tips for Getting a Cat out of a Tree 358 An I.Q. Test for Cats 359 4 Cat Toys You Can Make 360 The 5 Top-Selling Cat Toys 360 How to Teach Your Cat to Come When You Call 361 3 More Tricks You Can Teach Your Cat 362 9 Cat Toys You Can Find Around the House 363 Are You Talking to Me? 364 20 Household Objects That Are Unsafe for Your Cat 364 10 Truly Amazing Cat Products—NOT! 365 How to Talk Cat 366 Cats on the Go: 31 Travel Tips 367 Kitty’s Travel Bag 368 If You Have to Leave Home Without It 369 26 Cat Spas for the Pampered Cat 370 I’ll Take Manhattan: A Pet-Sitters Network 371 The Cats Are Not Pampered! 373 23 Cat-Friendly Hotel Chains 377 11 Helpful Hints for Photographing Your Cat 378 17 Gifts for the Cat Who Has Everything 380 Special Care for Your Aging Cat 382 When It’s Time to Let Go: 12 Questions to Ask Yourself 384 8 Pet Bereavement Hotlines 384 7 Good Reasons to Euthanize 385 8 Signs That Your Cat Is in Mourning 385 8 Unusual Cat Memorials 386 Cat Epitaphs 388 Rainbow Bridge 389

Index 391 About the Authors 403

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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Posted August 17, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Cat Lovers will love this

    Calling all cat enthusiasts: this is quite a bonanza, a really fun book that is chock-a-block full of all sorts of fascinating tidbits and advise relating to the feline species. This gold mind of a book is also useful for those who have recently let a cat into their life for the first time and need some nice basic advice for living with one. In fact, even though I have had four cats over the last 20 years, I still found a wealth of good helpful information. Even though the book is loaded with all sorts of goodies, it's very well organized with a superb, user-friendly Table of Content, making it easy to find topics of interest. A great book for just dipping into at random, preferably in small doses, some topics being only a few pages long.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 7, 2008

    BEst cat lover gift yet

    OK - as a cat owner I got every book out there on cats for years every holiday. THis is the best yet. Fun even if you don't like cats! In fact I have planet dog as well 'never owned a dog' and look at it all the time. My seven year old loves both of them.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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