Caras, president of the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals and author of over 50 books on pets and wildlife, shares the warm story of life at Thistle Hill farm. The 30 inhabitants of this wonderful Maryland menagerie include Steakhums the Hereford steer, Humboldt the llama, and Xyerias the greyhound, but the real stars are the ten-plus cats. All the animals are orphans or strays, and Caras tells one delightful story after the other. We meet Omari, who retrieves sticks and brings them to the porch; sister Siamese Alice and Elvira, who are inseparable; Siafu, who succumbs to feline leukemia; and several other memorable critters. While recounting various adventures, Caras also offers practical advice on the necessity of spaying, neutering, and immunizing animals and teaches us respect for all living things. Not only does Caras's lovely book entertain with its charming photographs and tales, but it promotes the adoption of stray and orphaned animals and responsible pet ownership. Recommended for all public libraries.-Eva Lautemann, Dekalb Coll. Lib., Clarkston, Ga.
Library Journal - Library Journal
The prolific Caras--author of more than 50 books on pets and wildlife--blends descriptions of and anecdotes about the dozens of creatures who share his family's Maryland home with advice for other pet owners on cat behaviors and personalities. The Thistle Hill menagerie is not limited to one species: Caras and family share their spread with birds, bats, snakes, deer, and small mammals in addition to multiple cats and dogs, cows and horses, and llamas and alpacas, plus human friends and helpers. Caras' tone is closer to Herriott's fondness and respect for animals and the people who care for them than to the opinionated, self-important note too often sounded in Cleveland Amory's cat tales. The success of Caras' "A Cat Is Watching" (1990) and the fact that his latest effort is an alternate selection of several book clubs suggest purchase.