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Planet Cat: A CAT-alog

Moore, Arden; Choron, Sandra; Choron, Harry

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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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About 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.

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.:

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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Book Description Mariner Books, 2007. Book Condition: New. Brand New, Unread Copy in Perfect Condition. A+ Customer Service! Summary: 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. Bookseller Inventory # ABE_book_new_0618812598

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