Catworld is a feline encyclopedia which covers every kind of subject: all the 80 breeds of domestic cat are here (from Abyssinian to York Chocolate), the 36 species of wild cats, famous individual cats (from Felix to Macavity), feline behaviour (from hunting to courtship), feline terms, cat organizations, the 100 best cat books, the famous cat owners and authors and artists, and even the famous people who feared them (like Alexander the Great and Napoleon) or hated them (like Shakespeare and Eisenhower) or loved them (like Florence Nightingale and Brigitte Bardot). The book is illustrated with over 300 photographs and illustrations of all the breeds.
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Desmond Morris was for many years the curator of mammals at the London Zoo, where he was in charge of the largest collection of wild felines in the world. He is the author of The Naked Ape and of many books about cats, including Catworld: A Feline Encyclopedia (Viking).From Booklist:
While not "the ultimate reference book for cat lovers" of the publicity flier, this is certainly a richly detailed work. It emphasizes the domestic cat in all its varieties and its relations with humans. Wild cats are not slighted, but the "tiger on the hearth" has pride of place. Its dictionary-format entries cover breeds, famous cats, cat lovers and haters, folklore, and history. Morris has also provided some idiosyncratic lists of cat books and movies. Lillian Jackson Braun's Cat Who series (and its detective cats Ko-Ko and Yum-Yum) is not on those lists nor is Peter Gether's Norton, but Pyewacket of Bell, Book, and Candle is included, as is the Cat in the Hat. There is not much on feline health matters, but the introduction indicates that the author felt such matters were best dealt with by veterinarians. In the entry on Ernest Hemingway his famous polydactyl (multitoed) cats are reduced to a statement that many of the cats have "strange feet" and are sold as "celebrity kittens" for very high prices. A cross-reference to the entry polydactyly would have been helpful. While it does not include all the literary excerpts of Roberta Altman's The Quintessential Cat [ RBB Mr 1 95], it has many references to literary figures who owned or wrote about cats, and entries about the cats themselves. Mystery cats that appear in folklore have separate entries under their names as do legendary cats.
There is no separate bibliography, but most of the longer entries have short reading lists. Illustrations are handsome, ranging from color photographs to well-reproduced paintings and woodcuts. This is a useful tool for patrons or librarians looking for clearly written information on various aspects of cats. The price makes it available to all but the most restricted library budgets.
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Book Description Ebury Press, 2000. Paperback. Book Condition: New. book. Bookseller Inventory # 91872405