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A Cat is Watching Paperback – September 15, 1990


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A Cat is Watching + A Dog Is Listening: The Way Some of Our Closest Friends View Us
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Touchstone; Reprint edition (September 15, 1990)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0671724436
  • ISBN-13: 978-0671724436
  • Product Dimensions: 0.6 x 5.5 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.5 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,628,557 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

In a cat's view, contends Caras ( A Celebration of Cats ), we have neither fur nor feathers; our skin tone registers as rather gray; and our everyday voices and movements prove far from diverting. Given the dullness apparently inherent in humans, it's a wonder cats haven't turned to another species for the gratification of their "obvious desire to be the ultimate hedonistic materialist." How, then, have we managed to occupy the feline attention for 4000 years? Caras, a wildlife reporter for ABC and the proud owner of 10 cats, seeks the answer to this question in fascinating detail. Among the facts he unearths: cats like snuggling up to our faces and necks because the sound of the carotid artery pumping blood comforts them. But paradoxically, Caras points out, the neck "is one of the places a cat would be likely to bite you if you were mouse-sized and it was hungry. Not wanting to bite you there as expressed by cuddling up and listening to the target may be a way of expressing friendship, and the human partner in the exercise may in fact be inadvertently expressing a measure of submission." BOMC alternate; QPBC alternate.
Copyright 1989 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Library Journal

To explain how cats perceive and interact with humans and other animals, Caras explores feline physical and psychological makeup, including such phenomena as "Incredible Journey" talents (cats can find their way home, even when they've been transported miles away) and ESP abilities. A knowledgeable, experienced animal writer, Caras surveys familiar behaviors scientifically and appreciatively. He balances clinical/technical data with a variety of tales that will appeal to cat devotees. While there's not much new here, Caras blends it together nicely to provide interesting, educational reading. At this price, however, only libraries truly needing a new nonfiction cat book will probably consider seriously for purchase. BOMC alternate.
- Carolyn Alexander, Technical Information Ctr., Fort Ord, Cal.
Copyright 1989 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
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See all 10 customer reviews
In this book, he zeroes in on understanding of the cat and on seeking the cat's perspective.
Neal C. Reynolds
Its an excellent book for cat lovers, for someone getting a cat or kitten for the first time, or just for someone wanting to learn more about cats.
gilly8
A truly enjoyable read that brought me many laugh-out-loud moments and fond memories of my own relationships with cats.
lbm13

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

22 of 23 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on June 11, 1997
Format: Hardcover
This is a great book for anyone who has or had or doesn't have a cat. If you want to know anything about a cat get this book. It tells you why they act the way they act and explains the mystery of the cat. It is full of interesting stories you will love. I can't put the book down
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Neal C. Reynolds VINE VOICE on June 26, 2002
Format: Hardcover
This is a great follow up to Roger Caras' A CELEBRATION OF CATS which I have also reviewed. In the first book, he gives an overview of the history, geneology, and psychology of the cat and of the cat's relationship with humans. In this book, he zeroes in on understanding of the cat and on seeking the cat's perspective.
The first few chapters deal with the biological makeup of the cat and with the cat's basic five senses. Much of this we already must realize. Some senses including that of smell and that of hearing are superior to our own, and much of the cat's behavior can be understood by realizing how their senses present our world to them. From that foundation, Caras' goes into cat psychology and discusses a number of issues such as how cats tell time, how many know how to get home if lost, and much more. Such topics as how cats respond to music, their thinking abilities, and even their emotions such as love and hate are examined. For those who have read A CELEBRATION OF CATS, there is little repetition, just what is necessary for those who haven't read it as a basis for the thrust of this volume.
Not all questions that are discussed are answered. Caras presents possibilities and leaves it to us to decide.
Also, Caras tends to demystify many of the "mysteries" surrounding cats, but this demystification tends to heighten one's respect for the cat's uncanny abilities. Certain aspects, such as whether or not cats have ESP, are left for the reader to decide.
The book is profusely illustrated with drawings, reproductions of artwork, and photographs, and as in the previous book, there is humor. Caras draws on many authorities and on personal experience in presenting us with an entertaining, educational, and thought provoking work.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Linda Pagliuco VINE VOICE on November 2, 2005
Format: Paperback
Cats and I share several traits, not the least of which is curiosity. Always fascinated by these mysterious yet loveable creatures, I picked up Roger Caras' little book out of curiosity and learned a tremendous about of information about how cats tick - how they sense, perceive, process information, think, and make decisions. Anyone who has lived in close proximity to animals senses that they can perceive things that humans never notice. A Cat is Watching, written in a pleasant conversational style, has helped me to better understand my own little brood, Trudy, Tooncis, and Fuzzball. Great fun!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By lbm13 on September 30, 2004
Format: Paperback
If you love cats, you'll love this book! Caras really gets to the heart of the mysterious and curious nature of cats without professing to have all the answers to our many human questions. Indeed he has watched and been watched by cats! Caras also offers much information and insight into the scientific and behavioral studies of cats. A truly enjoyable read that brought me many laugh-out-loud moments and fond memories of my own relationships with cats.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By rodboomboom HALL OF FAMEVINE VOICE on December 7, 2001
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Caras is so into animals. He has studied and researched them, but more importantly, he has lived with and loved them. Here he pours forth on what one must consider one of his favorites, cats. He's had much personal experience, and has investigated the subject thoroughly, and thus has much to offer.
One can learn much about cats from this read. For example, I never knew that kittens were atricocious at birth, their eyes and ears are shut. Also, Caras' theory about cats and dogs finding their way home by sensing magnetic fields is utterly fascinating, and could be true.
Curiosity and the cat is intriguing. Sensing the info a cat must accumulate and act upon instantly for safety and survival seems relevant. Caras shares the size ratio issue as basis for this. Made me think about the first time our 8 lb. cat saw our 120 lb. Great Pyrenees. Ran and hid for days, only later to become the dog's best and trusted friend. The ratio here is 15 times greater for the dog. Consider how the cat then sees me; 22 times bigger, similar to my viewing a creature that was 22 times heavier than me, or around two tons! What a creature to watch and observe, to know when to scramble for my life so the thing wouldn't crush me, and know its moods thoroughly.
A great read for cat lovers.
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