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Dancing with Cats: From the Creators of the International Best Seller Why Cats Paint Paperback – June 1, 1999

4.5 out of 5 stars 85 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

With a hey diddle diddle, the creators of Why Cats Paint return with another version of feline (and human) reality. And suffice it to say that in Burton Silver and Heather Busch's hands, Kipling's cat that walked by himself has turned into a deeply codependent dervish. Their first book was a brilliant parody of artspeak--Busch's photos of creative felines matched by Silver's text. Their second, Dancing with Cats--an epic three years in the making!--juxtaposes psychological and spiritual mumbo-jumbo with the language of dance criticism. As Silver explores everything from visualization to mirroring to empathy, Busch is busy with her human-feline pairs. In one sequence, Fred, clad in tabby tights, kitty-cat body paint, and a tanga with a long black tail, leaps about the place with a slightly puzzled pussy: "I share its grace, power, and oneness with the universe. I relate to Fluff and the whole spectrum of feline physicality on a profound level--I even regard birds differently."

On the very next page, chubby Helen, sporting a tie-dyed purple gown and a deeply sworn belief in feng shui, identifies perhaps a bit too deeply with chunky, amber-eyed Boots (who looks suspiciously like "Trans-Expressionist" Bootsie from Why Cats Paint). And then there's Sue and Zoot. In one photo, the recumbent gray and peach cat raises his left paw to the sky as his ecstatic human does the same. Then Sue dons a feathery jerkin "in order to dance out some of her past traumas." It's difficult to say which is funnier, the photos or the text, as Silver catches pseudo-therapy's mixture of self-affirmation and non sequitur: "Dancing with Zoot helps Sue reenact and come to terms with the joy and sorrow of a brief but painful relationship: when she fell in love with her daughter's father while he was photographing bridges in the neighborhood." Though the two-legged models must have been prepared for this inspired silliness, one does wonder what on earth the cats made of their eurythmic adventures. Alas, until interspecies communication reaches a greater height, we can only dance amid our uncertainty! --Kerry Fried

Review


Reviews from: ELLE

LIFE

CATS MAGAZINE

PEOPLE

This lean and lithe danseur noble is only one of the balletically inclined felines that Burton Silver and Heather Busch—authors of the newly published Dancing With Cats—have turned up in their ongoing investigation of the aesthetic propensities of cats (see their 1994 monograph Why Cats Paint). If the American Ballet Theater has not yet picked up on these piroutteing pussies, it's only a matter of time.

While researching their last tongue-in-cheek tome, Why Cats Paint, Burton Silver and Heather Busch came across pet owners with a curious predilection: two-stepping with their tabbies. The pair shed light on this phenom in a collection of pet pas de deux. Raves one dance partner: "The feline vibration surges through me with such power. Afterward I feel incredibly alert and peaceful."

The authors of Why Cats Paint, bring you Dancing with Cats published by Chronicle Books. It is lovingly illustrated with photos of graceful felines and their colorful owners, caught mid-flight.

Burton Silver and Heather Busch have rediscovered and brought to light the ancient art of cat dancing. They say cat dancing lets the owner and the cat channel together and tap into the natural feline energy vibration...or something like that. We just love the pictures. Look for it in your local bookstore.

by Michael Neill
People who hate cats—ailurophobes is the ten-dollar word—dismiss our purring friends as cold-blooded, self-centered manipulators with no redeeming social value beyond their all-too-occasional oppression of small rodents. Hah! What fools! As Silver and Busch know—and cleverly showed in Why Cats Paint, their previous book—kitties are actually multitalented Renaissance critters capable of, heck, just about anything. And it seems they also cut a mean rug—not just shred it to bits. Dancing with Cats cleverly mixes mock-pretentious writing—"Before dancing, Helen and Boots do a series of mirroring exercises to specially developed feline soundscapes"—with whimsical entertaining photographs of cat-human paws de deux.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 96 pages
  • Publisher: Chronicle Books; 1St Edition edition (June 1, 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0811824152
  • ISBN-13: 978-0811824156
  • Product Dimensions: 9.8 x 0.4 x 9.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (85 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #623,086 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
A quote from a cat dancer: "At those levels, an unstable etheric oscillation could collapse into an astral vortex and suck my spiritual reserves into a state of negative sub-matter." Any author who can publish that sentence with a straight face deserves to sell as many books as they can.
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Format: Paperback
The photographs of these cats are absolutely stunning and at the same time familiar to anyone who has ever been allowed by a cat to share its home. While the photography is the main draw of this book, don't stop by just looking at the pictures. To truly enjoy the genius of the book, one has to read the comments and interviews with the cat-dancers. From spiritual connection to psycho-babble to childish perceptions, the narration is a delight and a hoot to read. The book is an absolutely perfect parody, leaving the reader just enough convinced to scratch her head and think, "Is this for real?"
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Format: Paperback
Dancing With Cats is hilarious! The claim that the cats were tortured is kind of pushing it, especially considering that of the 4 cats I've had as pets in my life, 3 of them were prone to leaping out of 2nd story windows in hot pursuit of squirrels! I learned when I was still quite young that my cat loved it when I held her in my arms and twirled in circles. It was only a short while before we were actually dancing together-cheek to whisker-just like Fred and Ginger.
I didn't think it could get any better than Why Cats Paint, but when I saw that this book was on its way, I danced for joy!
Thank you Burton Silver and Heather Busch, for the wonderful photographs and the incredibly entertaining text!
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Format: Paperback
...by the way, there is NO "Cat Spring, Texas", in case you were wondering. Obvioulsy "Cat Spring" did not take their Prozac that day as they were making WAY too many ASSUMPTIONS as to how things are made. All I'll say is that if you are a cat owner (and have a sense of humour) this is a MUST read. Wild and wacky "analysis" is just great humour. You will just love it!
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By A Customer on July 18, 1999
Format: Paperback
My cat was out of control, was getting into everything. I didn't know what to do. thought if I "fixed" it that would fix it. Nope... right after I got ahold of this great book and started dancing and working closely with my cat. I started to find out what was making her so angry and stressed out, now we are best of friends, and instead of being stressful to me she gives great amounts of soothing mediation. I recommend this book completely
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By A Customer on September 27, 1999
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Anyone who loves cats will just love this book. It is such great fun. I've spent a lifetime watching many cats play in such unforgettable ways, but I've never seen a cat book that had so much fun with playing with cats! Wild an Whacky! Great photography!
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I love to play around with my cat and we often do something very akin to dancing but until I discovered this wonderful book, I thought I was the only one. Cats are amazingly graceful and they love to interact with their owners, so of course others do it! It's time cat lovers came "out of the closet" and discussed the fun of dancing with cats. Thanks to the authors for creating this book.
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Format: Paperback
My wife and I think this book is great and plan to give it to heaps of our friends. When I was a kid I remember my father leaping about with our cat, Tiger, when he came home from work. Tiger could leap as high as his head and sometimes Dad would catch him in his arms, put him on his shoulders and twirl around. We didn't realize that what he was doing was "dancing. " The pictures in the book are amazing. It's made us want to get a cat again.
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