On Cats and over one million other books are available for Amazon Kindle. Learn more
Qty:1
  • List Price: $16.99
  • Save: $4.45 (26%)
FREE Shipping on orders over $35.
Only 4 left in stock (more on the way).
Ships from and sold by Amazon.com.
Gift-wrap available.
On Cats has been added to your Cart
Condition: :
Comment: Book is used, fast shipping and great customer service.
Have one to sell? Sell on Amazon
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See all 2 images

On Cats Hardcover – October 7, 2008


See all 8 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Amazon Price New from Used from
Kindle
"Please retry"
Hardcover
"Please retry"
$12.54
$3.99 $0.01

New & Notable in Biography & Memoir
Browse a selection of popular biographies and memoirs.
$12.54 FREE Shipping on orders over $35. Only 4 left in stock (more on the way). Ships from and sold by Amazon.com. Gift-wrap available.


Frequently Bought Together

On Cats + The Fifth Child
Price for both: $25.72

Buy the selected items together
NO_CONTENT_IN_FEATURE

Love this book? Discover our featured favorites by Doris Lessing.

Product Details

  • Hardcover: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Harper; 1st edition (October 7, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0061672246
  • ISBN-13: 978-0061672248
  • Product Dimensions: 4.5 x 1 x 6.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #757,272 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

“Ms. Lessing applies her formidable powers of observation to the beasts she calls ‘exotic visitors, household friends.’” (Wall Street Journal)

“Endearing and wise.” (San Francisco Chronicle)

“[Lessing] captures the passionate gregariousness of her cats...What she does best is describe their relations with one another...Doris Lessing...opens our eyes to the world of cats.” (New York Times)

“Lessing’s prose catches at the heart, close-ups of cats in unforgettable word paintings.” (Pittsburg Tribune Review)

About the Author

Winner of the 2007 Nobel Prize in Literature, Doris Lessing was one of the most celebrated and distinguished writers of our time, the recipient of a host of international awards, including the Somerset Maugham Award, the David Cohen Memorial Prize for British Literature, the James Tait Black Prize for best biography, Spain's Prince of Asturias Prize and Prix Catalunya, and the S. T. Dupont Golden PEN Award for a Lifetime's Distinguished Service to Literature.

Lessing was born of British parents in Persia on October 22, 1919, and moved with her family to Southern Rhodesia when she was five years old. She went to England in 1949, where she published her first book, The Grass Is Singing, and began her career as a professional writer. In 1962, she broke new ground with her novel The Golden Notebook. She wrote more than thirty books—among them the novels Martha Quest, The Fifth Child, and her last work Alfred and Emily; stories, reportage, poems, and plays; and several nonfiction works, including books about cats, and two volumes of autobiography, Walking in the Shade and Under My Skin. She died on November 17, 2013. Her portrait hangs in London's National Portrait Gallery.

Customer Reviews

3.2 out of 5 stars
Share your thoughts with other customers

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

19 of 19 people found the following review helpful By dantera on December 3, 2009
Format: Hardcover
My prior experience with Doris Lessing was "Descent Into Hell", so I wasn't expecting a fluff piece on the cuteness of cats when I picked up this book, but that said I do agree with another reviewer (K. Bell) that the number of kitten killings was a bit over the top. I certainly understand life and death are inseparable and do not wish the grimmer realities of owning cats to be tucked behind cute aphorisms; one of the things I enjoyed about this book was that she deftly described many aspects and periods of cat life. However, a little birth control goes a long way, and it was never adequately explained why she was so willing to choose offing the kittens rather than fixing the cats. She seemed to think they were less fully cats or something...I suppose I'm not a complete human either then since I'm on the pill ;)
Still, the writing is fantastic, and it's probably worth a read if you enjoy musing on cat behaviours.
1 Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
13 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Arwen on May 21, 2012
Format: Hardcover
If I could give this book zero stars, I would. I agree completely with the other reviewers about her gruesome descriptions of killing the unwanted kittens. And her objections to getting her cats spayed so there wouldn't be so many unwanted kittens is just absurd. She writes the repeated matings of her females as if it was some romance novel, not the biological function it is, attributing absurd human emotions to the cats. GET YOUR FEMALES SPAYED, YOU IDIOT!

I love cats and I read the whole thing, hoping it would get better at the end. Finally toward the end, there was less about killing kittens, but there was still a complete lack of emotion from the author. I saw absolutely NO love or caring for any of the cats who had the unfortunate luck to share their lives with her. She was chronicling what happened with the cats, in a very impartial, unemotional way. No emotional connection whatsoever to any of her cats.

I absolutely do NOT recommend this book for cat lovers. I honestly don't know what audience it was intended for. Cat haters maybe?

PLEASE do not purchase this book! Do not support this insult to cats everywhere.
2 Comments Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By catty88 on June 1, 2013
Format: Hardcover
This is an excellent books on cats. It is unsentimental, yet full of warmth and beautifully written. The domestic tensions between black cat and grey develop the drive of an enjoyable thriller. Killing cats and kittens forms as much a part of Lessing's experience as caring devotedly (and grimly) for a cat on death's door, or rescuing a wild cat and her litter after a rainstorm and feeding sauteed chicken liver to her queenly grey cat. Cats are respected as individuals, even fussed over, yet Lessing never loses her clear-sighted, self-ironic stance, which gives her writing a roominess and poignancy not often found in the literature on animals. By writing on cats Lessing has really written a book about life: this is as much a book about the relationships between cats as it is about cats and humans, about death, friendships, kittens and the passing of time - Very recommendable.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Xuan Zheng on November 25, 2010
Format: Hardcover
Doris, Why would you kill a litter of kittens you caught only because they are too "wild"? All these kittens can be tamed to be house pets, why did you and your mother killed them?
1 Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again

More About the Author

Discover books, learn about writers, read author blogs, and more.

What Other Items Do Customers Buy After Viewing This Item?

Set up an Amazon Giveaway

Amazon Giveaway allows you to run promotional giveaways in order to create buzz, reward your audience, and attract new followers and customers. Learn more
On Cats
This item: On Cats
Price: $16.99 $12.54
Ships from and sold by Amazon.com