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Urban Tigers: Tales of a Cat Vet Paperback – April 25, 2011

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Kathy Chisholm is an award-winning author for her novel Urban Tigers, Tales of a Cat Vet and short story Seen But Not Heard. In 1987, she and her husband, veterinarian Hugh Chisholm, established the Atlantic Cat Hospital, one of the first feline-only practices in Canada. They live in Nova Scotia with five cats, two dogs, two guinea pigs, and a fluctuating number of fish. Urban Tigers Two is now available as well. Visit her at www.kathychisholm.ca

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 300 pages
  • Publisher: Ailurophile Publishing (April 25, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0986830100
  • ISBN-13: 978-0986830105
  • Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 0.8 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (41 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,666,622 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

I was born in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada. (I decline to mention the decade other than the fact that I am a boomer.) The youngest of three siblings, my best friend growing up was a grey and white tabby cat named Bootsie. From a very early age, I've always had a great respect and love for animals and nature. I earned a B.Sc. in biology and a B.Ed. at Dalhousie University in Halifax. I then furthered my education degree at the University of British Columbia, specializing in outdoor education. My husband Hugh and I taught in Prince Rupert on the northwest coast of BC for three years; by summer, we roamed the Rockies.

In 1982, Hugh was accepted to veterinary school in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan. I was lucky enough to secure a position teaching Grade Five at Hugh Cairns Elementary school and thoroughly loved my time there. After Hugh's graduation in 1986, we returned to Nova Scotia where he was employed as a veterinarian in Halifax. Unable to secure a full time teaching position, I worked as a substitute teacher but it was far less fulfilling than having my own classroom. In 1987, we made a risky, but heartfelt decision. We decided to open the first feline-only veterinary practice east of Montreal and one of only five feline practices in Canada.

Atlantic Cat Hospital grew from a staff of two, seven hundred square feet, and one resident cat to a staff of ten, two thousand square feet, and five resident cats. During that time, I worked alongside my husband as receptionist, veterinary technician, kennel cleaner, bookkeeper, custodian, grief counsellor and practice manager. And in my spare time, I began to write. At first, it was just a collection of anecdotes on pieces of paper; little tidbits of life in a cat hospital. Gradually, it took shape and grew into a novel that was awarded second place at the 2007 30th annual Atlantic Writing Competition for unpublished manuscripts. I was also recognized in the short story category with first place for "Seen but Not Heard." Told in the child's voice, it is a moving story set in the 1960s about the bond between a little girl and her dad. It will provide the framework for my third novel.

Following the success of Urban Tigers, Tales of a Cat Vet published in 2011, I followed it with Urban Tigers Two, More Tales of a Cat Vet released in July 2013. Many thanks to those of you who have become loyal fans of Dr. Emily McBride.

I am currently working on my third novel. My husband built me a little cabin down at the lake where I write by day; the water lapping against the shore, a cat asleep on my lap. Does it get any better than that? Perhaps lunch delivered to my door complete with an inspirational glass of wine? Stay tuned.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Ingrid King on December 20, 2011
Format: Paperback
I first heard about Urban Tigers: Tales of a Cat Vet when a friend forwarded me an e-mail about the book. She had received her e-mail from a cat vet friend, and it included endorsements by two of the premiere feline veterinarians in North America, Dr. Susan Little and Dr. Margie Scherk. Dr. Little called it a "must-read for all vets, vets-to-be & cat lovers". Dr. Scherk called it "a delightful read." I had to know more. When my copy arrived, I could hardly wait to get started.

I wasn't disappointed. Urban Tigers is the story of Dr. Emily McBride's first year at the Ocean View Cat Hospital in Nova Scotia, Canada. Under the guidance of the flamboyant Dr. Hughie Doucette, Emily encounters a wide variety of cat loving clients, ranging from the retired history professor whose cherished felines only drink bottled water to the self-proclaimed cat psychic whose cat has a lot to say about just how he'd like things to be. At first, Emily is treated as the "new kid on the block" by Dr. Doucette's clients, but she quickly earns the trust and respect of the colorful and entertaining residents of the small town the clinic is located in.

Drawn from her own experiences in a feline practice, Chisholm's Urban Tigers brought back some fond memories of my years spent working in veterinary clinics. I worked at a small town clinic for eight years, and while our clients may not have been quite as eccentric as some of Emily's, it was close.

I laughed, I shed a few tears, and I couldn't stop reading. My absolute favorite story in the book is the final one, about a barn cat rescued by one of Emily's handsome male clients. I don't want to spoil the story, but let's just say it turned into a case of "who rescued who" in the end.

Urban Tigers is a novel, but it reads like a memoir.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Southwest Woman on July 16, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Not so much a novel as a collection of short stories. Some were manipulative, so I didn't give it a lot of stares. Dead and dying cats make me cry, and anyone who reads books like this will cry. The AIDS storyline was really manipulative. HIV infection was a

I got the feeling the "Mad as hatters" clients were made out of whole cloth.

The Vet never had a real story arc. Her life didn't move on. I don't know what she looked like, I don't know what her mother was like and what she looked like. The book was well written. But shallow.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Lesley A. Fitzpatrick on October 4, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
A great little book about a vet starting out and finding her way with a feline practice and the issues of stray and feral cats. A real person, from Nova Scotia who founded the Tuxedo Party to advocate for protections for stray and feral cats in Nova Scotia. Tuxedo Stan, the original candidate for the Party passed away this year and his brother Earl Grey has taken up the cause of cats.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Josie Smith on January 6, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I could start writing about the book, the entire story, and who it is about. However, previous reviews already covered those bases. Beautifully, I might add.
What I would like to say about this book is my opinion on how wonderful of a read it was. If you want a book that you can easily get into. Step into the story, and feel as tho you are there (albeit in a slightly fictional world, which is based off truth.) you will find it with this gem.
I can't tell you how many times I snorted out loud (I am one of those individuals who snort when they laugh hard!) and found myself enjoying every page of this book. I will never be a vet, but I volunteer and am the point-person for cats for my local humane society. I'm a cat lover by nature...anything to do with cats...be it tv show on AP or a book written about a cat...I enjoy.
You will enjoy this book regardless if you are a cat vet, humane society volunteer, or just a die-hard cat lover who loves to read books like I do. Do not pass this book up! You will miss out on something very special! And there is a second book in the works, and you can bet your cat's biscuits that I will be ordering it!
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Urban Tigers--Tales of a Cat Vet tells the story of Dr. Emily McBride as she moves through her first year as a junior vet at Ocean View Cat Hospital. Urban Tigers is more than a book about cats, cat owners and vets. This is a remarkable novel about the power of the human spirit and how animals like cats wiggle and purr their way into our hearts. Dr. Emily McBride works alongside the charming Dr. Hughie Doucette and their interaction grabs the reader from the get-go. A wonderful collection of characters, both human and animal, drive the story. Some characters are pleasant, some exasperating, some very strange, but all are endearing. As Dr. McBride wends her way through the trials and tribulations of being a cat vet, we experience humour that is astute and clever. We are also touched by her understanding and empathy for her patients. I closed the book on these characters wanting much, much more.
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By Michalann on October 9, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I thoroughly enjoyed the book. It was very poignant, had humerous moments but at the same time was often very serious in its' nature. Having to tell clients that the very special members of their families are very ill and often have to be euthanized has to be very difficult. I think that the euthanization process in itself would be very traumatic but she learned to handle it with all the professionalism and caring that one could have under the circumstances. Throughout the book she was evolving and growing from the beginning pages. I understand she is writing a 2nd book and I am anticipating it and will certainly purchase it when it comes out.
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