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Of Cats and Men: Profiles of History's Great Cat-Loving Artists, Writers, Thinkers, and Statesmen Hardcover – April 18, 2017
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About the Author
SAM KALDA is an illustrator who received a BFA in painting at SUNY Purchase, an MFA at The Fashion Institute of Technology, and who studied at the Yale Norfolk School of Art. He has been recognized by The Society of Illustrators, American Illustration, Society of Illustrators Los Angeles, 3X3 Magazine, and CMYKMagazine's "Top 100 New Creatives."
Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.
WHAT IS A CAT MAN?
Men are often portrayed in the company of dogs. They hunt together, run happily side by side, and ride shoulder to shoulder in mud-splattered pickups—the perfect image of masculine bliss. The dog is, after all, man’s best friend. Some men, that is.
For centuries, legions of forward-thinking men—artists, writers, scientists, and philosophers—have shared their libraries and studios with a purring feline or two. In recent years, a new population of proud, cat-loving men has come out of the proverbial “cat closet,” embracing the purr, mew, and squint of feline companionship.
Women have, for centuries, been chided and maligned for having a cat, let alone several. This “crazy cat lady” stereotype is deeply unfair. Like Prometheus to fire, generations of enlightened fellows have gravitated to the feline species. We stand with our cat-loving sisters as crazy cat men, proudly wearing our scarlet letters in solidarity.
Since man first discovered a fallen whisker in the forests of Eden, he has had a twilight bond with cats. We need only imagine the temples of ancient Egypt, where the priests prayed to statues of Bastet, cat goddess of the Egyptian people and protectress against disease and evil spirits. When a cat died, the Egyptians would shave their eyebrows in mourning—theirs was a truly cat-crazy culture. In fact, when a temple of Bastet was excavated in the late nineteenth century, archaeologists uncovered more than three hundred thousand cat mummies. Who knew that a catnap could last over two millennia?
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Top Customer Reviews
As a cat-lover (who is, however, not a "crazy cat lady"... this is my ONLY book about cats) and a lover of redemptive history, this is one of my new favorite books. I show it to everyone. One sometimes gets in trouble on this site for using the "q" word that rhymes with "cheer," so I'll simply say it's fulfilling to those of us who care about gender nonconformity and unearthing the ways in which our Official History has bulldozed over actual human stories that don't quite fit. Even Hemmingway's.
What a delightful book!
As a cat lover, I’ve heard all the old clichés, and usually laugh along good naturedly, but I’m happy to see people embracing our feline friends more than ever these days, and am especially happy to report more men are stepping out from behind the shadows of us ‘crazy cat ladies’ to boldly proclaim their love for these most majestic of creatures.
This book is short, mainly made up of some of the most charming illustrations of famous male cat lovers with their furry friends, and gives a brief accounting of the relationship between these famous men and their feline companions, as well as providing some insightful quotes along the way.
The ‘blurb’ give you a list of the famous cat loving men featured in this book, so I won’t go over that again, but one of my favorite quotes was from poet Charles Bukowski:
“If you’re feeling bad, you just look at the cats, you’ll feel better, because they know that everything is, just as it is. There’s nothing to get excited about. They just know. They’re saviours. The more cats you have, the longer you live. If you have a hundred cats, you’ll ten times longer than if you have ten. Someday this will be discovered, and people will have a thousand cats and live forever. It’s truly ridiculous.”
The illustrations are what makes this book so special! Wonderful, colorful drawings, that translate surprisingly well in digital format!! So, no matter which format you enjoy, this book is must for cat lovers, and would make a lovely gift!!
Starting in the 10th century with Welsh King Hywel the Good (who recognized the value of cats as cheap vermin controllers and therefore protected them through law) on down the centuries to the present day, many influential men have been inspired, amused and comforted by cats. This colorful book takes a page to describe the man in question, his history, and his connection to cats. Each page also includes a drawing of the man and his inspirational cat. There are many cat-admiring quotes sprinkled throughout the book as well.
Anyone who loves cats will be entertained by the many achievements of cats -- while their owners may take credit, it's really the cats who were responsible for inventing the cat flap (Sir Isaac Newton), alternating current (Nicola Tesla) Companion cats have also inspired poetry, musicals, art and even dance performances. It was also somewhat surprising for me to learn that somewhat stereotypically "gruff" men, including Ernest Hemingway, Mark Twain and Winston Churchill are among the famous cat lovers. You can even follow some of the more outgoing modern cats on social media.
This book is a charming look at how cats have been loving, loyal and amusing companions to some of history's greatest leaders, artists and scientists. Those ancient Egyptians, who revered cats as gods, were certainly on to something!
Disclaimer: I received a copy of Of Cats and Men from Blogging for Books in exchange for this review
The covers are beautiful on this book and the pages throughout the entire book are equally beautiful. There are 30 "Cat Men" included inside along with many quotes about the much celebrated cat on the pages by many recognizable names. (Mark Twain, Ray Bradbury, Ernest Hemingway, Karl Lagerfeld to name a few!)
If the informative mini history lessons don't draw you in, then the drawings will. I was engaged the entire time reading. The illustrations are really well done. Great concept, well delivered. I look forward to more work from Sam Kalda.
I rate this book a 5/5.
This book would make a fantastic Father's Day gift for the cat loving man in your life! or a fantastic addition to your coffee table!
*FTC DISCLAIMER: This book was sent to me complimentary of Blogging For Books in exchange for my honest review!*