Review: “The Life and Love of Cats” by Lewis Blackwell

Review: “The Life and Love of Cats” by Lewis Blackwell

Today, we are reviewing a pawsome book titled “The Life and Love of Cats” by Lewis Blackwell.

Human, please focus your camera on both me AND the book

Human, please focus your camera on both me AND the book

Let's take the picture on the couch

Let’s take the picture on the couch

Can't you focus on BOTH of us?

Can’t you focus on BOTH of us?

I say “we” because Kitshka and I really wanted to do the review ourselves…

…but we’ve agreed to let the human write it because although it is a book about us kitties, the author says it is a book for cat worshipers lovers. Here is a short presentation by the publisher:

Photographer Lewis Blackwell takes readers on the ultimate cat lover’s journey in The Life and Love of Cats, providing a unique perspective on one of our closest companions. Starting with the earliest records of domestic cats nine thousands years ago in Africa and the Mediterranean, Blackwell celebrates and explores the joy of cats in our lives, searching for the essence of our connection with them. Supporting the text is his presentation of a unique range of images shot by leading animal photographers from around the world.

So, without further ado… here is my human’s review.

Thank you, Texas.

I must start by saying that I am quite the cat lover, and anything with a cat on it gets my attention. When I first saw the cover of this book, as well as its title, I was intrigued.

The Life and Love of Cats. The title alone seems to sum up the intention of its author, Lewis Blackwell, and the goal of each of us cat lovers: witnessing and understanding the life of the feline companions we, cat lovers, cherish. Can we ever get an accurate understanding of our cats? That’s the leitmotiv of the book. The author asks the question as if putting a watermark on the pictures… and seems to have his doubts.

Don’t get him wrong: this is not that cats act beyond coherent. Mystery is part of their charm and why we love them so much. Unlike dogs, cats can hardly be trained or expected to act predictably. They seem to see things we don’t, they seem to be deep in thoughts… but are they even thinking, the author wonders? Aren’t we just projecting our way of operating and living on them? Maybe. Probably, in many ways. True, cat blogs and sites filled with cat memes are mixing human traits with human interpretations of feline behavior (I almost felt like writing cattitude, which would only confirm the author’s point). I see it more as a desire to understand them though, as well as to put them on a pedestal: they make our lives so much better, they deserve the glory… the worship?

The book is definitely a book for cat lovers. Blackwell takes us on a journey to discover what made this beautiful animal the emblem of mystery it has become: from being worshiped to being reviled. Humans may have a hard time understanding cats, but they are responsible for many of the attributes they are given today: from the legendary mystery to, sadly, the irrational (my choice of word) curses.

The book is divided into nine chapters, like the nine lives of cats: Evolution; Domestic; Wild; Sense; Breeds; Cute; Healing; Black; Eternal. The text is not all: 117 gorgeous photographs of cats of all sorts make it an art book that any cat lover will be proud to own. The pictures are beautiful. They are also punctuated, as is the text, with quotes and sayings about cats.

What seems to clearly transpire from reading this book is that its author admires cats and is yearning to understand them more than we can. Or is he? Part of the mystery cats will probably long keep makes a good part of their charm: half domestic, half wild, this is that “otherness” mentioned in the book that we admire.

To quote the author,

this is a book for people who love cats. Unashamedly, victoriously, and wonderfully so!

I think this quote sums up the book pretty well. I would bet that many cat lovers who will put their paws hands on this book will want to have it in their collection. This book is a beautiful gift for a cat lover. It is also a beautiful tribute to cats.

The Life and Love of Cats
By Lewis Blackwell
Abrams Books
ISBN: 1-4197-0404-4
Publishing Date: 10/1/2012
Trim Size: 12 x 12
Page Count: 216
Cover: Hardcover with jacket
Illustrations: 117 color photographs

Click here to go to the Publisher’s website. Click here to go to Amazon.

Thank you, human. And I would like to add that despite Mr. Blackwell saying that he has “yet to meet a cat who is interested in reading,” Kitshka and I enjoyed his book. Okay, maybe not in the human way of enjoying a book. But we enjoyed it anyway.

[click on any picture to biggify]

Has any of you seen/read this book? What were your thoughts about it?

We want to thank Abrams Books for sending us a review copy of “The Life and Love of Cats.” Receiving the copy did not influence our review.

Dear Sparkle – Cat-to-Cat Advice from the world’s foremost feline columnist: A review

A little less than a month ago, I pawticipated in my first ever Twitter pawty. It was organized by Baby Patches of Nip and Bones and the beautiful Sparkle. It was a virtual book signing pawty for Sparkle’s book!

I was very excited and liked every minute of it. The beautiful Sparkle answered questions and pawtographed books like a pro. Of course, being a kitty, she is a pro!

The pawty ended with the olive on the tuna cake when I was first to answer the question asked to win a pawtographed copy! Look at the beauty on the right! (click for a bigger version)

“Dear Sparkle: Cat-to-Cat Advice from the World’s Foremost Feline Columnist” is a must-have for any feline, my furriends, and for many reasons.

The book is full of colored pictures of the beautiful Sparkle, and this only is a reason to own it. But the book is so much more.

Sparkle has collected letters from kitties from around the world that sent her their questions about kitty issues that you and I may well have encountered: from toys and games to dealing with strange human habits to litter box issues. Sparkle answers with wits, humor and charm (is there anything more charming than a Ladycat with repartie?).

I liked that the book was divided into sections related to different kinds of issues. I also absolutely loved the little “Sparkle Says” tidbits of wisdom here and there.

The book reads well and you can either read it from cover to cover, or pick and choose a letter and Sparkle’s answer. Even if you don’t have the issue mentioned in the letter, there is always something to learn from the expert. What better expert can you ask for as a kitty than a kitty? This book has been written by a kitty and you can clearly see it.

Open-minded humans will read this book and take it as a way to better understand their master kitty friend.

Conclusion: we give it four paws!

I mentioned above that I answered a question to win the book. It was about her next book, and it is going to be about cat rules for humans. I am eagerly waiting for this book and Kitshka and I have started applying rule #882, as you can see below (we were on the human’s hubby’s chair).

THANK YOU Sparkle, for this great book!
Furriends, Christmas is coming, this could be added to your list to Santa Paws ;-)