Sam Leith

Pussies Galore

Cat Sense: The Feline Enigma Revealed

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Allen Lane/The Penguin Press 306pp £20 order from our bookshop

The Big New Yorker Book of Cats

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William Heinemann 329pp £30 order from our bookshop

Feline enigma? You betcha. Every cat owner is kept guessing. Why does she insist on drinking from the water glass by my bed rather than her own bowl? How does she know to disappear when she’s due a visit to the vet? Did that fun-size bit of offal on my pillow belong to a mouse or a shrew? Where’s that smell of pee coming from? If John Bradshaw’s new book doesn’t entirely penetrate the feline mystery – it has nothing to say on the last two matters, for instance – it does at least shine a beam of light on the question of what is going on in those furry little heads. Not all that much is often the answer. 

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