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Book Review of A Cat Is Watching: A Look at the Way Cats See Us

A Cat Is Watching: A Look at the Way Cats See Us
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n a cat's view, contends Caras ( A Celebration of Cats ), we have neither fur nor feathers; our skin tone registers as rather gray; and our everyday voices and movements prove far from diverting. Given the dullness apparently inherent in humans, it's a wonder cats haven't turned to another species for the gratification of their "obvious desire to be the ultimate hedonistic materialist." How, then, have we managed to occupy the feline attention for 4000 years? Caras, a wildlife reporter for ABC and the proud owner of 10 cats, seeks the answer to this question in fascinating detail. Among the facts he unearths: cats like snuggling up to our faces and necks because the sound of the carotid artery pumping blood comforts them. But paradoxically, Caras points out, the neck "is one of the places a cat would be likely to bite you if you were mouse-sized and it was hungry. Not wanting to bite you there as expressed by cuddling up and listening to the target may be a way of expressing friendship, and the human partner in the exercise may in fact be inadvertently expressing a measure of submission."