Dr. Teed began to write this book because she felt a book like this was missing from the bookshelves of cat owners and lovers. It became a labour of love with each page written as she realized she could impact so many cat lives and hopefully prevent preventable disease, behavioural issues and euthanasia. With humour, candor and intelligence, Dr. Teed not only provides insight into modern day feline health and welfare issues, but describes how the experiences of the cat are mirrored in our own lives.
Dr. Teed explores the body-mind-soul connection and notes what feeds the mind is often deficient in the modern world we have constructed for ourselves and our cats. These deficiencies then become written on the body. She feels a more integrated approach to care of our felines is what is needed now for the modern cat. Through personal stories of lessons learned over her years as a veterinarian in feline practice and as an overall cat lover, Dr. Teed calls the cat the ultimate success story and through careful study has found the secrets to his success. She has observed first hand time and time again the positive power of the cat to affect change in small sprees and reflects what an amazing thing it would be if we were all a bit more cat-like. In her words, every household can benefit from a cat.
My first pet was a cat named Holiday (she was born on the 4th of July). My family currently have five cats: Isabella, Panda (b&w), the twins - WiFi and Modem (named for where they liked to sleep when they were kittens) and Gracie.
To me, cats have always seemed more aloof than, say, dogs. A dog can be trained to follow commands. Tell a cat to sit and s/he's likely to give you that, "Are you kidding me," look.
For example, while I was reading the book, I called Gracie's name once. She actually looked up at me. Then I showed her the book and told her what I was reading and why I was reading it. She had already gone back to her grooming ritual.
I would say it takes a person with exceptional insight and patience to decode and learn the secret language of cats. Fortunately, for us and for cat-kind everywhere, Dr. Teed took that time and cared enough to pass along the information to the public.
There is a strong advocacy for proper health care of your cat(s). Taking on a pet is like adopting a new family member. Medical emergencies and suffering can be alleviated through preventative care, which is also more cost-effective than the former. Who wants to be faced with the realization that they do not have enough money to get their furry family member a needed medicine or procedure?
Give me just a moment to come down off my soap-box and we'll move on to other facets of the book.
Dr. Teed gets into the different 'meows' a cat will make and what they mean, even going so far as to list human spellings of various cat pronunciations. To me, that seems to be going a little farther than necessary, but I haven't spent my life in the care and feeding of my cats and the cats of others. I understand her fascination with all things cat. And I'm grateful she has that, because after reading her book, I feel I understand my cats a little better now.
Nonetheless, I did enjoy this book and feel I learned quite a bit. Dr. Teed is both entertaining and educational in her presentation. If you like cats, this book really should be on your TBR (to-be-read) list.
And I will say this:
While reading "Learning the Secret Language of Cats", my feline family paid me a lot more attention. Maybe they were rewarding my attempts to foster more understanding with their presence. More than at any time previously or since, I would sit and read this book and a cat would climb onto my chest to be part of the action. It was not way out of the ordinary to try to read with a cat on my chest, one or more in my lap and one or more on the arms or back of the recliner.
What higher praise for Dr. Teed's work.
Dr. Carol Teed graduated from the Atlantic Veterinary College in 1990. She spent most of her career in feline specialty practice where she became fluent in the mysterious language of cats. While observing cats through their accelerated life cycle, she became fascinated by their ability to bring positive change to the lives of those they interact with. She currently lives in rural Niagara, Ontario, Canada with her husband, four children, two dogs and three cats. She is working on her second book and always has a cat on her lap and two looking over her shoulder.
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(Disclosure: I received a print copy of this book from the author and publisher via iRead Book Tours in exchange for my honest and unbiased review.)