Books

Book review: Grey Zone by Clea Simon

I had eagerly anticipated the release of Grey Zone, the third in Clea Simon’s Dulcie Schwartz feline mystery series.  The book’s official release date is April 1, and even though I have a pile of unread books a mile high, I just couldn’t wait that long, and ordered it on Amazon as soon as it became available. 

Harvard graduate student Dulcie Schwartz is hard at work on her thesis, which focuses on a 200-year-old Gothic mystery.  Mr. Grey, the spirit of her beloved feline, who offered wise advice and comfort to Dulcie in the past, has been increasingly silent.  Dulcie could really use his help with Esme, her mischievous and sometimes destructive kitten.  And on top of everything, her boyfriend is working all the time, and never seems to be available when Dulcie needs him.  When a student goes missing and a professor ends up dead, Dulcie finds herself drawn deeper and deeper into an increasingly complicated tangle of possible suspects, motives, and maybe even murder.

This exceptionally plotted story sweeps the reader along with Dulcie as she tries to unravel the mystery.  Will Mr. Grey help her, as he did in the past?  What about Esme?  Will the kitten play a part in solving they mystery?  You’ll have to read the book to find out.

I thoroughly enjoyed this book not just for the story, but also for the main characters and the setting.  Simon excels in developing her characters, and Dulcie is no exception.  Simon’s skills in writing appealing characters extend to the cats as well.  Even though Mr. Grey is a ghost cat, he feels real, and many readers will be able to relate to the feeling of connection with lost pets that extends beyond the realm of the physical.  She perfectly captures the antics of a growing kitten, and the slow process of a new kitten making her way into the heart of someone who’s lost a beloved cat.   The relationship between Dulcie and her boyfriend keeps changing and growing as well.   The story is set in Cambridge in the middle of winter, and Simon sets the scene so well that I found myself shivering at times.

All of these components make this book a wonderful read for cat lovers, mystery lovers, and lovers of a great story.  Don’t miss this one.

Clea Simon is the author of the Dulcie Schwartz and Theda Krakow mysteries and the nonfiction The Feline Mystique – On the Mysterious Connection Between Cats and Their Women as well as several other nonfiction books.  For more information about Clea, please visit her website or her blog.

Coming next week on The Conscious Cat: a review of Dogs Don’t Lie, the first in Clea Simon’s new Pet Noir series. And coming in two weeks: Clea Simon talks to The Conscious Cat about writing murder mysteries featuring cats.

You may also enjoy reading:

Book Review:  Shades of Grey by Clea Simon

Book Review:  Grey Matters by Clea Simon

Book Review:  The Theda Krakow Series by Clea Simon

Book Review and Giveaway: First Person Cat by Jacque Heebner

When I came across First Person Cat, I was immediately intrigued.  A murder mystery featuring a tortoiseshell cat – I had to read this one! 

Tiffany, a tortoiseshell Persian is living the good life in Beverly Hills, CA when her human mother, a former rock star, is found murdered in her home.  Even though Tiffany didn’t witness the murder, she is sure she knows who killed her mother.  Highly intuitive and with an uncanny (or maybe catty?) ability to read minds, Tiffany wants to make sure the right person is caught and justice prevails.  As the murder investigation progresses, she charms a handsome detective on the Beverly Hills police force, who just happens to be a cat lover.  As the story unfolds, Tiffany uses every feline wile at her disposal to direct the detective’s attention toward the person she believes killed her mother.  In the process of her feline sleuthing, she even manages to prevent a second murder.

As the title suggests, the book is written from Tiffany’s perspective.  Set in glitzy Beverly Hills, and filled with plenty of designer name dropping (the cat on the book’s cover is wearing a David Webb diamond necklace), the book is highly engaging, and you’ll find yourself cheering Tiffany on as she attempts to communicate what she knows to the sometimes frustratingly (for her) slow humans.   

The author’s celebrity friends readily endorsed the book:

“Tiffany the cat is a cute and very enjoyable read . I love cat Tiffany and her point of view with humans and their flaws” – Lou and Carla Ferrigno, actors and body builders

“The beautiful Beverly Hills Tiffany, Tiff to select few, will guide you through a most fascinating, page flipping murder mystery. It deals with the rich, the conniving, the rock and film stars, the devious and then ever clever detectives. However, none is more clever than the magnificent Tiffany in solving the crime, with its intriguing cast of celebratory characters. By the way, Tiffany is a hot tortoise-shell Persian Cat!” – Tippi Hedren, actress and founder of Shambala Preserves for Big Cats & Exotic Animals

I enjoyed this book, especially the passages when Tiffany is trying to communicate with the humans around her.  Heebner’s love for and knowledge of cats comes through loud and clear.  The book leaves a little to be desired when it comes to human character development, but this is more than made up for by Tiffany’s endearing personality.  A delightful, entertaining read.

I requested this book from the author’s publicist.

Jacque Heebner is a former Daily News journalist, animal rights activist, and owner of Jacque Designs Presents.  For more about Jacque and First Person Cat, please visit her website.

 
   

I’m offering one copy of this book for one lucky winner.  To enter the drawing, leave a comment here.  For an additional chance to win, share this giveaway on Facebook and/or Twitter and post the link in a separate comment.  This giveaway ends Friday, March 18.

 

Why I love cozy mysteries (with or without cats)

I love reading cozy mysteries.  They usually feature a strong, intelligent female amateur sleuth with an interesting profession.  The lead characters range from coffee shop owner to dog trainer, florist to quilter, librarian to homemaker.  They’re frequently set in small towns, and feature a cast of sometimes quirky secondary characters.   Somehow, they get involved with a murder investigation, and frequently, local law enforcement either does not take the amateur sleuth’s efforts to help solve the crime very seriously, or is looking at the wrong perpetrator.  Cozies are fun, easy reads that engage the while providing entertainment.  I particularly enjoy cozies that are part of a series, especially since for me, the setting and characters are almost more important than the actual murder mystery.  I love being able to meet the same cast of characters again and again.  It’s a little like spending time with old friends.  

Many of these cozies feature cats, and of course, they are my favorites.  I’ve reviewed a number of them by various authors here on The Conscious Cat, and I previously introduced you to Lorna Barrett, the author of the Booktown mystery series featuring Miss Marple, the (sometimes sleuthing)cat. 

When Lorraine Bartlett (Lorna’s real name) asked me to review A Crafty Killing, the first in her Victoria Square Mystery series, I jumped at the chance. Even though the two cats featured in  A Crafty Killing are not a large part of the book, one of the cats plays a crucial role when it comes to resolving the story, so I decided that that was enough to qualify it as a “cat mystery.”  And besides, I loved the book, so I wanted to share it with you. 

The book features Katie Bonner, a young widow.  When Ezra, her decesased husband’s business partner, is found murdered, Katie finds out, much to her surprise, that his will designates her as executor of his estate.  She takes on managing Artisan Alley, a collection of booths for artisans and crafters located in a renovated apple warehouse in Western New York.  When she begins to dig into the business records, she finds that Artisan Alley is in dire financial straits.  As Katie attempts to revive the failing business, she also becomes involved in investigating Ezra’s death – and begins to wonder whether perhaps her husband’s death was not an accident, as it was ruled. 

A fast moving plot, a likeable heroine, well-developed secondary characters, a wonderful sense of place, and a fascinating look into some really unique crafts make this a thoroughly enjoyable read.  And even though the two cats only make cameo appearances, they still added to my enjoyment of a delightful cozy.  I’m already looking forward to the next one in the series.

I received an ARC copy of this book from the author.

An Interview with Blaize Clement, Author of Cat Sitter Among the Pidgeons

Blaize Clement is the author of Curiosity Killed the Cat Sitter, Duplicity Dogged the DachshundCat Sitter on a Hot Tin Roof, Even Cat Sitters Get the Blues, and Raining Cat Sitters and Dogs.  The latest book in the series, Cat Sitter Among the Pigeons, was released on January 4, 2011.  Blaize has been a stay at home mom, dressmaker, caterer, family therapist, and writer, some of them all at the same time. She has never been a pet sitter, but has shared her home with dogs, cats, birds, fish, and neurotic gerbils. No snakes. She has a thing about snakes. She has written several parenting books, numerous essays and short stories and a play.  Blaize lives in Sarasota, Florida.

I’m delighted to welcome Blaize to The Conscious Cat today.

How did you first come up with the idea for the Dixie Hemingway series?

Actually, I never thought, “I believe I’ll write a mystery series,” it just sort of happened. I lead a workshop every week in which we grab a word and write like crazy for five minutes without any plan. I don’t remember what the word was, but in one of those writing bursts I ended up with scene in which a man drowned in a cat’s water bowl. That became the start of Curiosity Killed the Cat Sitter, which was the first book in the series.

How much of yourself is in Dixie’s character?

Friends tell me that Dixie’s smart-alecky mouth is exactly like mine, but I’m sure they exaggerate. I do agree that she and I share a deep feeling about the importance of family and loyalty. We also share an appreciation for the differences between people’s races, religions, and sexual orientations. We both pretty much think the world would be a better place if people just minded their own business and respected one another.

I was first drawn to your books by the adorable covers.  Anything with a cat on it will always get my attention!  How important are covers to the success of cozy mysteries like yours?

I think cover art is important to the sales of any book. I’ve liked all the Dixie covers, but my favorite was the very first one on the hardback edition. That book shot up to the best-seller list as soon as it came out, and I think the cover had a lot to do with it.

What does a typical day of writing look like for you?

I usually start writing around ten in the morning, break for a quick lunch, and write until around four or five. During that time, of course, I may leave the computer to stir the soup or throw a load of laundry in the dryer, but mostly I’m writing. After I’m in bed, I think of ideas to insert into what I wrote during the day. I used to scribble those ideas on a post-it and stick it to my bedside table, but now I send it to myself on my laptop which is never away from my side. But I don’t do much actual writing at night because my brain is too tired. In the morning, I write in a journal before I get up. If I’m having plot problems, I may work then out in the journal and then take those ideas with me when I start on the manuscript again.

What do you love most about being a writer?

The writing. If I go a day without writing, I get antsy and weird. I’m sort of hard-wired to write. Part of my love of writing is a love of words. I can get gob-smacked over a new word that I’d never heard before, just awe-struck like other people get at seeing a rock star. I love sentences, too. Sometimes I read a book over and over just because I’m in love with the way the sentences march along in a wonderful rhythm.

What do you like least about being a writer?

The necessity of self-promotion. I don’t do that well, and half the time I forget that I’m supposed to be doing it at all. Some people are great at it, and I envy their talent. They blog and twitter and facebook and do virtual tours and send out cards and trailers, and I’m just amazed that they have the energy and know-how to do all that.

Who or what inspires you?

I’m inspired by writers like the poet David Whyte who are able to send word-arrows straight to the heart. I’m also inspired by philosophers and thinkers who rise above the petty, silly things we waste time with and remind us of what’s really important in life, like love and friendship and home. Some of those are contemporary and some have been around for centuries. When I’m writing, I always read some Greek classic, one of the tragedies or comedies, before I go to sleep at night. I want the largeness of those ideas to seep into my mind. I usually manage to slip a line from one of those classics into each Dixie story. It’s a little way of acknowledging those great minds and thanking them.

What is one of the most memorable experiences you’ve had at a book signing or event?

A young couple drove several hundred miles to bring me a framed plaque titled “The Official Dixie Hemingway Fan Club.” The plaque had photos of all their pets with their names and titles of President, VP, Secretary, etc, of the club. I was so touched that they’d gone to so much time and trouble to do that! The plaque hangs in my office and gives me a lift every time I look at it.

Tell us a little bit about your own pets.

My last pet was a beautiful Abyssinian who warmed my feet at night. At the moment, I have a grand-dog named Zoey. Zoey is two years old, and quite a character.

What are you reading at the moment?

I’m reading a lovely new book by Bonnie Pemberton, a fellow member of Cat Writers of America. It’s titled The Cat Master, and is about the gulf between the Ferals and the Indoors. I’m not very far into it, but it promises to be a cat-hair raising adventure.

Are you working on another book?

I just finished the seventh book in the Dixie Hemingway series. I don’t know what the title will be, but it’s about the killing competition in the world of high fashion.

Thank you so much for your time, Blaize and much success with Cat Sitter Among the Pigeons!

You’re welcome, Ingrid! Thanks for inviting me.

You can learn more about Blaize and her book on her website and her blog Kitty Litter.

You may also enjoy:

My review of Cat Sitter Among the Pidgeons

Book Review: Cat Sitter Among the Pidgeons by Blaize Clement

I first discovered Blaize Clement’s Dixie Hemingway series three years ago when the cover of the first book in the series, Curiosity Killed the Cat Sitter, caught my eye.  Dixie Hemingway is a pet sitter who lives on one of the Florida keys – just based on those two pieces of information, I had a feeling I was going to thoroughly enjoy the series, and I wasn’t disappointed.  I’ve since read the entire series, and I was eagerly awaiting the next book.  Even if I wasn’t already a fan, the cover of this one would have drawn me in for sure!

From the publisher:

In the sixth installment of the wildly popular Dixie Hemingway mystery series, Dixie is caring for the cat of a prickly old man whose granddaughter shows up with baby in tow.  Dixie desperately tries to save this young woman and her infant from murderous con-artists ready to kill in order to hold on to the millions they stole from naive investors.  The villains, though, are not run-of-the-mill criminals; they are among the socially prominent movers and shakers in Dixie’s town.  As with other novels in the series, in the end, Dixie must confront her greatest fears and try to save the lives of the innocent, both two-legged and four.

This book has everything that makes a successful cozy mystery:  an immensely likable protagonist, a wonderful setting (especially when you’re reading it in the middle of winter), well-developed secondary characters, and, of course, there are plenty of cats. 

For me, the most enjoyable part about reading a series is always the development of the main character, and Clement does this masterfully, but the book can also be read on its own without taking anything away from it.  However, be forewarned:  once you read this one, you’re going to want to read the entire series.

This is a thoroughly enjoyable read for mystery and cat lovers alike.  The only complaint I had about it was that it ended much too quickly, and I can’t wait for the next one.

Blaize Clement is the author of Curiosity Killed the Cat Sitter, Duplicity Dogged the DachshundCat Sitter on a Hot Tin Roof, Even Cat Sitters Get the Blues, and Raining Cat Sitters and Dogs.  Blaize has been a stay at home mom, dressmaker, caterer, family therapist, and writer, some of them all at the same time. She has never been a pet sitter, but has shared her home with dogs, cats, birds, fish, and neurotic gerbils. No snakes. She has a thing about snakes. She has written several parenting books, numerous essays and short stories and a play.  Blaize lives in Sarasota, Florida.

Look for an interview with Blaize Clement here on
The Conscious Cat on Wednesday, January 7!

I received a review copy of this book from the author.

My 10 favorite cat books of 2010

 

Reading is as essential as breathing to me.  I usually have at least two or three different books going, and at least one of them will have something to do with cats.  I’ll read anything from books about cat health to stories about cats who changed their owner’s life to murder mysteries featuring cats.

Here are ten of my favorites from this year, in no particular order:

  • Grey Matters by Clea Simon is a cat-themed murder mystery and the second in a series featuring Harvard grad student Dulcie Schwartz and the ghost of Mr. Grey, her beloved deceased cat, who offers his wise and comforting, but often veiled and cryptic advice.  While the premise of a ghost cat may sound like a bit of a stretch for many readers, Simon makes this work by combining it with immensely likeable and multi-dimensional characters, exceptional plotting, and a fascinating academic setting.  I’m a huge fan of all of Simon’s books, and she just keeps getting better.
  • Your Cat – Simple New Secrets to a Longer, Stronger Life by Elizabeth M. Hodgkins, D.V.M., Esq.  is a comprehensive guide to feline health and nutrition.  From kitten through adult life to the senior years, Dr. Hodgkins explores the full spectrum of cat care, and offers a closer look at the common chronic diseases that afflict so many cats.  Hodgkins believes that the underlying cause for many of these diseases, as well as the key to managing or even curing them, is nutrition.  I loved this book because it approaches feline nutrition from a perspective that makes sense to me.
  • The Confessions of a Catnip Junkie by Alan Goldstein is one of the most unique cat books I’ve ever come across.  As much as I love cat books, I never expected to find one I actually couldn’t put down until this one.   Written from the perspective of an orange long-haired cat named DooDoo, this is the account of how a sudden impulse sends the self-confessed catnip addict into the wilds of San Francisco and beyond, and his subsequent six thousand mile, year-long journey across America, trying to find his way home again.  Along the way he encounters a subway cat named Rass who becomes his new best friend, helps a homeless drunk find his way home, a minor league baseball player and a small town TV reporter find the big time, and a widowed pilot find peace.
  • Complete Care for Your Aging Cat by Amy Shojai.  I have a soft spot for senior cats, and I was thrilled when I came across the newly released and updated edition of this book.  This comprehensive guide on caring for senior cats is a must have for any cat owner’s cat care library, and the “golden moments” stories from real life cat owners caring for senior cats are heart touching.
  • The Cat, the Professor and the Poison by Leann Sweeney is the second mystery in the author’s Cats in Trouble series featuring amateur sleuth and quilt maker Jillian Hart and her three cats, Merlot, Chablis and Syrah.  I loved that this book was not just a highly entertaining and fun mystery, but is also interspersed with plenty of fascinating facts about cats.
  • Houdini by T.J. Banks is the story of Siamese kitten who goes from the despair of being abandoned to the joy of finding happiness when he meets a young girl who smuggles him home on a plane.  I was touched by the author’s deep connection with the feline soul that comes through in every word.  It melted my heart over and over again.
  • Dear Sparkle – Cat to Cat Advice from the World’s Foremost Feline Columnist edited by Janiss Garza is a beautifully designed and unique cat care book that provides solid information from a cat’s point of view on the various problems Sparkle is asked to address by fellow cats.  Presented in a humorous fashion, it gives the reader insight into how cats think and provides a fresh new look at some of the same old problems.
  • Cleo:  The Cat Who Mended a Family by Helen Brown is a sweeping memoir of heartbreak, changes, new beginnings, and ultimately, happiness.   When Brown is faced with the unthinkable – the loss of a child – this small black cat becomes the thread that holds Brown’s family together through devastating grief, illness, moves across continents, and other challenges.   This one goes on my list of best cat books ever, right along with such classics as A Snowflake in My Hands and The Cat Who Came for Christmas.
  • The Complete Guide to Holistic Cat Care:  An Illustrated Handbook by Celeste Yarnall and Jean Hofve, DVM is a beautifully designed guide for cat owners interested in natural remedies such as herbs, homeopathy and flower essences, hand-on healing modalities including chiropractic, acupuncture and Reiki, as well as some more esoteric therapies such as Applied Kinesiology, crystal, color and sound healing, and magnetic therapy.  The photographs in this book are stunning.
  • The Blessings of the Animals by Katrina Kittle is not strictly a cat book, but since it features a very cool, cranky, but ultimately loving three-legged one whose life was saved by the protagonist, and since I loved this book so much, I’m including it in this list.  Blessings is a beautifully written and plotted relationship drama featuring a veterinarian who finds solace and healing from her animals as she deals with some of life’s challenges.

What are some of your favorite cat books of the year?

Book Review: The Zen of Max by Lou Belcher

I love reading books about cats who have changed their human’s life, and I had looked forward to reading The Zen of Max:  (a memoir of great wisdom and many naps).  It probably wasn’t coincidence that I ended up reading it on the second anniversary of Buckley’s passing

I’m well aware how much a cat can change your life when you least expect it, and I thoroughly enjoyed reading Lou Belcher’s memoir about the sixteen years she shared with Max.  Max was by Lou’s side through happy moments and sad ones, through challenges and loss, and along the way, he taught her a few things about life.    The bond between Max and the author comes through in every word, and you will smile as you think about the bond with your own cats, both past and present. 

The entire book touches the heart, but one of the most moving passages for me was when the author moves to Florida to be closer to her ailing mother.  Max provides support and comfort not only to Lou as she deals with the logistical and emotional challenges of her mother’s declining health, but he also works his cat magic on Lou’s mother.  I loved reading about how this usually somewhat clumsy cat was able to manage his energy and be gentle around a fragile, older woman.

This is the kind of book that you will want to savor as you follow Max and Lou’s journey, and you’ll find yourself chuckling at some of the lessons, and reflecting on others.  Highly recommended for all cat lovers.

And if you’re looking for a purrfect last minute gift for a cat lover on your list, Amazon can still get this book to you or the recipient in time for Christmas! 

Lou Belcher was Max’s food human, assistant, staff person, or human bean, depending on your orientation to such things. She took Max into her home and her heart when he was almost two years and freely admits she learned many valuable lessons from him about love and life. Lou is a freelance writer, editor, and blogger. She devotes time to supporting artists and writers through two of her blogs; and she supports animal adoption efforts through the blog she set up for Max. A portion of the proceeds from this book will go to agencies devoted to finding forever homes for pets.

This book was sent to me by the author.

Book Review and Giveaway: Complete Care for Your Aging Cat by Amy Shojai

Cats are living longer than ever before. More cats are being kept exclusively indoors, thus avoiding many of the health risks encountered by outdoor cats. More and more cat owners are understanding the importance of a healthy, species-appropriate diet as a foundation for good health. Advances in veterinary medicine now allow cat owners to pursue sophisticated treatments for diseases that would have been a death sentence in the past. But older cats (most commonly defined as cats age seven and older) have special needs when it comes to maintaining their health.

Amy Shojai’s Complete Care for Your Aging Cat was first published in 2003 and quickly became the “old cat bible.” However, seven years is a long time when you’re talking about health related topics. This newly released edition has been updated to reflect changes in veterinary medicine and includes a wealth of resources about treatment options, products and research, complete with links to websites when appropriate. The e-book version of the book includes hotlinks to relevant information.

This book is an invaluable resource for cat owners. Shojai covers basic information on how age affects your cat’s body in great detail. She explains how to look for changes that might signal health problems in older cats (for an excerpt, read Amy’s guest post Caring for Your Older Cat).  She discusses home nursing care to help older cats through various health issues, and presents advanced care options and how to make informed choices, including a section on making end of life decisions which is presented with great sensitivity, yet covers all the facts a cat owner needs to know when faced with this difficult choice.

The most valuable section of the book is the extensive and comprehensive listing of feline health conditions, ranging from arthritis to heart disease to kidney failures. Each section provides information on symptoms, reducing risk, and treatment options. I read a lot of cat health books,and I have yet to find another one that is as well organized and easy to use as a reference guide as this one.

But it’s not all hard facts and information. Each section of the book contains a “Golden Moments” segment, which contains heartwarming stories of real cat owners who share their lives with older cats and are continuing to enjoy life while dealing with typical issues common for senior cats. These touching, and often inspirational stories make this book more than just a reference guide.

I loved almost everything about this book. The one area that didn’t resonate with me was the author’s take on nutrition.  Pet nutrition is a controversial subject.  While the material is as well-researched and well-documented as the rest of the book, Shojai’s recommendations focus on senior diets and prescription diets.  I’ve written extensively about feline nutrition and won’t belabor the issue here.  You can read more about why I don’t believe these diets are the best choice for cats of any age here.

Even though I disagree with the author’s recommendations in this one area, I nevetheless highly recommend this book to all  cat owners, regardless of how old your cat may be.   This is a must read for anyone who wants to keep their cats happy and healthy well into their golden years.

Amy Shojai has generously offered to give away one copy of this book to one lucky winner.  If you’d like a chance to win the book, please share your story of your senior cat, or a friend’s senior cat in a comment.  The contest will run until Friday, December 10.  Share the contest on Facebook and Twitter and include the link in a separate comment for an extra chance to win.  Winners will be able to choose between an autographed hard copy of the book, or an e-book.

Amy Shojai is a nationally known authority on pet care and behavior, and the award-winning author of nearly two dozen nonfiction pet books, including Complete Kitten Care and Complete Care for Your Aging Dog.  She can be reached at her website http://www.shojai.com

Book Review: Natural Nutrition for Cats by Kymythy R. Schultze

Natural Nutrition for Cats: The Path to Purrfect Health by Kymythy R. Schultze, C.N., C.N.C, is a comprehensive guide to species appropriate nutrition for cats.  Schultze, a Clinical Nutritionist and Certified Nutritional Consultant, shares her extensive knowledge of proper nutrition and points out why most commercial pet foods may not be the best way to feed our cats.

The book covers the basics of cats’ nutritional needs in great detail.  Cats are obligate carnivores and need protein to thrive, but they also need fat, minerals, vitamins and water.  What they don’t need is carbohydrates, and Schultze explains why grains in a feline diet can cause many of the degnerative diseases we see in cats, such as diabetes, kidney disease, and even cancer.   She looks at how commercial pet foods are formulated and manufactured – information that is not for the faint of heart.  It may be quite surprising to many what actually goes into these foods. 

Schultze is a raw-food proponent; like many others, she believes that cooking, and especially the high heat used to produce commercial pet foods, destroys vital nutrients.  She cites the Pottenger’s Cats study as one example of how cats on a raw diet tend to thrive when compared to cats who are fed processed foods.  She provides step-by-step instructions on how to transition cats to a raw diet, and offers a variety of recipes for those inclined to make their own food.

This book is a must-read for anyone interested in improving their cats’ health through nutrition.  Even if you don’t think raw feeding is for you, the book still provides valuable insight into what makes our feline friends tick when it comes to nutrition. 

For a thought-provoking extract from the book, read Feline Nutrition – Who Bears the Responsibilty

You may also enjoy reading Feeding Raw Food  – Separating Myth from Fact, and The Truth About Dry Cat Food.

Three delightful books for pet lovers – and a giveaway

Today I’m featuring three delightful books for both cat and dog lovers.  Every one of these books will make a wonderful holiday gift for the pet lovers on your list. 

Life with Maxie by celebrated radio host Diane Rehm is a sweet little book that will warm the heart of any pet lover. Maxie, a long-haired Chihuahua, hit the jackpot when Diane Rehm took the then 12-week-old pup home. Maxie’s life with Rehm is a dog’s version of paradise, but little did the author know that her life would also be forever changed by this delightful, albeit sometimes stubborn dog with some behavior challenges.   Rehm sums up the transformative power of her little dog in a final chapter that brought tears to my eyes. A delightful read, and a wonderful gift, for all animal lovers.

A Golfer’s Tail:  The Quest for the Double Slam by Roscoe Watkins is a fanciful and fun tale for cat lovers and golf lovers alike.  From the publisher:  Feline golf aficionados have long known of the exploits of Roscoe Watkins, widely considered to be the greatest all-species golfer of them all. This recently discovered lost manuscript chronicles Roscoe’s most memorable year, 1998, and is now available for the human servant audience. In that fabled year, Roscoe accepted the challenge of a brash young rival, Ichiro Nakamura, and began his quest for the Double Slam. The Double Slam would require winning all of the major championships on both the regular and senior feline golf tours. In making the Quest, Roscoe, with his faithful caddie and sister Maggie at his side, had to deal not only with the formidable challenge of Nakamura, but other champions, including Cyril (“Lord Sandtrap”) Bunker, Bruno Mauser, Murph McFurrson, and senior legends Scratch McNabb and Old Tom Norris. Follow Roscoe’s Quest and also learn the true secret of the game.

Dog Sayings:  Wit and Wisdom from Man’s Best Friend by Bradford G. Wheler is a collection of dog art and quotes celebrating dogs in all of their glory.  And despite the title, the book also has a chapter dedicated to cats, which speaks to the generous nature of the author, since most of the cat quotations refer to cats’ innate superiority to their lesser dog friends (which should not come as a surprise to readers of this site).  The wide variety of different illustrations ranging from photographs to watercolors to drawings to oil paintings make this book a visual delight for pet lovers.

I’m offering each of the three books as a giveaway for one lucky winner.   Leave a comment letting me know which book you’d like to win, and why.  Share the giveaway on Facebook or Twitter and leave the link in a separate comment for an extra chance to win.  This giveaway ends Friday, November 26.

I received A Golfer’s Tail from the author, and Dog Sayings from the publisher.