"From the majestic Bengal tiger to the domesticated Siamese comes a meditation on cats from the bestselling author of _The Hidden Life of Dogs_ and _The Social Lives of Dogs_.
From as far back in time as the disappearance of the dinosaurs, cats have occupied an important place in our evolutionary, social, and cultural history. The family of the cat is as diverse as it is widespread, ranging from the lions, tigers, and pumas of the African and Asian wilds to the domesticated cats of our homes, zoos, and circuses.
When she witnesses her housecat, Rajah, effortlessly scare off two fully-grown deer, acclaimed anthropologist Elizabeth Marshall Thomas starts studying the links that bind the feline family together. Immersing herself in the subtle differences of their social orders, feeding behaviors, and means of communication, Thomas explores the nature of the cat, both wild and domestic, and the resilient streak that has ensured its survival over thousands of years."
"From the plains of Africa to her very own backyard, noted author and anthropologist Elizabeth Marshall Thomas explores the world of cats, both large and small in this classic bestseller. Inspired by her own feline's instinct to hunt and supported by her studies abroad, Thomas examines the life actions, as well as the similarities and differences of these majestic creatures. Lions, tigers, pumas and housecats: Her observations shed light on their social lives, thought processes, eating habits, and communication techniques, and reveal how they survive and coexist with each other and with humans."
" This latest animal book from the author of The Hidden Life of Dogs will have ailurophiles purring. If she were a captive tiger, Thomas tells us that she'd prefer to be in a circus rather than a zoo--the big top is more stimulating. She compares the quality of life for captive animals in zoos and circuses, introduces circus tigers and their trainers and visits a tiger training school in northern Illinois. Thomas begins by defining cats as meat-eaters, all, then examines cat culture as it evolved to the present time. We meet Ruby, a domesticated puma, and several generations of barn and house cats. Thomas relates an astonishing tale about Bushmen and a pride of lions in the Kalahari Desert. But the most enthralling of her subjects in this thoroughly captivating book proves to be the tiger. Illustrations. 225,000 first printing; first serial to Atlantic Monthly; author tour. (Aug.) "