"A cat is only technically an animal, being divine." – Robert Lynd.
"The twenty-first century may be the century of the cat," says Franklin M. Loew, former Dean of Cornell University's renowned College of Veterinary Medicine in this book's preface, citing statistics according to which even at the end of the 20th century, the number of cats in the United States alone already equaled that of the entire human population of Europe (and with sinking birth rates among humans, it is not hard to guess where that particular trend is headed in the near and midterm future).
Authored by the staff of Cornell's Feline Health Center, "The Cornell Book of Cats" is an indispensable reference guide for every cat owner who cares about his or her feline companion(s). The book provides detailed coverage on every aspect of feline life, from the cats' origin and breeds to cat (mis-)behavior, nutrition, anatomy, reproduction and all major instances of disease and infirmity. Particular attention is given to kittens, aging cats, skin and sensory disorders, internal disorders and medical emergencies. While the explanations do rely on a number of medical/veterinary terms, they are generally clear, comprehensive and easy to understand; in addition, most of the veterinary terminology is defined in a 22-page glossary at the end of the book. Numerous figures, tables, sketches, statistics and photos further illustrate the text; and treatment suggestions are provided for all diseases and disorders described. As the authors point out, this book is not intended to make a visit to the vet unnecessary in each and every instance (and sometimes, the remedies suggested here are only the beginning of the path to complete treatment) – but the book does help a cat owner determine when the often not inconsiderable expense of a visit to the vet is truly warranted. Moreover, it is a tremendous supplementary resource to even the best vet's recommendations, and it provides a wealth of background information on our four-pawed friends. Highly recommended.
"A house without a cat, and a well-fed, well-petted and properly revered cat, may be perfect house, perhaps, but how can it prove its title?" – Mark Twain, Pudd'nhead Wilson.