"For those who would learn to siesta well, I advise taking a cat as a teacher," German photographer Hans W. Silvester writes in this book's preface. And anybody who has ever owned a cat knows that he has a point: Cats sleep up to 17 hours a day, preserving their energy for the moments when it is really needed – even if they live in an environment where they never need to hunt (there's still that all-important playing, after all!); and even if a cat's sleep is never so deep that it can't be stirred at a moment's notice (hence the term "cat nap"). While cats may change their sleeping places several times a day, they will always choose a spot that affords them equal measures of comfort and protection: warmth and soft ground or soft bedding, but also shelter from the wind and from unwanted intruders.
Silvester is a well-known photo journalist with an established track record for environmentally sensitive reporting (including, inter alia, a widely publicized report on the destruction of the Amazonian jungle). Cats have been a part of his life for well over 40 years; and his love and intimate knowledge of his subject is quite obvious from the photos in this magnificent coffee table book, originally published in France under the title "Sieste et Tendresse" ("Siesta and Tenderness"). Although based in the Provence, for this project he traveled to the Greek Cyclades Islands, where cats are virtually omnipresent: unlike their domesticated brothers and sisters elsewhere, carefree outdoor dwellers who may or may not be attached to a human family; nor, however, exclusively scrawny back-alley bags of bones.