Title: The Lion in the Living Room: How House Cats Tamed Us and Took Over the World
Author: Abigail Tucker
Publish Date: October 18, 2016
# of Pages: 241
(From Goodreads) House cats rule back alleys, deserted Antarctic islands, and our bedrooms. Clearly, they own the Internet, where a viral cat video can easily be viewed upwards of ten million times. But how did cats accomplish global domination? Unlike dogs, they offer humans no practical benefit. The truth is they are sadly incompetent rat-catchers and pose a threat to many ecosystems. Yet, we love them still.
To better understand these furry strangers in our midst, Abby Tucker travels to meet the breeders, activists, and scientists who’ve dedicated their lives to cats. She visits the labs where people sort through feline bones unearthed from the first human settlements, treks through the Floridian wilderness in search of house cats on the loose, and hangs out with Lil Bub, one of the world’s biggest feline celebrities.
Tucker shows how these tiny creatures have used their relationship with humans to become one of the most powerful animals on the planet. The appropriate reaction to a cuddly kitten, it seems, might not be aww but awe.
Rating (1-10, 10 is exceptional)
Quality of Writing – 8
Pace – 5
Enjoyability – 6
Insightfulness – 7
Ease of Reading – 8
Overall Rating – ⭐️⭐️⭐️
The Lion in the Living Room by Abigail Tucker is a delightful romp through feline history. The book discusses everything from feline ailments to cat shows, and helps to explain how cats have firmly imbedded themselves into our living rooms.
I should probably start out this review by saying that I am a professed cat lover. I’m one cat short of being a “crazy cat lady,” but I do go to great lengths to make sure my three felines are happy and well-cared for. This book was an interesting read—truly. Most of the material was new to me, which made it fun to read.
The Lion in the Living Room was well written. There can be no denying that the author did her research and did it well. The language used is simple and easy to understand, which lends to the book’s readability, but at the same time doesn’t dumb itself down. The science parts are appropriately science-y, and I appreciated the anecdotes mixed in with the historical lessons.
My favorite part of the book was learning about how cats are an invasive species. I must be living under a rock, because I’ve never heard that before! According to the book, cats have invaded countries and townships all over the world, preying on endangered species and crushing native life. Lesson learned: cats are hardy, reproduce like bunnies, and tend to be jerks. Who knew? I sure didn’t!
I also enjoyed learning about toxoplasmosis. Anyone who’s ever been pregnant has heard about toxoplasmosis and has been told to steer clear of litterboxes while carrying. What I didn’t know was how prevalent toxoplasmosis is. If you’re reading this, it’s quite possible that you have toxoplasmosis. Crazy, right?
Most importantly, I enjoyed learning about why cats are in our living rooms today. The short of it is that cats chose us, not the other way around.
The pacing of the book was okay, slow and meandering at times, but it always picked back up before I lost interest. Sometimes the book felt disjointed and all over the place, but it wasn’t enough to be distracting.
Overall, this book was fact-filled, suitable for any cat lover or pet owner.
Do you own a cat (or cats?) How many? What are their names? I have three cats: Emma, Comet, and Cardini!
Buy this book here*, or check it out at your local library.
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