Monday, March 1, 2010

Mini Review--The Necessary Cat by Nicola Bayley

This book by Nicola Bayley is a must-read for cat lovers.  Full of gorgeous illustrations, poems, sayings, and facts, it's an entertaining and colorful romp through everything cats. 

Here are some interesting facts from the book:

-Ancient Egyptians shaved off their eyebrows to mourn the death of a cat.
-Ancient Romans made sure to nod respectfully to passing cats for fear of being cursed with the "evil eye."
-In 500 B.C., Persian soldiers carried cats into battle to protect themselves from the Egyptians, who were loath to harm the sacred animal.

Writers and cats:

-Colette, a French novelist, declared that "our perfect companions never have fewer than four feet."
-William Butler Yeats, rather than disturb the sleeping cat on his fur coat, cut around the resident feline of
Dublin's Abbey Theatre.
-Ernest Hemingway admired cats for their "absolute emotional honesty."  At one time he lived with thirty cats.

A poem from the book that really struck me:

On a Night of Snow...

Cat, if you go outdoors, you must walk in the snow.
You will come back with little white shoes on your feet,
little white shoes of snow that have heels of sleet.
Stay by the fire, my Cat.  Lie still, do not go.
See how the flames are leaping and hissing low,
I will bring you a saucer of milk like a marguerite,
so white and so smooth, so spherical and so sweet--
stay with me, Cat, Outdoors the wild winds blow.

Outdoors the wild winds blow, Mistress, and dark is the night,
strange voices cry in the trees, intoning strange lore,
and more cats move, lit by our eyes' green light,
on silent feet where the meadow grasses hang hoar--
Mistress, there are portents abroad of magic and might,
and things that are yet to be done.  Open the door!

~Elizabeth Coatsworth

This book was read for the following challenges:

Cat Book Challenge 2 / 12
100+ Reading Challenge  6 / 100+
Pages Read Challenge  1503 / 30,000 pages
Buck a Book Challenge


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  1. How fun! I'm going to have to see if the library has this!

    Thanks for the link!

  2. Sounds like a fun book even for a non cat lover like me.

  3. What a gorgeous sounding book! I am a proud furbaby mumma so will definitely be tracking this one down.

  4. That poem was wonderful. What a picture it painted!

    My March Cat book is here:

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