One thing that makes cats such fascinating creatures is that even after milllions of years of evolution, our little hauspanthers are still only a whisker away from their wild ancestors. In The Cat’s Meow: How Cats Evolved from the Savannah to Your Sofa, evolutionary biologist and cat lover Jonathan B. Losos takes an in depth look at the evolution of the domesticated house cat and explores the science behind what this evolution means for the future of both cats and humans.
From the publisher:
Do lions and tigers meow? If not, why not? Why does my cat leave a dead mouse at my feet (or on my pillow)? Is a pet ocelot a bad idea? When and why did the cat make its real leap off the African plain? What’s with all those cats in Egyptian hieroglyphics? In a genial voice, casually deciphering complex science and history with many examples from his own research and multi-cat household, Losos explores how selection, both natural and artificial, over the last several millennia has shaped the contemporary cat, with new breeds vastly different in anatomy and behavior from their ancestral stock. Yet the cat, ever a predator, still seems only one paw out of the wild, and readily reverts to its feral ways as it occupies new lands around the world.
Featuring charming illustrations by David Tuss, this book is not a quick read. Every page is packed with fascinating information, and much of it is very science focused, but Losos does a great job explaining the science without dumbing it down. He also includes personal anecdotes of the cats who have shared his life, which brings levity to what is quite a dense read.
It took me a while to get through this book, and I was ready to throw in the towel a few times, but the information presented is just so captivating, I’m glad I hung in there and finished it.
The Cat’s Meow is available from Amazon.
*Purrs of Wisdom is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites. This means that if you decide to purchase through any of our links, we get a small commission. We only spread the word about products and services we’ve either used or would use ourselves. I received this book from the publisher. Receiving the complimentary copy did not influence my review. All reviews on Purrs of Wisdom will always reflect my honest opinion, or, as the case may be, Allegra’s honest opinion.
Another to add to my to read list.
I love what you wrote! I am going to be reviewing it in about a month (because I thought it wasn’t being released until May 1st), I am glad you said you almost “threw in the towel” because I’m not done with it yet and feel exactly the same! lol
It is definitely worth hanging in with it, Caren.
This book sounds like the perfect read as cats and science are two of my favorite things. I am going to order it today. Can’t wait until I get to read it!
Sounds very interesting.