Masson delves deep into the secretive, playful world of cats, revealing emotions, debunking myths, and honoring the feline's evolution from solitary jungle creature to human companion.
Drawing from literature, history, animal behavioral research, and the wonderful true stories of cat experts and cat lovers around the world, Jeffrey Masson vividly explores the delights and mysteries of the feline heart. But at the core of this remarkable book are Masson's candid, often amusing observations of his own five cats. Their mischievousness, aloofness, and affection provide a way to examine emotions from contentment to jealousy, from anger to love.
Consider the question: Are cats selfish? While human egocentricity is defined by how little a person cares about others, the cat's narcissism is not like that at all. Cats may appear self-centered, but they watch us all the time, taking us in. They see us; they notice us - a far cry from vanity.
Cats are curious, a trait that rarely kills them. On the contrary, it gives them the chance to assess, in their own idiosyncratic way, whether we are worthy of their attention. Cats are happy to be themselves. What they think of us is a different question entirely. "We need cats to need us," notes Masson, "It unnerves us that they do not. However, if they do not need us, they nonetheless seem to love us."
The Nine Emotional Lives of Cats will captivate readers with its surprises and insights, offering a new perspective on the deep connection shared by humans and their feline friends. This is the book that Masson's many fans and cat lovers everywhere have been waiting for.
“This enjoyable books is useful for its insights... It is full of guidance, but its virtue is, simply, pleasure.”
– Doris Lessing
“It is a rare pleasure to find a person who can enter the 'deep and inscrutable' feline psyche so lovingly and perceptively, and then return to enrich us with such coherent insight and understanding.”
– Michael Fox