Cat Books for Children-Cool Facts about Cats
Written by Barry J. McDonald
The author claims to have written this book for children but I am fairly sure that any one reading it will be astonished by the number of facts you did not know about cats. It really does not matter whether you a cat lover or not, you will be pleasantly surprised. There are beautiful photographs accompanying the text which is presented clearly and succinctly so that even beginning readers will have no trouble handling it. My only criticism is that perhaps the presentation of facts could have been better categorized.
Cats have lived in human homes half the amount of time dogs have, yet their appearance and behavior have not changed in the last 35 million years! Depictions of cats are drawn on ancient walls. Archaelogists have found more than 300,000 mummies in ancient tombs and many of these had embalmed mice to prevent them from going hungry in the afterlife. When a family cat died, the members shaved their eyebrows as a sign of mourning. The Japanese believed that cats had the power to change into super spirits, and Buddhist spirituals used them as surrogates.
In many ways cats are similar to humans. Every human has a set of unique fingerprints; every cat posseses a unique nosepad. The organization of a cat’s brain is similar to that of a human as it is the center for processing emotions. Cats dream like humans do, they lose their baby teeth, and they can be blood donors for other cats. They have good memories and may hold something in memory as long as sixteen hours. If you spend time talking to a cat, it is more likely that the cat will talk back to you. Like humans, they may give you the silent treatment if you ignore them!
Yet, there are many differences as well. Cats move the left front and back leg together as they walk. The only other two animals in nature that do that are the giraffe and the camel. Cats’ vision is better than that of a human, but their color sensitivity is poor. A cat’s whiskers are controlled by muscles in its face and are used for balance. The average cat has twelve whiskers on each side. When a cat is blind, it can actually move the whiskers in front of its face to prevent bumping into objects using its whiskers like a human would use a cane.
You might think that I have already presented most of the information in this book, but that is far from the truth. The reader will find out how cats were used in war and as spies. McDonald explores the senses of the cat and how they work, how they hunt, gender differences, the classifications of cats, and social behavior. The reader learns how to tell if your cat is too fat, if he is in danger of being poisoned, and what you can do to keep your cat safe and happy. Parents, teachers, children and anyone interested in animal behavior will benefit by reading this book and keeping it on hand for reference.
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