We love our cats, but how well do we understand them? They are famously mysterious. Science has begun to illuminate their mysteries, but many of its findings are unknown to most cat owners. In The Inner Life of Cats, Thomas McNamee and his beloved cat Augusta open up a hidden world.
Augusta’s adventures lead the reader through astonishing discoveries about cats’ psychology, communication, and needs. McNamee’s narrative takes us to feral cat colonies in Rome, through ferocious controversies, and directly into the work of the behaviorists and biologists exploring feline consciousness.
And does science show that the love between human and cat is mutual? McNamee demonstrates that it is. With deepened understanding, an even deeper relationship can develop between you and your cat. Happier cat, happier owner—that is the promise of The Inner Life of Cats.
Praise for The Inner Life of Cats
“Cats are fascinating beings who often get the short end of the stick when they're casually and wrongly dismissed as mysterious, solitary, and unemotional animals when compared, for example, to dogs, or when they're accused of being vicious predators on wildlife. In fact, cats, just like Mr. McNamee's beloved Augusta, are highly intelligent, emotional, and sentient animals who have rich and deep inner lives, as well documented in this seminal book in which heartwarming stories and scientific data are nicely woven together. Thomas McNamee's latest book is a much needed corrective and myth-buster for which cat lovers and cats around the world will be most grateful.”
—Marc Bekoff, author of The Animals Agenda: Freedom, Compassion, and Coexistence in the Human Age
“Learn how to give your cat an emotionally satisfying life and create a greater bond with you.”
—Temple Grandin, author of Animals in Translation
“Elegant and absorbing, The Inner Life of Cats offers fascinating insights into the interior world of these mysterious and compelling animals. Required reading for anyone who lives with, loves, or has ever wondered about the deep and ancient connections we share with these magnificent creatures.”
—Barbara Natterson-Horowitz, MD and Kathryn Bowers, co-authors of Zoobiquity
“The Inner Life of Cats is filled with shining prose, moments of sheer cat joy--and intimate, careful scientific observation. Thomas McNamee's naturalist's eye, combined with his humor and heart, bring the always wild, yet domesticated cat into delightful, insightful focus.”
―Cat Warren, New York Times bestselling author of What the Dog Knows
“The Inner Life of Cats is a remarkably charming, intelligent, and heartfelt book about cats and humans. In places it moved me to tears and, at other places, to broad grins. Thomas McNamee has brilliantly combined his own experiences with cats and information gleaned from scientific studies, all in immensely readable pages. Every cat-lover should read this fine book.”
—Pat Shipman, author of The Animal Connection: A New Perspective on What Makes Us Human
“To see an animal in so many ways: as a scientist, a naturalist, a human being, and a writer of uncommon sensitivity, this is Tom McNamee’s The Inner Life of Cats; and this book is a gift.”
—Dorothy Kalins, founding editor, Saveur
“Tom McNamee has provided a great service not just to cat lovers but to people like me, who don't much care for them. In this wise, humane, deeply researched book, he makes a persuasive case that these creatures are much more interesting, mysterious, and complicated than we ever gave them credit for. And they probably have misgivings about some of us, too.”
—Charles McGrath, former editor, New York Times Book Review
“This entertaining but serious book tells everything of the complex relationship between humans and cats. Tom McNamee, in a lively and insightful account, explores the relationship from all angles, explaining the many opportunities and consequences of living with cats. This book, written in conversational language and easy to read, is filled with fascinating anecdotes, a wealth of scientific data and a great deal of thoughtful meditation. It is a complete reference on these elusive companions and it offers a passionate but objective perspective. You will find a lot to learn, regardless whether you love or hate cats!”
—Luigi Boitani, professor of conservation biology and animal ecology at the University of Rome
“A compelling and profoundly rich account of The Inner Life of Cats: you will never think of a cat [again] except in admiration. A great read.”
—Thomas E. Lovejoy, University Professor of Environmental Science and Policy, George Mason University
“As a conservation biologist, I have mixed emotions about cats. I am all too aware of the damage free-roaming cats do to bird populations and other wildlife, but on the other hand some of my best friends have been cats. Thomas McNamee has written a sensitive, sometimes heart-wrenching, but scientifically accurate book about these beguiling creatures and their amazing attributes. This book objectively addresses the feral cat issue as the serious problem it is. Yet, readers (sometimes teary-eyed) likely will be convinced that a cat is 'pure awareness' and, despite its craziness, quite capable of mutual love with its human companions.”
—Reed F. Noss, author of The Science of Conservation and Provost's Distinguished Research Professor, Department of Biology, University of Central Florida