c.2011, SquareOne Publishers
By TERRI SCHLICHENMEYER
You’ve been thinking lately about the pitter-patter of tiny feet.
You love a round baby belly and tiny baby ears. You long to gaze into an innocent little face as you hold your baby in your arms. Definitely – it’s time to bring new life to your household.
But first, there’s so much to do. You need to get a new litter box, catnip toys, and a collar with a bell. And, according to authors Jeanne Adlon and Susan Logan, you’ll also want to kitten-proof your home. In their new book “Cat Calls,” they’ll give you lots more advice on being a new cat owner.
For most of her life, Jeanne Adlon has been an animal lover. She worked with Cleveland Amory and his Fund for Animals. She owned a Manhattan boutique for cats and their owners, and she was one of New York City’s first full-time cat sitters.
The job, she says, “is not for wimps.”
Adlon has climbed up fire escapes to find her clients. She’s broken into apartments, dodged paint tarps, and she’s been clawed, scratched and ignored. Still, she loves her job because it’s “never dull.”
If you’re game, there are lots of places to adopt a cat, says Adlon. You might know someone with free kittens. You might spot a stray in need of a home, or maybe you’ve gone to a shelter and fallen in love. Don’t forget, she says, that older cats make great companions, too, and there’s nothing better than matching a senior cat with a senior citizen.
Cat-proof your home before Fluffy arrives, and have plenty of toys, food, and treats on-hand for the big day. You might want to confine your new family member to one safe room, just until she gets settled. Then let her explore on her own.
Cats are notoriously finicky, but Adlon has a few tips on the pickiest of pussycats. There are ways, for instance, of circumventing food fussiness and scratch-post preferences. And reluctance to use the litter box may be more than just Puss being persnickety.
Filled with advice and charming stories that are like catnip to feline fans, “Cat Calls” is great for neophyte cat owners.
But for cat veterans, there are two big issues…
Though this book appears to be one for adults, the plentiful use of the word “kitty” made me feel as though I’d stumbled on a mis-shelved kid’s book. Yes, it’s a warm-fuzzy term, but not when it occurs several times in a paragraph and not in an advice book with genuine information. Overused, “kitty” made me view this book less seriously.
Secondly, some information is printed in orangey-pink ink that’s hard to read. Authors Jeanne Adlon and Susan Logan offer interesting tidbits here, but many adults might find those asides impossible to see clearly.
So, I’d consider “Cat Calls” as a Young Adult book. It’s purrfect for newbie cat owners. But if you’re a grown-up with experience and the pitter-patter of paws is long-familiar in your house, missing this book won’t be a cat-astrophe.
Terri Schlichenmeyer is based in Wisconsin.