As it begins, The Inner Life of Cats follows the development of the young Augusta while simultaneously explaining the basics of a kitten's physiological and psychological development. As the narrative progresses, McNamee also charts cats' evolution, explores a feral cat colony in Rome, tells the story of Augusta's life and adventures, and consults with behavioral experts, animal activists, and researchers, who will help readers more fully understand cats. McNamee shows that with deeper knowledge of cats' developmental phases and individual idiosyncrasies, we can do a better job of guiding cats' maturation and improving the quality of their lives. Readers' relationships with their feline friends will be happier and more harmonious because of The Inner Life of Cats.
Thomas McNamee is the recipient of a 2016 John Simon Guggenheim Foundation fellowship. He is the author of The Grizzly Bear; Nature First: Keeping Our Wild Places and Wild Creatures Wild; A Story of Deep Delight; The Return of the Wolf to Yellowstone; Alice Waters and Chez Panisse: The Romantic, Impractical, Often Eccentric, Ultimately Brilliant Making of a Food Revolution; The Man Who Changed the Way We Eat: Craig Claiborne and the American Food Renaissance;and The Killing of the Wolf Number Ten. He wrote the PBS documentary Alexander Calder, which won a Peabody Award and an Emmy. He lives in San Francisco.
"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
"An affectionate yet realistic portrait of felis silvestris catus and a definite boon to anyone contemplating adopting a cat."
– Kirkus Reviews
"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 Astonishing Connection Between Human and Animal Health
"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
"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
"[An] affectionate love letter to his own cat Augusta and a perceptive analysis of feline psychology and biology that shatters common assumptions about these animals."
– Library Journal
"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 meditations. 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, co-author of Wolves: Behavior, Ecology, and Conservation