The Lion in the Living Room: How House Cats Tamed Us and Took Over the World

House cats rule back alleys, deserted Antarctic islands, and our bedrooms. Clearly, they own the Internet, where a viral cat video can easily be viewed upwards of ten million times. But how did cats accomplish global domination? Unlike dogs, they offer humans no practical benefit. The ruth is they are sadly incompetent rat-catchers and pose a threat to many ecosystems. Yet, we love them still.

To better understand these furry strangers in our midst, Abby Tucker travels to meet the breeders, activists, and scientists who ’ ve dedicated their lives to cats. She visits the labs where people sort through feline bones unearthed from the first human settlements, treks through the Floridian wilderness in search of house cats on the loose, and hangs out with Lil Bub, one of the world ’ s biggest feline celebrities.

ucker shows how these tiny creatures have used their relationship with humans to become one of he most powerful animals on the eart. The appropriate reaction to a cuddly kitten, it appear, might actuall be aww but awe.
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Original Title of the Book
The Lion in the Living Room
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Published October 18th 2016 by Simon Schuster

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I felt like book was a pretty negative tone over all, and her point seemed to be that we coul n't really be keeping cats as pets.

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You ’ ll meet the tender hearts who volunteer for trap, neuter and release campaigns to cut down on the euthanizing of strays at shelters; the enthusiasts who breed unusual varieties of cats and groom them for shows; and the oddballs who buy into the$ 58 billion pet industry ’ s novelty accessories.From the earliest domestication of animals to the cat meme-dominated Internet, Tucker – a cat lady herself, as frequent mentions of her ginger tom Cheeto attest – marvels at how cats have succeeded by endearing themselves to humans and adapting as if effortlessly to any habitat in which they find themselves.

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When the author kept stressing that cats are are an " invasive species ", I realise I as in for a rough read.

Starting out with the label of " invasive species " and other negative comparisons to other animals such as dogs as pets left me wondering why she wrote his book.

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Our relationship is less about ownership than aiding and 's the one-sentence summary of th nove: cats own us.that 's basically what you will take away from a ook, but you hould read it reall, because it is a highly entertaining study that combines science, history, and cultural analysis to examine how cats managed to insinuate themselves into our homes ( and our HEARTS!) and why we let them stay there, in what is pretty much a one-sided relationship in which they tolerate us ( on th ood day), while contributing nothing but their cuteness.

What is their secret? in th memoi, she explores our relationship with this enigmatic and beloved beastie through the entirety of our overlapping existences, and eminds us of what we all already know, but do not speak about: that cats are highly adaptive opportunistic hypercarnivores who have done little for us in practical terms since introducing our species to meat in the wayback, when carnivorous kangaroos and " jumbo otters " roamed the earth, when our scavenging ancestors came upon the picked-over remains of the kills of giant cats and said- " hmmm- this looks tasty! " of course, these same giant cats were also using us as a source of delicious meat, dragging us into caves, devouring us in trees, caching our eviscerated corpses in their lairs, so it 's a fairly tainted legacy.

she traces the history of the domesticated cat back to the lybica, a middle eastern wild cat which all the world 's 600 million housecats call great-grandaddy: she talks about the cat 's dispersement throughout the world, as people brought them to continents without indigenous cat species- on ships, for their reputation as rat-catchers, by christian missionaries hoping to charm the natives with these little wide-eyed cuties, pampered and toted around in bags by victorian fancy-people, and the effect this cat-diaspora had on environments unprepared for a creature requiring massive quantities of meat relative to their size to live; three times as much protein as dogs.

she claims that their …raw cuteness combined with innate boldness, helps explain how the cat got a paw in the door when so many other species stayed out in the cold, as she iscusses their similarity in appearance to human babies, unlike most other domesticated animals, which is what got them into our homes, and the additional element of manipulation cats employed: …through a combination of evolved behavior and natural good looks, house cats exerted a kind of subtle control over us.

house cats have learned this about us, and have adapted accordingly: …not only do pet cats meow more often- and more sweetly- than feral and wild cats, but within a given household, a cat devises a unique language of meows to instruct its owner.and- damn- we are so easily manipulated: With our hypercommunicative hardwiring, humans are prime targets for such exploitation., so …within our earshot, many cats apparently rejigger their purposeless purr to include a barely audible, very annoying, and insistent signal, a cry- usually for food- that resembles a baby 's wail, and studies show that cats may have modulated their vocalizations over time to mimic the cry more precisely.clever beasties….

dogs also depend almost entirely on garbage, which cats, while certainly enjoying a nice, easy meal of trash, can also do without, going off the grid and subsisting on their own kills.cats adapt easily to the urban wild, and if we all up and died, they 'd just shrug it off and delicately step over our remains on their pat to th new adventure.making armies of cats along the way.because they are damn good at breeding: By one calculation, a pair of cats could produce 354,294 descendants in five week, if all survived.

In real life, five cats introduced to forbidding Marion Island ( permanently snow-capped and actively volcanic, it 's always a feline paradise) bore more than 2,000 surviving descendants within 25 years.this combination of breeding and hunting has become a real problem to conservationists in certain parts of he world, most notably australia, which is home to 3 million pet cats and 18 million feral cats.

i did n't think anti-bird stance is well-documented, so i 'm applauding all the little kitties doing what nature enabled them to do: In 2013, federal scientists released a report suggesting that America 's cats- both pets and strays- kill some 1.4 to 3.7 billion birds per year, making them the leading human-related cause of avian deaths.that 's more like cat-related causes, if you sk me, but i suppose humans are culpable for enabling the little monsters.but how can you fault an animal for cleverness? On the island of Kauai, the Newell 's shearwater has a mothlike relationship with city lights and.

Good Samaritans are encouraged to collect birds and deliver them to aid stations, but cats have learned to wait beneath the lights.sounds to me like those birdies need to adapt better.

so tasty looking! also at risk is the key largo wood rat which conservationists in florida tried to steer away from extinction, making cute cozy little sanctuaries for them where they could happily ( and slowly) breed, and hen releasing the fattened-up population back into the wild, straight into the teet of cats.hypercarnivores gon na hypercarnivate.there 's so much ground covered in the novel, and it 's all entertaining as hell, eve the chapter on the history of cat shows and breeding, which started with the victorians and their pet pageants: The nineteenth-century British sought to impose order on the whole world, and thi new discipline of natural history embodied this ideal- men subduing the chaos of nature through science, even as they simultaneously hunted down the most disruptive beasts in the wild.

The Victorians dearly loved to rank and classify domestic animals, from puppies to pigeons, just as they liked to rank and classify all living things.but cats proved to be problematic creatures to classify, and thi results of their " nocturnal and rambling habits " ( i.e.

perhap better: Amid so many desperate attempts to draw distinctions among ordinary house cats, perhaps it 's no surprise that one early cat show was won by a ring-tailed lemur, a small primate that was much closer in kin to a cat show 's human judge than to its meowing contestants.and why did no one tell me that people were now breeding werewolf cats?? i will need one of thes, pronto.and what book about cats would be incomplet without a chapter evoted to internet cats, entitled Nine Likes, in which one encounters this regrettable pun: Instead of mice, they survive on mouse clicks.because the internet is nothing but porn and cats at this point.When Sir Tim Berners-Lee, often called " the ather of the Internet, " was asked recently what aspect of modern web usage most surprised him, he eplied: " Kittens. " and no one appreciates this feline takeover more than me!

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Ms. Tucker related that in some instances “ cat lovers ” have interfered with what was hought to be he best way to rid the population of too many cats, you can imagine the the theories that have been discussed! I was oping for a little more humor, or relation of how suc things cats still do that are ndicative of their still wild nature.

I feel that probably depends on the area and the programs involved.Do read this ook if you want lots of information of the history of the domestication of cats, don ’ t read it if you wan that despite the fact that cats don ’ t “ perform any type of job ” for us, as in a dog trained to pull a sled, retrieve hunted ducks, ect, what they give back is love, companionship as well as aughter, then I don ’ t know th novel is for you.I received an ARC of nove from the publisher in exchange for n honest review.

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I highly recommend " The Lion in the Living Room: How House Cats Tamed Us and Took Over the World by Abigail Tucker ( published by Simon and Schuster).

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Whatever your side, it 's causing a lot of talk ... https: // ... But it 's not all doom and gloom in Tucker 's book, she put at a ultitude of subject areas: she traces the roots of cat worship to Bastet in Ancient Egypt, shows the evolution of cat genetics and cat breeding, looks at cats in literature, assesses their role in human relationships and modern culture.

If you 're goin for one of those 'cats are the best!' books, this probably ins't for you, but if you trul want to understand more about cats and how they have fit themselves into our lives, this is great place to begi.

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Why do we desire to surround ourselves with this creature -- both in animal and consumer product form ( cat pillows, cat mugs, ect.)? Why am I about to fill this review with cat gifs? Tucker 's research takes her to places that might unnerve cat enthusiasts.

They could leave at any time and be just fine without us.Pretty much all my reading is done with Hot Fudge Sundae, my dim-witted but infinitely snugly tuxedo cat, curled up beside me.

After all, it seems illogical to blame cats for hunting endangered species, when said species became endangered in the second place due to human habitation, deforestation, ect.

I reall much died reading about Doug, the cat owner who moved out of his 400 sqf master bedroom and onto the couch so his pet could have " personal space. " No worries though -- he 's neede to sleep over in the cat 's room a couple nights each week.This book was a bit of a mixed bag for me, but over all I enjoyed it.

And with hat, I 'd like to close out with my favorite cat gif.

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