Under Construction

img_3117A few weeks ago, I posted that Boris and I were taking a break. This has extended a little longer than I had originally planned, but I am now hoping that it will be with good results.

While taking a break from writing, I took some time to think about my reasons for starting this blog. I love to read, and I love to share the things that I have read (although I am not sure of how many people out there are really reading). I felt like channeling this into a blog would make it feel a little more productive—and it did, at first. Over time, something that I truly loved to do in the beginning was starting to feel like a chore. I would fall behind on reading or writing reviews, which would make me feel guilty for being unprepared, and eventually lead to me feeling overwhelmed by the idea of writing. I have tried a few “tricks” along the way to help me catch up, whether that be posting about previous reads, adding in children’s books, or sharing other bookish things. Unfortunately, these were only temporary fixes. I want to change that.

So here I am with an update: Books On My Cat is still temporarily under construction. I am working on establishing some better habits, starting with making writing a regular routine. Rather than trying to force myself to write a review because of a deadline, I want to spend just a little time each day with my writing—thinking about the things that I have read recently, or perhaps with some other bookish musings.

Over the next couple weeks, I plan to take some time to lay out my vision for the future of Books On My Cat. I would like to continue to post here weekly, but I do not go through books quickly enough to make that feasible without expanding a bit from book reviews. I have a few ideas to fill in the gaps, but need some time to fully flesh them out. I plan to be back to the regular schedule at the beginning of February (if not sooner).

Until then, thank you to those who are reading! If there is anyone out there who has made it this far, I would love to hear from you. Please leave me a comment with something you like about this blog, or something you think could be improved. Or maybe just say hello!

Notes on the photo above: Boris is pictured with My Purrfect Friend by Charles Wysocki. This is a cute little book that was gifted to me. It is full of cat pictures and artwork, along with many quotes and poems related to friendship.

How to Talk to Your Cat

img_2724This fun little non-fiction children’s book was brought to my attention by my school librarian—she noticed that the cat on the cover looks a bit like Boris, and thought he might be interested in reading! How to Talk to Your Cat provides a good introduction to cat behavior and some general information in interpreting what your cat is trying to say. Of course, as a book intended for children, it’s not a definitive guide. There are a few items of cat behavior included that I would consider a bit questionable, plus a few items that contradict things I have read recently. I suppose some of this is inevitable in a book that was published nearly 20 years ago.

The book starts with the history of domestic cats, referring to something I have heard a few times from other sources: humans did not domesticate cats; cats domesticated themselves. From there, it moves on to cat greetings, and communication via scent, sound, and body posture. The book wraps up with some more behavioral information—typical habits for indoor and outdoor cats. Along the way there is some advice in communicating and living with cats. I believe it is said a few times that cats tend to have the attitude that we belong to them, rather than the other way around. I’m not quite sold on this, but I think there is some truth to it. Boris knows that there are some limits to his running of the household. I am the keeper of the treats, after all.

Although I would still consider this a picture book, it is quite heavy on text. Most of the pictures included are for demonstration, with a few additional illustrations to fill in along the way. The drawings are fairly simple and cartoonish, which I think feels appropriate with the style of the book. There are a few photos of the author (Jean Craighead George) included, intermingled with the cartoonish cats. It feels a little silly—especially the picture of her on hands and knees rubbing heads with a cat. I suppose this is one way of keeping interest for kids who might otherwise be off put by the lengthy text passages on each page. I can see this as a good book for older kids who have an interest in cats or pets, or perhaps animals in general, but would not necessarily make a general recommendation for this one.

Boris’s thoughts: “A well read cat like me clearly has much more to say than this book would suggest. 2 paws.”