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Lost Cat : Caroline Paul :
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In petdom, as in so many other things, America is a nation divided: slightly more than half of all US households own a pet. Thus, on one side stand the proud owners of animals, cooing and offering treats to their four-legged charges; on the other, the non—pet owners, speaking in normal voices to the other humans around them. Between the two groups, there lies a gulf of confusion and misunderstanding and cat videos. I understand: I was once like you. If, however, you are even mildly curious about the psychology of cat-owners whether you are one of them, or have long eyed them suspiciously , brethren, there is a book for you.
The author apparently dabbles in homemade flying machines, which is amazing, and subject enough for a compelling book.
In the crash, Caroline breaks a lot of bones, including the aforementioned ones, and winds up on the couch depressed and drugged up. After five weeks, he returns. The story would be simple enough if it ended there, but Tibby is already home by chapter 3 — in a book with 22 chapters.
Book Tracks the Curious Travels of a Lost Cat
For the next 19 chapters, Caroline and Wendy go on a quest to find out where Tibby had been hiding and what happened to him for those five weeks. Why was he gone for so long, only to return unscathed? The couple begins their search with flyers, but soon move on to a pet psychic, GPS tracking, a cat camera, animal communication class, and detectives specializing in lost pets.
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She goes to extremes that many of us would only hesitatingly dream of or nervously laugh at in an attempt to answer the question: just where does an outdoor cat actually go? Cat owners are nothing if not devoted. Caroline Paul is, quite literally, just your average cat owner on steroids.
About Lost Cat
And in that sense, Lost Cat is not really about a cat or two of them at all. Like pretty much everything humans write and create about pets, the issue at the heart of the book is the way we treat and think about our animals — our relationship with them and, consequently, ourselves.
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He needed to get away from Caroline and her depression for a while, an idea it takes her pages to accept. Funny how we project human-like feelings onto our pets but then are shocked when they express real needs. Lost Cat is written, from the start, like a whimsical fairy tale, which means it moves easily and hilariously from one sentence and chapter to the next.
Taken together, the whole thing is wonderfully understated, a tone that continues on the next page:.
The plane, which I was piloting, was nothing more than sailcloth and aluminum tubing and a lawnmower engine. Which it was, on this day anyway.
- 'Lost Cat,' by Caroline Paul.
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You might think — and you would be correct — that this is the perfect setup for a memoir, a genre which tends to abide by the golden rule of: the more dramatic, the better! And yet Paul dispatches what should be the most traumatic part of her story quickly. That emotional heightening is abetted by language that frames the story like a fable. And just like in fairy tales and fables, the animals here have distinct personalities, which Paul conveys in incredible detail:.
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