"Why Dogs are Better than Cats:" A Book Even a Feline Could LovePublished December 3, 2010
When I first heard about the book, "Why Dogs are Better than Cats", written by New York Times bestselling author, Bradley Trevor Greive, illustrated with extraordinary photographs by Rachel Hale, I immediately unsheathed my claws, arched my back and my neck hairs bristled. How dare he publicly issue such an uneducated statement? I must caution fellow cat aficionados, you may initially experience a similar reaction when first reading the book. However, I can fully guarantee that dog lovers, who have not had the pleasure of living with cats, will start wagging their tails in agreement and feel validated by the author's professed adoration of his canine companions. Mr. Greive sets the tone by quoting James Thurber, "I am not a cat man, but a dog man, and all felines can tell this at a glance -- a sharp, vindictive glance." But as I forced myself to continue reading, while hurling aloud nasty epitaphs at the author, I actually became spell-bound by his delightful writing style. Additionally, since he admits he is highly allergic to cats I suspect that part of his inspiration for writing the book may have been an unconscious feeling of cat- deprivation. His words, "The phrase, 'Familiarity breeds contempt' has its origins in the description of cat-human relations. Cats will never adore their owners or aspire to assimilate in the way a dog does. Over the course of their lives, cats do not venture down any path toward devotion but merely attain what can be described as conditioned tolerance," show that his understanding of felines is based on a need to rationalize his displeasure with them. One of the chapter headings titled, "Dogs are Social; Cats are Sociopaths" could be considered further evidence for my theory. He does somewhat ameliorate his accusatory statement with his next chapter, "Cats are Not Without their Charms". There is hope, after all. But putting any mud-slinging aside, this beautifully-presented book is both charming and magnificently written. The author can captivate even the most avid cat lover, once you realize the book is in fact, written tongue-in-cheek. I frequently found myself giggling out loud. The chapter titled "Cat People and Dog People, a Study in Contrasts", is a treat in itself. His opening statements, "What makes a normal decent human being become a "cat person? Obviously a trick question since normal folk would never own a cat. But, of those people who do, there are three basic personality types," immediately piqued my curiosity. His theories on the topic are fascinating and even though some readers may grimace at some of his premises, he certainly offers a great deal of food for thought. I highly recommend "Why Dogs are Better than Cats" to all animal lovers. Not only is it enjoyable reading, the phenomenal photographs, coupled by their rather hysterical captions, will offer hours on end of viewing pleasure. This is a book that will grace one's living room coffee tables, although uninitiated friends may suspect you may have lost your mind. Published by Andrews McMeel Publishing, LLC, the retail price for the hard-copy edition is $19.99 USA,($24.50 Canada).