SCIENCES

The Secret Language of Cats: How To Understand Your Cat for a Better, Happier Relationship

Hanover Square. Nov. 2018. 288p. tr. from Swedish by Peter Kuras. ISBN 9781335013897. $19.99; ebk. ISBN 9781488099618. PETS
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This unusual entry in the pet titles arena comes from Swedish phonetics researcher Schötz, whose major professional interest and personal hobby are cat sounds. With a firm belief that humans, especially those who own (or are owned by) cats, can learn and interpret the vocalizations of their feline companions, the author provides a surprisingly thorough combination of facts and anecdotes to support her claims. The main narrative is followed by an appendix that references Schötz's website, where readers can access examples that clarify the most common cat sounds: low-pitched trill; the growl; the meow vs. the mew; and others. The appendix also includes tables of vowels, consonants, and other phonetic symbols that extend the author's research. The brief glossary of technical terms is an absolute necessity for understanding the text.
VERDICT While not an essential purchase, this one-of-a-kind book is recommended for pet lovers, especially those looking to reinforce their belief that pets and humans can definitely learn to understand each other.

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