The Complete Cat by Vicky Halls was a book that was recommended to me on a Bengal cat forum as a soon to be new owner of two kittens (see New editions to the family & Kittens at home and spending time with Family and Friends).
Vicky Halls is apparently well known in cat circles as the clever cat woman and The Complete Cat demonstrates her knowledge of the feline species. The book is over 500 pages long and starts with an introductory letter to the person considering getting the cat:
Let me tell you what a cat will bring to your life.
A cat is a naturally undemanding creature that usually takes out of the relationship what you are prepared to put in and nothing more. Cats have moments when they seem intensely pleased to see you and yet they don’t sit and pine when you are out. They have a secret life outside your relationship, but when you are there you will be appreciated. They may show you love when you are busy and spurn you when you want a cuddle; it’s not always possible to turn their love on like a tap.
Cats seek out warm, secure places to sleep and so often prefer to share your bed. They see this as a privilege and not a right, so a hammock attached to a radiator or a place near the Aga will do instead.
If you are sad they will fall off the back of the sofa for you or lie with their legs in the air just to make you laugh. They are comedians in fur coats.
They will eat expensive prawns or simple cat food; the trick is to start as you mean to go on. They accept their lot – but the more you give, the more they will want. Be brave enough to have rules and you should still manage to maintain control of the household.
You will struggle giving them pills, hate car journeys with them, be revolted by their hairballs and have every comfy chair in the house covered with a cat blanket. What you will get in return from your cat, if you are lucky, is twenty years of shared experiences, house moves, growing children, heartaches and happiness. You will take a million photographs of him over years and eventually, you will develop your own personal language to understand what he wants and when he wants it. When he is gone you will mourn and marvel at how much you could miss such a small furry creature.
In conclusion, I am recommending wholeheartedly sharing your home with a cat. Once you have experienced the delights you will never regret your decision.
A cat lover
Copy Right Vicky Halls (2008).
This letter immediately got me hooked on The Complete Cat, enjoying Vicky Halls engaging writing style. The book covers everything you could ever want to know about cats including: selecting kittens, integrating adult cats, multi cat households, diet and nutrition, health and veterinary care, indoor versus outdoor, cat behaviour, etc. It’s like a one stop reference guide for everything to do with cats. The only criticism I have about the book is that it the information about different pedigree breeds was limited, a paragraph at best.
If you’ve got cats or are planning to get them The Complete Cat by Vicky Halls is well worth buying. I’m sure I’ll be re-reading sections of it as time goes by as a sort of reference guide when I’m unsure. The Complete Cat by Vicky Halls is available to buy on Amazon or at other good book retailers.
Will review Bengal Cats by Dan Rice soon,