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Kattsjälens mysterier

av Jeffrey Moussaieff Masson

MedlemmarRecensionerPopularitetGenomsnittligt betygOmnämnanden
366470,635 (3.49)15
Jeffrey Mason lives by the sea in New Zealand with his five cats who accompany him every night on his evening walk. This title reports on his close observation of their emotional lives in nine areas - narcissim, love, contentment, attachment, jealousy, fear, anger, curiosity and playfulness.
  1. 00
    Secrets of the Cat: Its Lore, Legend, and Lives av Barbara Holland (TheDivineOomba)
    TheDivineOomba: It is a similar book to this one, its interesting because there is a decidedly feminine feel to Secrets of the Cat, The Nine Emotional Lives of Cats is more masculine, while covering the same topics with the same sorts of conclusions.
  2. 00
    Animal Wise: The Thoughts and Emotions of Our Fellow Creatures av Virginia Morell (fannyprice)
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If you pick up this book looking for a scientific analysis of feline emotions, forget it. This isn't the right book for you, and you'll leave disappointed if you continue reading. If you've read other books by Masson and expect a similar style of book, forget that also -- this book is much more personal and contains a lot of self-centered reflection.

But if you're interested in anecdotes about feline behavior -- particularly cats living in packs (Masson has 5 cats) -- and don't mind the occasional psychoanalysis of cat behavior, you may enjoy it. Mind you, I wouldn't sit down and read this one the whole way through, it's better read in chapters at bedtime.

The format is this: Cute cat anecdote, reflection by Masson on the cat behavior, thoughts about what it means, and then thoughts about why it might not mean that but could mean something else. It's not scientific, and it's not based on anything other than his own observations of his pet cats.

At the time of writing the book, he lived in New Zealand (where I believe he said there are no native mammal species?) and was able to allow his cats to roam free outdoors with no fear of predators. The cats wandered, became semi-feral (at least it sounded that way) and the anecdotes about feline behavior in that setting -- in a group of 5 -- were fascinating.

But how many of us have packs of cats and live in New Zealand? And Masson also neglects to realize that here in North America (and I suspect elsewhere) having an outdoor cat isn't always a viable option. He stresses that cats who must only stay indoors are not happy, are living a cheated life, etc. etc. Now, I'm not going to get into the indoor vs. outdoor debate at the moment, but I think of it like this: I'd love if every cat could be an outdoor cat, but how many more unadopted felines would there be in the world if cats couldn't stay inside?

That was the thing that irked me the most, but other than that, I didn't mind the book as I didn't read it expecting a scientific work. There were other things that made me growl at the book here and there, but overall it's a decent read if you're a cat person.

One thing that did stick with me, however, was this sentiment: Maybe the way cats express love simply isn't the same way that we believe love is expressed? Just because we don't understand how they express it, doesn't mean it's not there.

A nice reassurance for those who share their homes with aloof felines. ( )
3 rösta dk_phoenix | Aug 11, 2010 |
Masson acquires 5 cats and closely observes their behavior over time. Best part of it all are the cats themselves with their unique, fascinating personalities. ( )
  beaujoe | Feb 8, 2010 |
Masson - a psychoanalyst- went out and purposefully acquired five cats to live with him, then observed their behavior and interactions. Each chapter of the book examines in depth the character of cats via nine distinct emotions or mental states: narcissism, love, contentment, attachment, jealousy, fear, anger, curiosity and playfulness. As the book- and Masson's relationship with his cats- progressed, I enjoyed speculating along with the author why cats do many eccentric things, and comparing his observations with my own experiences living with cats. If you've ever lived with a cat, or wondered at their alien nature- aloof, uninvolved, mysterious- you will certainly enjoy and learn from this book.

From the Dog Ear Diary ( )
  jeane | May 16, 2008 |
What I Enjoyed

(1) The stories about the author's own cats & his relationship with them. They really reflected the love he has for them and they for him. They were also quite funny.
(2) How the author addressed cat behavior (and dog) from an evolutionary standpoint. He says that because humans and dogs both evolved to live in groups, while cats evolved as solitary animals, people see dog behavior as "normal" and often look at cat behavior as something requiring explanation when in fact it is perfectly normal.
(3) How he tempered his statements that cats don't generally need us with the caveat that they do love us regardless. He seemed to respect both the cat psyche and the bond that people and cats have.
(4) The anti-declawing and pro-spay/neuter stance. Not revolutionary, but I am surprised at how many people don't know what declawing really is.

What I Didn't Like
(1) His insistence that cats are meant to be outdoors and that by keeping them inside we are in some way harming them or hurting their quality of life. It's easy for a man who lives on an beach in a New Zealand rain forest to let his cats outside and feel pretty safe - no natural predators, he knows all his neighbors, the dogs nearby are nice, etc. As an urban apartment dweller, its just not possible for my cat to go outside, and I don't think he would want to. Every time I take him outside (holding him or on a harness) - he curls up into a little ball! I think it's ok to make some compromise in the name of safety.
(2) The sort of lackadaisical attitude he had toward cat safety in general. He talks about how cats do what they want and go where they want and basically says that if your cat wants to run away, you should let him/her because cats need to be free. It seems like this attitude again ignores safety and quality of life issues for a cat - what happens to a cat after it runs away? It also ignores the emotional bond that humans have with their cats.

Other than these two issues, I thought the book was fun. I learned a fair amount about the psychology of cats - although most of his conclusions were based on conjecture and observation of his own cats, rather than on any hard science. It was a nice light read. ( )
5 rösta fannyprice | Jul 16, 2007 |
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Jeffrey Mason lives by the sea in New Zealand with his five cats who accompany him every night on his evening walk. This title reports on his close observation of their emotional lives in nine areas - narcissim, love, contentment, attachment, jealousy, fear, anger, curiosity and playfulness.

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