Nov 16, 2014

Cats and Dogs

Woofs and Purrs, Spits and Grrrs
edited by Claire Necker

A bit similar to the last book, this one is a collection of sayings, stories, fables and other material comparing cats to dogs, or at least including them together. There are poems, entries from old bestiaries, proverbs, old charms and cures that used cat and dog hair together (to drive couples apart, most of them). Most of it is just various thoughts and observations on the nature of cats versus dogs, why certain people like one or the other, and how they most often fight but can also be good companions in the household. The cat's nature was most often compared to women, and the dog touted as a man's companion. It was curious to see the two sides of every opinion- cats both praised for their independence and vilified for being indifferent and self-centered; dogs lauded for their loyalty and faithfulness, but by others scorned for their servility. It's interesting reading to a point- the rather archaic attitudes become tiresome, the material is repetitive, but there are a few delightful stories and curious tales about cats and dogs co-existing, highlighting their differences. I thought I was familiar with some folktales regarding cats and dogs for instance, but all the ones about "why cats and dogs fight" included here were new to me!

Rating: 2/5        306 pages, 1969

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