Ginger Digest

Gingertail Reads: The Lion in the Living Room

Posted on December 19, 2016: Cats are easily the most mysterious and misunderstood animals on the planet. Some of us just cannot get enough of their purring, soft bellies and head butt kisses. While there are others who regard them with suspicion, and even fear. Cats are at times the most priced pets and at other times, invasive pests known for ruthlessly slaughtering small mammals.

Why do humans have a love-hate relationship with felines that dates back to thousands of years?

American writer and reporter Abigail Tucker decided to come up with some answers. She tirelessly trammelled through human and feline history to dig up the relics of this inter-species relationship. She then interviewed biologists, ecologists, and other researchers to uncover the secrets behind how cats have clawed their way into our hearts, even though they don’t offer any obvious practical benefit to human beings.

And she wrote all that she learned down in a book called The Lion in the Living Room: How House Cats Tamed Us and Took Over the World.

“Former lords of the jungle, lions are now relics, ruling nothing: 20,000 holdouts barely hanging on in a few African preserves and a single Indian forest, dependent on our conservation money and our mercy. Their habitat shrinks each year and biologists fear they may vanish by the end of the century.

Meanwhile, the lion’s little jester of a cousin, once an evolutionary footnote, has become a force of nature. The global house cat population is 600 million and counting, and more of them are born in the United States every single day than there are lions in the wilderness. New York City’s annual spring kitten crop rivals the wild tiger count. Worldwide, house cats already outnumber dogs, their great rival for our affections, by as many as three to one, and their advantage is probably increasing,” she says on her website.

Insightful and entertaining, the book features Cheetoh – Tucker’s cat – as the unsuspecting muse behind the tome. Tuckers writes with refreshing honesty about her own feline obsession and digs up information with the curiosity of a cat…

New York Times Bestseller The Lion in the Living Room: How House Cats Tamed Us and Took Over the World by Abigail Tucker, Hardback for Rs 1,496, available on Amazon.

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