The Tribe of Tiger

The Tribe of Tiger

Cats and Their Culture

Book - 1994
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Baker & Taylor
Investigates the mysteries of the cat world and the history of cat culture, examining what cats are--and who they think they are in relation to humans

Blackwell North Amer
Elizabeth Marshall Thomas has an instinct for animals and for what makes them behave the way they do. This time her subject is felines - housecats and their wild siblings. "As the cherub is to the angel, so the cat is to the tiger," she writes, "and although today we tend to put the relationship the other way around, saying that tigers are a kind of cat rather than that cats are a kind of tiger, the fact is that cats and tigers do represent the two extremes of one family, the alpha and omega of their kind."
The story of this graceful, resourceful tribe begins with what cats are: meat-eaters, first and foremost. But as Thomas shows, within that stark equation abides an astonishing range of experience and expression. Contrary to popular belief, cats - even tigers - are not solitary beings, but are homebodies who "own" property much as we do and favor extended clans when food supplies permit. They communicate eloquently with one another and with us - although they interpret our idioms better than we do theirs. Like dogs, they include us in their family structures, but while dogs treat us as friends and equals, cats relate to us hierarchically, as parents or children, and we tend to reciprocate. Most crucially, cats are, like us, individuals who - instinct notwithstanding - pass on, adapt, and invent codes of deportment as circumstances require.
Cats, in other words, have culture. Whether they live among us or in the wild, as solo hunters or in circus troupes, they sustain an intricate, elegant, ever-changing web of community with us, among themselves, and with the other creatures, great and small, who dwell in the world.

& Taylor

The author of The Hidden Life of Dogs investigates the mysteries of the cat world and the history of cat culture, examining what cats are--and who they think they are--in relation to humans. 150,000 first printing. Tour.

Publisher: New York : Simon & Schuster, c1994.
ISBN: 9780671799656
Branch Call Number: 636.8 THO
Characteristics: 240 p. : ill. ; 22 cm.


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Aug 26, 2015

Aug 26 2015.....I just finished this book and I enjoyed it immensely. I picked it out because I needed a book with a lion in it for the Summer Reading Challenge with the Chinook Arch (Lethbridge and southern Alberta) library system. I probably would not have taken it out otherwise, but what a nice surprise. Research and observations presented in a kind of storytelling format. Very informative, and enjoyable. A book to make you ponder. As this book was written in 1994, I would really like to know EMT's take on the recent hubbub over the lion being shot in Africa! She has given me a new way to think about zoo's, circuses and also the other ways that we deal with and try to control nature and the bounty within our planet. As a bonus, I also get to re-think my relationship with my kitties! (I will feel a little more guilty about leaving them home alone from now on!) I will be checking out more of this intriguing woman's books!


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