Book Review: Lessons in Stalking

July 11, 2014

lessons in stalkingBy Julia Williams

I have had the pleasure of a cat’s company for all of my life. Without giving away my age, let’s just say that this amounts to a very long time. Cats have been my BFFs ever since the cute yellow kitten my toddler self inexplicably wanted to name Blacky (sadly, I was outvoted). I think it’s safe to say I know a thing or two about cat behavior. Which means that whenever I start reading a new cat book, I can tell within the first few pages whether the author really “knows” cats, or not.

As it happens, sometimes people who have a cat decide to try writing some funny stories about the cat. The stories are indeed humorous, but they don’t really describe feline behavior. As you might imagine, I enjoy books about cats more when they’re portraying at least semi-realistic things the cats do … or might do, if given the chance.

When I began reading Lessons in Stalking: Adjusting to Life with Cats, it was obvious that the book’s author, Dena Harris, was a bona fide cat lady. Not everyone gets cats, but Dena Harris most definitely does. Moreover, she captured their feline quirks perfectly, and the stories – although slightly exaggerated for comic effect – were plausible. Events may not have happened exactly the way she described them…but they could have.

The book made me laugh multiple times, which is always good. Who can say they don’t want or need more laughter in their lives? Not I. While I may not have guffawed loud enough to wake the dead, or suffered fits of uncontrollable giggles, I did find many of the stories amusing. They also made me smile, because they described things my cats have already done or would do under the same circumstances.

yoga catOne particularly entertaining story recounted how the author decided to take up yoga, but was a tad annoyed at the way her cat sat across the room striking seemingly effortless yoga-like poses. Now, we all know that cats are quite limber; they’re also fond of showing off their flexibility, especially while cleaning their privates in front of guests. So when the author writes that her cat mocks her while she’s trying (and failing) to do yoga, I can totally picture it. As if making a human pretzel of yourself wasn’t difficult enough, imagine how daunting it would be to have your cat performing the same yoga pose effortlessly. Yeah, doing yoga at home with the cat? Not a good idea.

Lessons in Stalking: Adjusting to Life with Cats is comprised of 20 self-contained short tales (3-5 pages each). I liked that because it was easy for me to pick up and read a story here and there. If I didn’t read the book for a few days, I didn’t have to backtrack to remind myself what had already happened.

At 100 pages, the book is a quick read, but the Kindle edition is currently only $1.99 so I certainly felt that I got my two dollars worth of entertainment out of it. If you like cats and funny cat books, Lessons in Stalking won’t disappoint!

Yoga Cat photo by Beverley Goodwin

Read more articles by Julia Williams

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  1. I will go and check this out. Sounds right up The Staff’s street!

  2. Sounds like a good read, especially since I’m still learning about cats and their behavior. Thanks for sharing about book and your honest opinion.

  3. Sounds like a very enjoyable book!

  4. DMatsuura says:

    Good news that this book is available on Kindle. I think I’ll download it tonight when I get home from work. Thank you for sharing this with us. Diane @ CANIDAE