Cover image for The feline mystique : on the mysterious connection between women and cats
The feline mystique : on the mysterious connection between women and cats
Simon, Clea.
Personal Author:
First edition.
Publication Information:
New York : St. Martin's Press, [2002]

Physical Description:
xiv, 237 pages : illustrations ; 22 cm
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
SF446.5 .S57 2002 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks

On Order



A sophisticated and often moving exploration of the bond between women and their cats, from the award-winning author of Mad House. Simon examines the mythology of cats and women, studies some of the more famous examples of women and their cats, and interviews women ranging from a young professional to a lion tamer.

Author Notes

Clea Simon is a Boston-based writer and journalist, who contributes regularly to the Boston Globe, The New York Times, Ms., and a variety of other publications

Reviews 2

Booklist Review

The countless joys and rewards as well as the frustrations and failures of pet ownership are explored by two authors who examine the complexities of the human-animal dynamic from both points of view. From the dog who is more apt to chew his master's slippers than fetch them, to the cat who would rather pounce than purr, determining why even the most loyal and lovable pets display inappropriate behavior is the goal of renowned animal behaviorist Dodman, a proponent of behavior modification based upon a thorough understanding of an animal's inherent personality traits and species characteristics. Sharing case histories culled from his extensive caseload of distraught pet owners desperate to discover the cause of their pet's perplexing actions, Dodson advocates strategies ranging from dietary changes to pharmaceutical remedies. His theories surface again in Simon's erudite, anthropological discourse on the ageless and enigmatic relationship between females and felines. Exploring the myths and examining the stereotypes that have shaped society's perceptions of cats and the women who care for them, Simon blends historical, cultural, and literary references with personal observations in an eloquent, unabashed paean to this rewarding, if often misunderstood, interspecies bond. --Carol Haggas

Library Journal Review

Simon (Fatherless Women) draws on personal experience, research, and interviews with female cat owners to explore the unique relationship between women and cats. She seeks to dispel negative old wives' tales about women and cats, creating a work that largely offers her own insights and reflections. She also examines how cats and women have been intertwined in historical myths and stereotypes, from the Egyptian cat-headed goddess Bastet, to the 15th-century burning of witches and their feline familiars, to the modern Catwoman. Throughout are stories of women and their cats, including a shelter worker, a tiger trainer, and a number of artists. Simon includes her own touching story of 17 years with her recently deceased cat, Cyrus, and explores how the female-feline relationship affects other relationships in a woman's life. A bibliography and list of cat rescue organizations accompany the work. Lovingly written, Simon's work offers an unusual perspective on an age-old topic and makes a suitable purchase for large public libraries. Eva Lautemann, Georgia Perimeter Coll., Clarkston (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Table of Contents

Prefacep. xiii
1. A Cat of One's Ownp. 1
2. Bondingp. 28
3. Household Godsp. 49
4. When the Fur Flewp. 71
5. The Sensual Kittyp. 86
6. Meows and Whispersp. 103
7. Obsessionp. 123
8. Litteringp. 142
9. The Wild Sidep. 161
10. Letting Gop. 192
11. The Solace of Catsp. 214
Acknowledgmentsp. 230
Cat Rescue Organizationsp. 233
Bibliographyp. 235