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The Nine Emotional Lives of Cats: A Journey Into the Feline Heartby Jeffrey Moussaieff Masson
Saturday, March 15, 2014 04:00 PM
Powell's City of Books on Burnside, Portland, OR
Jeffrey Masson's Beasts (Bloomsbury) is an eye-opening book about the animals at the top of the food chain and what they can teach us about the origins of good and evil in ourselves. Masson demonstrates that the violence we perceive in the "wild" is mostly a matter of projection, stripping away our misconceptions of the creatures we fear and offering a compelling look at our uniquely human propensity toward aggression. This event is sponsored by the Oregon Humane Society.
Synopses & Reviews
In the hugely popular New York Times bestseller, Dogs Never Lie About Love, provocative psychoanalyst Jeffrey Moussaieff Masson brilliantly navigated the inner landscape of “man’s best friend.” Now he delves deep into the secretive, playful world of cats, revealing emotions, debunking myths, and honoring the feline’s evolution from solitary jungle creature to human companion.
Drawing from literature, history, animal behavioral research, and the wonderful true stories of cat experts and cat lovers around the world, Jeffrey Masson vividly explores the delights and mysteries of the feline heart. But at the core of this remarkable book are Masson’s candid, often amusing observations of his own five cats. Their mischievousness, aloofness, and affection provide a way to examine emotions from contentment to jealousy, from anger to love.
Consider the question: Are cats selfish? While human egocentricity is defined by how little a person cares about others, the cat’s narcissism is not like that at all. Cats may appear self-centered, but they watch us all the time, taking us in. They see us; they notice us–a far cry from vanity.
Cats are curious, a trait that rarely kills them. On the contrary, it gives them the chance to assess, in their own idiosyncratic way, whether we are worthy of their attention. Cats are happy to be themselves. What they think of us is a different question entirely. “We need cats to need us,” notes Masson, “It unnerves us that they do not. However, if they do not need us, they nonetheless seem to love us.”
The Nine Emotional Lives of Cats will captivate readers with its surprises and insights, offering a new perspective on the deep connection shared by humans and their feline friends. This is the book that Masson’s many fans and cat lovers everywhere have been waiting for.
Includes bibliographical references (p. 247-249) and index.
About the Author
Jeffrey Moussaieff Masson, former Sanskrit scholar and Projects Director of the Sigmund Freud Archives, has written more than a dozen books, including the New York Times bestsellers Dogs Never Lie About Love and When Elephants Weep. A longtime resident of Berkeley, California, he now lives in New Zealand with his wife, two sons, and five cats.
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