The Hounding Cats of Znaczenie is a fascinating book. Not only does it tell the story of the world's most efficient herding cats, but it also gives an account of the history of domestic cats, their relationships with their predators, and their long journey back to their natural homes. It's one of the best books I've read on felines and their behaviors. The author, Lorraine Rothman, has done an excellent job of illuminating the lives of these animals and her research into the psychology of cats, whether they're herding cats or hunting cats. The book is chock full of illustrations and graphs that help explain the dynamics of the cat's behavior. It is informative and interesting.
The Hounding Cats of Znaczenie covers nearly every aspect of the lives of these cats, whether they're wild or domestic. It shows, for example, just how wild and playful these cats can be, how easily they can be trained to herd other felines, and how well suited they are for life in the wild. It gives an account of how the cat was brought up in captivity, what its habits and personality traits are, and what its relationship with its prey is like.
The author starts her book with an account of the origin of domestic cats. We've all heard about the wild cats' ancestors. Some are famous, like Felis silvestris or Feral Cats, a cousin of the modern day Muffin. Others are less famous, such as Cyprus' Wild Cat, the Lynx. But none of these felines is the ancestor of the domestic cat we know today. The domestic cat was instead bred from ancient breeds such as the Siamese, Burmese, and British Bobtail.
One of the most fascinating chapters of the book is the one on prey drive. What do these cats do to make sure they bring back the biggest and hardest to catch possible? The cats that herd their prey use different techniques, some employ ripping and crushing the prey, while others flex their muscles and shake their tails. There is even a chapter on pouncing, the cats' customized way of making use of their tails.
The emphasis on tail wagging is very interesting. One would think that a cat would use its claws only when it was defending itself. The author explains that the cats use their tails as weapons when they are hunting. This is a natural occurrence in wild cats, and the tail is more often than not the weapon of choice. It is used for striking, gripping, and twisting an opponent. The author also explains that this is common among larger cats who have been forced to fight over the same prey.
A very interesting part of the book is the description of the motivation of prey herding. In many cases, the reason a cat herds prey is because it is sick or injured. The author shows that cats will devour an injured animal because it will be easier to eat. They will also do this if they see that the animal needs to be fed quickly. The authors also point out that cats will sometimes attack sick or wounded animals to help them recover, so that they can resume their normal lives later.
If you are interested in learning more about wild cats, you will definitely want to pick up "Wild Cat Management: An Owner's Guide to Herding Cats" by NPZ. Not only does this book tell you about what to expect during a hunt, but it gives you detailed information about how to take care of your pet. There is even a handy checklist at the end of each chapter that gives you important tips on how to be a better cat trainer. This is a quick and easy read that anyone can understand, and even those not into the field of wildlife will enjoy this enjoyable little guide.