Book Mews: Claws, Confessions of a Professional Cat Groomer

Hello everyone,

There are so many  TV programmes throwing light on what it’s like to do various jobs and professions; doctors, lawyers train drivers, vets  and journalists included. These programmes have even been shown to influence teenagers’s career choices. Now there hasn’t been a programme about cat grooming yet (to my knowledge) but there is now a book by London based Professional Cat Groomer and Cat Behaviourist, Anita Kelsey;

Anita Kelsey is the only cat specific behaviourist in London, with a work based degree in feline behaviour and psychology, as well as ample experience with cat behaviour and grooming. Throughout her years of visiting people’s homes, she has amassed a wealth of adorable and ridiculous stories about her feline clients, and their owners

Now, cat grooming is a whole new world to me even though we have our own three kitties (thankfully we are able to take care of their low maintenance grooming needs) so I was especially interested to know what professional grooming involves.

Each of the book’s 20 short chapters is a self contained story based on Anita’s experience while grooming a particular cat such as Tilly Too Toos (below left), Little Wolf  (below right) and Little Miss Sleepy Head (this sounds like a certain black, three pawed cat we know). These humorous chapter names gave me the feeling I was going to like this book.

What hit me first about the book is Anita’s honesty in sharing her experiences – warts and all. From being hospitalised by a cat not happy to be bathed, dealing with rude clients to struggling to get the neat finish she’d like to give her feline clients. It’s this honesty that allows you to laugh at the situations she finds herself in. And laugh I did (much to the annoyance of my fellow passengers) as I squeezed in a chapter on my short journey to work. Each laugh was breathed with a twinge of guilt at the situations Anita had to face in her newly chosen career though. Although my other half is German I still find Schadenfreude an uneasy concept. What also permeates the stories is Anita’s enthusiasm to get the job done but not at all costs, sometimes admitting defeat rather than cause more stress for the cats she’s grooming by using less holistic methods.

Anita Kelsey is one of a small group of holistic low-stress cat groomers in the UK, taking cat grooming to the next level. The only cat groomer in the UK who also holds a degree in cat behaviour,

So, if you want to know what it’s really like to be a professional cat groomer, visiting client’s in their homes and at the same time enjoy the refreshing honesty of the author’s anecdotes then get yourself a copy of Claws, Confessions of a Professional Cat Groomer.

Oh, did I tell you about the Mog Tips? No? Well, not only does the author share her funny stories with us, the book contains numerous snippets of really useful advice and tips on how to groom a cat in different situations. Now, be really thankful that you won’t have to go through what Anita did to get this knowledge 🙂

If you would like to get the book yourself it is available from:

Amazon UK by clicking on Claws, Confessions of a Professional Cat Groomer.
Amazon US by clicking on  Claws, Confessions of a Professional Cat Groomer.
Amazon DE by clicking on  Claws, Confessions of a Professional Cat Groomer.

More about the author:

Anita Kelsey holds a first class honours degree in Feline Behaviour and Psychology (work based BA Hons) and runs a vet referral service dedicated strictly to the diagnosis and treatment of behaviour problems in cats. She is also a qualified cat groomer and specialises in grooming aggressive or phobic cats. Anita writes for Your Cat Magazine and is on their experts panel answering readers questions on cat grooming. She also advises on feline behaviour for the CFBA (Canine and Feline Behaviour) magazine as well as being a full member. Anita, a strong advocate of a vegan lifestyle, is based in Notting Hill, London but consults all over the UK as well as international requests. She lives with her husband, a music producer, and two Norwegian Forest cats, Kiki and Zaza.

P.S. Don’t forget to sign up for our new Newsletter here.

Thanks,

Iain

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Reigning Cats: Why Felines have Ruled the Pet World for so Long

Despite the dominance of man’s best friend as the UK’s domestic pet of choice at 24% of households, cats come a close second with our feline friends occupying 18% of the country’s homes. In fact, according to the PFMA, cats and dogs leave the competition standing, with the next most popular pet being fish kept in tanks with just 9% of household.

The popularity of dogs can easily be explained by their historical role as working animals used to hunt. But our continuing love affair with cats throughout the centuries is more nuanced and has less obvious utilitarian roots. So what is it that makes cats so special to us, given all the other potentially domesticated animals out there?

Long Traditions

The relationship between humans and cats spans recorded history, with DNA evidence suggesting that cats were domesticated in the Middle East between 10,000 and 15,000 years ago. At this point in history, the rise of grain production would have meant that people began to be experience problems with mice, for which cats were – and still remain – the perfect predators. It’s likely that these early communities encouraged wild cats to stay around their grain stores by offering food or other attention, beginning the process of domestication which has created the cats we know and love today.

Behavioural Profile

Cats are fiercely independent and it was long believed that they cannot be easily trained. Though this has since be proven wrong through studies and books such as The Trainable Cat Book. They are certainly not suited to wearing a lead or accompanying their owner on long walks. Whilst dog’s loyalty seems to be their main appeal, it is this very independence that attracts so many people to cats. A pet cat requires very little training, beyond the basics of toilet habits, and are perfectly able to groom themselves. They are happy to be left alone for extended periods of time throughout the day, but will also offer affection and attention when in the company of the family. This makes them a suitably low maintenance pet for our busy modern lives.

Combine this with their innate cuteness and it’s not hard to understand why cats are so popular. In contrast to most other domestic animals, cats are able to retain a huge amount of their independence and to exhibit clear personalities of their own.

Thinking of Getting a Cat?

Before bringing a cat home, make sure the whole family are on board with the idea and are prepared to make the appropriate changes. It is essential that the cat feels safe and content. Although cats are independent, owners are responsible for providing food and water and for taking care of the litter tray.

Cats may not appreciate toys and playthings as much as dogs unless of course you get the right toys but they lap up attention. It’s important to make sure that all of the requisite supplies are acquired before bringing the cat home. Essentials include a litter box and the same brand of litter as the cat is already accustomed to using, a bed, food and water bowls, as well as plenty of cat food and a scratching post (to save your upholstery).

Once these items are in place, check the home for any escape points or hazardous materials that the cat might ingest. Some common plants are poisonous to animals to be sure to check if any decorative plants need to be moved to higher shelves or different rooms. You definitely look into taking out cat insurance in advance of the cat’s arrival, given the high potential cost of any veterinary attention during the lifespan of your new feline friend. Kittens need to have vaccinations at an early age, plus annual boosters, whilst accidents and emergencies can occur at any point in a cat’s life.

Cats are a rewarding companion to have at home, suitable for people of varying lifestyles who want the combination of comfort, beauty and independence that only cats can offer.

Oh and please don’t forget to subscribe to our Newsletter by clicking here.

Thanks,

Marc

We regularly write about all things relating to cats on our Blog Katzenworld!

My partner and I are owned by three cheeky cats that get up to all kind of mischief that of course you’ll also be able to find out more about on our Blog

If you are interested in joining us by becoming a regular contributor / guest author do drop me a message.

Book Mews: Shop Cats of New York

Hi everyone,

Today we are looking at the book Shop Cats of New York by Tamar Arslanian.

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SHOP CATS OF NEW YORK  blends the introspective eye of Humans of New York with the visual intelligence of The French Cat to depict the Big Apple from the perspective of their diverse and enchanting rulers: felines. Combined with lively photography, this book gives voices to the creatures beloved for their mystique, independence, and vitality.

Depicting the character of New York and its shops through their cat counterparts, the author and photographer capture distinctive cats such as:

  • a camping store cat whose official title is “customer therapist, assistant buyer and HR”
  • a wine store cat with his own chiropractor—he has a bad back
  • a cat in an occult shop who casts spells at night carrying a magic wand in her mouth
  • a cat who is a the mascot at a dog boutique
  • a bookstore cat who almost killed a live chicken during toddler story time

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Beyond the clever stories these cats offer, they are legends inside New York institutions like the Algonquin Hotel, Bleecker Street Records, Kings County Distillery, and many more. From the amusing to the benevolent, this book uncovers these 40 cats’ different personalities and the shops they deem home. Celebrated cat blogger Tamar Arslanian and popular Instagram pet photographer Andrew Marttila illustrate the love and warmth these felines elicit in their urban kingdom.

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SHOP CATS OF NEW YORK is the perfect holiday gift book for those who venerate the species, city life, and the creatures who keep their celebrated shops lively. It can be nearly impossible to deduce what is stirring inside these majestic animals’ brains, but Arslanian and Marttila get as close as humanly possible.

Our over-all verdict: This book is simply purrfect! Having been to the big apple earlier this year we recognised many of the cats in the book as we met them on our adventures in New York! But it also gave us insights on how many we missed and whom we will have to meet on a future trip!

shop-cats-of-new-york

If you enjoy great cat photos but also learn more about their history and the history of the area / place they live in when this is your PERFECT book!

If you would like to get the book yourself it is available from:

Paperback directly from the Publisher here for the USA
Amazon UK by clicking here.
Amazon US by clicking here or through Barnes & Nobles here.
Amazon DE by clicking here.

More about the author:

Tamar Arslanian
is the author of the blog IHaveCat.com, and has served as Vice President of Account Management at numerous high profile New York City advertising agencies. She currently consults pet brands on marketing and social media, writes for numerous pet outlets and shares her home with three rescue cats Kip, Petie and Haddie.

shop cats Andrew Marttila
shop cats
Andrew Marttila

P.S. Don’t forget to sign up for our new Newsletter here.

Thanks,

Marc

We regularly write about all things relating to cats on our Blog Katzenworld!

My partner and I are owned by three cheeky cats that get up to all kind of mischief that of course you’ll also be able to find out more about on our Blog

If you are interested in joining us by becoming a regular contributor / guest author do drop me a message.