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review 2018-07-18 17:33
Black Cat White Paws, Mark McNease

I really enjoyed this Mystery. The kitty was a fun part in it too. I voluntarily chose to review this story and I've given it a 4.5* rating. This was a pretty interesting mystery with lots of twists and turns and plenty of suspects to go around. Maggie is one brave gal and likes to get answers to her questions. Since she is a widow, she can't seem to wait around for others to get to the bottom of it. Plus the Black kitty with white paws wants to be her friend. Alright, it likes her to feed him but much more.Had this finished for a couple days but had no phone or internet for 5 and 1/2 days. I want to read more of this author's work.

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text 2018-07-08 17:35
Reading progress update: I've read 72 out of 235 pages.
The Inner Life of Cats: The Science and Secrets of Our Mysterious Feline Companions - Thomas McNamee

I'm not sure whether Balou's "calling around sounding lost" sound counts as a rowow or a máa-oww. It sounds godawful once he gets going and it definitely sounds louder than seems possible for his size.

 

Mildred Moelk's work sounds interesting.

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text 2018-07-08 01:12
Reading progress update: I've read 7 out of 235 pages.
The Inner Life of Cats: The Science and Secrets of Our Mysterious Feline Companions - Thomas McNamee

My initial impression was favourable. Although the style is anecdotal and somewhat chatty, it also focuses strictly on the cat, Augusta, and discusses her hunting abilities and so on. And then I got to this paragraph:

"Cats can hear higher-frequency sounds than any other terrestrial mammal, quite a bit higher even than dogs—up to one hundred thousand hertz (cycles per second). People max out at about forty thousand, if they haven't been to too many rock concerts or ear-splitting bars (which probably eliminates about half of all American grownups)."

I was like, what? Humans hearing up to 40 kHz? <.<

 

Supposedly there are some endnotes for this book but I don't see any references for this statement. The figure I'm familiar with for human hearing is 20 kHz, and I saw references to 23 kHz & 28 kHz when I was digging, which still seem plausible (28 kHz is apparently under ideal laboratory conditions), but with dogs commonly getting their hearing range quoted as up to ~45 kHz, it just isn't plausible that humans could possibly hear up to 40 kHz. There will be variations in the exact numbers since you normally have to quote an exact dB level (loudness) to go with a frequency but still. The statement is qualitatively accurate but the numbers are bogus.

 

I did find one paper that quote 85 kHz in the abstract for the upper end of the range for cats, but the Wikipedia page on hearing ranges refers an upper limit of 79 kHz (mice get 70 kHz). So they can hear ultrasonic mouse squeaks! Tee hee. I also found this really cool chart on that page that seems to use some different numbers (77 kHz for cat, 79 kHz for mouse) but looks cool just the same.Animal hearing frequency range

 

 

Apparently some bat species can hear up to 200 kHz, which is just kind of crazy. They do sacrifice hearing on the lower end of the scale though.

 

And this source gives 64 kHz to cats and 91 kHz to mice!

 

Anyway, although I may still end up enjoying the book, I'm going to be skeptical of all numbers quoted.

 

 

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review 2018-06-27 09:22
Cat Lady Embroidery
Cat Lady Embroidery: 380 Ways to Stitch a Cat - Applemints

by Applemints

 

This is a pattern book, so not a lot of text. The designs are all cats; cat faces, cats doing things, whimsical cats, cats with kittens, holiday cats, both Halloween and Christmas, cat alphabets, and of most interest to me, kitty borders that would look great on clothing.

 

The first section is full color pictures of all the designs, followed by a 'project inspiration gallery' with suggestions of where to apply the embroidery. Any piece of clothing or accessory made of cloth is a potential canvas. There is a comprehensive section on tools and materials that gives all the basics of this type of embroidery in simple enough terms for a beginner and shows the effects of using different numbers of strands of embroidery floss.

 

There are just three basic stitches involved; a chain stitch, a fill stitch and a French knot. Anyone who can wield a needle can do these. They include a chart to identify colors in two major brands of embroidery floss as well.

 

After that is pictorial chart instructions for all the designs. All the needleworker has to do is transfer the design onto whatever they want to embroidery and follow the lines with the color and number of strands indicated. Easy peasy, anyone who can follow a line can decorate their clothing with cute cats!

 

I thought it was brilliantly done and the designs are really cute. I'm looking forward to transforming my entire wardrobe into crazy cat lady clothes.

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review 2018-06-15 23:42
STARLIGHT by Erin Hunter
Starlight - Erin Hunter

Book 4 of series 2 of the Warriors series has the clans finding new homes for themselves. While there are questions of StarClan's approval of the new land, each clan claims a part of the new land. Fighting over the territories becomes hard because the clans are used to working together but for some it is easy to go back to the old hostilities. Squirrelflight and Brambleclaw have their problems to work out while Leafpaw struggles with her feelings for Cloudfeather and his for her.

I like how the clans worked together and still, in some ways, continue to do so. Firestar is still the leader amongst leaders regardless of how other leaders want to go back to the old hostilities. But the younger generation is coming into their own. It will be interesting to see who becomes leaders and who turn traitor.

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