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text 2017-10-26 00:33
A quote from The Lion in the Living Room
The Lion in the Living Room: How House Cats Tamed Us and Took Over the World - Abigail Tucker

The mutual failure to communicate puts indoor cats in a precarious position, since once sealed in our homes they have no way to survive without human patronage. To complicate matters, due to what Bradshaw describes as their “weakness in social skills”, cats are almost impervious to punishment, fixated on food exclusively as a reward, and so are very tough to train. We can’t teach them our ways.

 

Which is where cat-human interaction studies take a fascinating turn: as they so often have in their relationship with humanity, cats take the initiative and tame us. Trapped in a house and with no other recourse, every pet cat sets about the daunting task of bringing its thick-skulled human to heel. Since this chore is well beyond the scope of normal feline (anti-) social life, the cat must more or less start from scratch, performing what amounts to a set of tests on human subjects. Indeed, it turns out that what we think of a cats’ affection or love for us is not only not unconditional, it is actively conditioning. Cats are the experimental architects; we are Pavlov’s dogs.

 

Some of this is obvious and even delightful to cat lovers. “Honeybun is the biggest love-mush,” says an owner quoted in one study. “She demands affection and will actually ‘hit’ people with her paw to get them to pet her or keep petting her.” But we are oblivious to much of the taming process.

 

Many cats somehow figure out, for instance, that humans respond well to sound. Take the pleasing trill of a purr. Among cats, this tonal buzzing in the vocal folds has no fixed significance—it can mean anything from “I am happy” to “I am about to die”. But to humans the sound is welcome and even rather flattering. So within our earshot, many cats apparently rejigger their purposeless purr to include a barely audible,  very annoying, and insistent signal, a cry—usually for food—that resembles a baby’s wail. “The embedding of a cry within a call we normally associate with contentment is quite a subtle means of eliciting a response,” purr researcher Karen McComb has said. She described this “solicitation purr”, which people register subconsciously, as “less harmonic and thus more difficult to habituate to,” and claimed that cats increase the behavior when they realize it gets results.

 

—The Lion in the Living Room by Abigail Tucker, p. 131-132

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review 2017-10-25 03:36
The Lion in the Living Room by Abigail Tucker
The Lion in the Living Room: How House Cats Tamed Us and Took Over the World - Abigail Tucker

Although not exactly a scientific book, this was informative, and Tucker mentions many studies. She covers the history of our "domestication" of cats (although she suggests that it may be more their domestication of us), the changes in cat lifestyles (indoor) over the last few decades, the recent advent of cat "breeds", the increases in their population levels, feral/pet cats, and cat memes, among others.

 

Some of the studies show that pet owners with cats may not enjoy all of the health benefits that other pet owners seem to, but this may be a selection effect since people in poorer health would tend to pick a cat over a dog as a pet. Apparently there's been some speculation among researchers concerning schizophrenia and toxoplasmosis as well as linking the latter to some other diseases. I remain somewhat skeptical, naturally. The correlation data wasn't exactly smoking-gun quality.

 

Anyway, it was an interesting read and I was satisfied with Tucker's style. I'm also pretty sure that my own little hypercarnivore has me well-trained. I should try to take possible noise pollution into account when I encounter apparently aberrant behaviour on his behalf, I think. I must admit that I don't really understand this modern desire for fancy cat breeds. My own little rescue is cute on his own despite his lack of "parentage".

 

See?

 

Previous update:

page 81 of 187

 

A quote from page 131 (for Themis-Athena)

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text 2017-10-23 03:20
Reading progress update: I've read 81 out of 187 pages.
The Lion in the Living Room: How House Cats Tamed Us and Took Over the World - Abigail Tucker

Even with their categorization as an invasive species, cat eradication makes me sad.

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review 2017-10-04 03:57
THE GHOST FUCKER: HUNG LIKE A DEAD MAN by Fannie Tucker
The Ghost Fucker: Hung like a Dead Man (Paranormal Strangulation Erotica) (The Ghost Fucker Chronicles) - Fannie Tucker

Kevin is hanging around his home after his suicide.  He cannot pass over so his widow hires Katrina to rid the house of Kevin.  She has a different way of ghost busting.

 

This is a short quick hot read.  It is fun.  Katrina gives Kevin what he want so he can pass over.  I enjoyed it and plan to read more of the series.

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review 2017-08-12 01:40
Until It Fades: A Novel - K.A. Tucker Until It Fades: A Novel - K.A. Tucker

Until It Fades
This is my first K. A Tucker novel and it will not be my last. I heard about her before, but never considered reading her work before, but when Until It Fades came on my radar, and I read the blurb I was intrigued.

What the story is about.
Until It Fades tells the story of Catherine Wright, a 24-year-old single mom to a spunky 5-year-old girl. She works as a waitress at truck stop in a small town. Her past was not pretty, and she wished for it to remain hidden. However, her selfless decision to rescue a stranger from a burning car, would lead to the events from her past becoming a fodder for the media.

The man she saved was none other than Brett Madden, famous hockey player and son of a movie star. So it was no surprise that the accident became the talk of every media house. Her attempts to keep her identity hidden proved futile, which became worse when Brett Madden turned upon her doorstep. What followed was an intense and immediate attraction, a friendship and a slow burn romance.



The Story

What I enjoyed about this story is glimpses I got into Catherine’s past, which allowed me to understand what happened to her and why she felt she had to keep it all hidden. This aspect of the story was detailed making it easy for me to relate to her struggles.

The story moved at a pace, which I believed was fitting for the events that were taking place. The shifts between the past and the present were flawless.

I enjoyed the romance, which I considered a slow burning one. Their instant, which I do not consider abnormal, given the circumstances. She saved his life so he will feel something for her, but is it love or just a sense of gratitude? I loved how the author explored this aspect of their relationship. I was glad to see they did not immediately act on their attraction for each other. They took getting to know each other to ensure that their feelings were genuine. In Brett’s case, he needed to ensure that his feelings were not borne out of sheer gratitude and for Catherine she needed assurance that her feelings did not stem from the fact that he was famous.

He grins sheepishly. “When I went home that night, I told my parents that I was madly in love with this brave and beautiful woman who saved my life.”
Oh my God. My heart’s beating in my throat.
“Of course they convinced me that I was completely overwhelmed and that I needed to get some rest.”
“I’m sure they were right,” I mumble.
“I thought so too, honestly.” He swallows hard. “But then you had to go and be not just brave and beautiful but also humble, and funny, and honest. And I couldn’t stop thinking about what it’d be like to be with you… So I need you to tell me what I need to do for you to give me that chance.” His jaw tenses as he locks eyes with me. “Please.”

The emotions were heartfelt and intense.

The story was not unique by far, but it was still an enjoyable one. It was not hard figuring how it would end, but what intrigued me was watching it all unfold.

The Characters

I thought the character development was well done. They were believable and relatable. There was some that had me scratching my head, and then those who placed a smile on my face.

I enjoyed Brett’s interaction with both Catherine and her daughter. He always includes her whenever he invited Catherine to go anywhere. He knew they were a package deal and he was willing to accept it all.

Catherine struggled with being in the spotlight. She prefers to be in the background, to which I can totally relate. She is different from the women that move in Brett’s circles. She is independent and not looking for handouts. When he looked at her, he saw her for who she was, a woman of strength, a caring mother and a woman who conquered her past.

Conclusion/Recommendation

My biggest issue with the story was my inability to connect with Brett the way I did with Catherine. It would have helped if I got the story through his eyes as well.

Until it Fades is a beautifully written story, which touches on thought provoking issues. It demonstrated how quickly persons are to judge another for their mistakes and how victims are harshly treated.

Overall, this was a wonderful, swoon worthy romance. I am not going to lie, there were moments I pictured myself in Catherine’s shoes minus the humiliating past of course. If you enjoy romances that have a Cinderella feel then you will enjoy this story.

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