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The Unadulterated Cat    by Terry Pratchett & Gray Jolliffe order for
Unadulterated Cat
by Terry Pratchett
Order:  USA  Can
Orion, 2012 (1989)
* * *   Reviewed by Hilary Williamson

Here's the perfect gift for anyone who cohabits with cats - The Unadulterated Cat by Terry Pratchett and Gray Jolliffe. It's a small volume filled with Pratchett's singular humor and wit, and enlivened by black and white cartoons of feisty felines.

It opens on The Campaign for Real Cats, explaining how to recognize one, e.g. 'Real cats can hear a fridge door opening two rooms away'; 'Real cats catch things'; and 'Real cats eat nearly all of everything they catch.' Next are cat origins - 'Nowhere do we find the Piltdown cat, the missing lynx.' We're told that Buying a house in the Country is 'A very reliable way of acquiring a cat', which simply shows up and moves in. And we learn that 'Arch-villains' cats are not Real', though Cartoon cats often are.

Anyone who lives with cats will cringe at the section on giving a Real cat a pill - been there, tried to do that! Also the discussion of cats decorating homes with 'miniature sets of innards.' And the wet cement game they sometimes play. The chapter on Schrodinger cats offers food for thought, discussing evolution of a gene 'to get in and out of locked boxes'! Finally, in The future of the Real cat, we're reminded that 'The purr means 'make me happy and I'll make you happy' and that's why Real cats have managed to survive humans all this time.

This charming little book will be appreciated by any catlover, as well as a myriad of Terry Pratchett fans.

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