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  • By Janis Ringuette
    Sep 1, 2013
    ~~ Fascinating, thought-provoking, informative and amusing ~~ This surprising, unique book is a joyous read for anyone interested in the science of how things work. As Erickson focuses in depth on cat claws--their development, purpose and proper care--she explains much more. The author’s clear and entertaining prose reminds me of best-selling science author David Quammen. Erickson includes excellent images to illustrate each concept, such as the complex role and structure of skin, a seriously underrated organ. There is much more to learn about claws than you might think. Cat claws, unlike dogs and humans, never grow longer. Instead, claws are renewed from underneath and when ready, outer sheaths fall away to reveal fresh sharp claws of the same length. Photos in the book showing castoff sheaths are both transparent and beautiful. Sheath shedding “is the evolutionary plan to maintain each claw at a consistent length and to ensure that each claw’s point and cutting edge are sharp and at... More > the ready.” That important insight enables us to understand why it is usually unnecessary and inappropriate to trim or file cat claws. Too bad, claw information available online gives exactly the opposite advice. Erickson recognizes “The elegant design of cat claws has been tested by eons of time….” Cats cared for their own claws for millennia before people came along. The idea that cats waited centuries for “humans to invent those clippers…doesn’t make sense.” Cats claws are essential sharp tools used to catch prey and climb trees. If claws were protracted (out) all the time like dogs, those tools would get dull and worn. That is why cat claws retract. Scratching polishes claws and helps remove old sheaths when the time is right. Erickson discusses materials for scratching and ways to direct scratching to the desired object. The author’s profound respect and understanding of how things work make this a valuable read for anyone, cat owner or not.< Less
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Product Details

First Edition
Pat Erickson
July 10, 2013
Perfect-bound Paperback
Interior Ink
Black & white
0.79 lbs.
Dimensions (inches)
6 wide x 9 tall
Product ID
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