The French Cat

French_CatsS

Disclaimer: I love cats! I also love France. So if this review seems biased, it probably is. But then again there must be thousands (millions?) of people in the world in the same category. And as Christmas is not far away, then this book would, in my opinion, tick many of the boxes on their 'what I'd like for Christmas' list.

This delightful book more than hints at its contents by the softly padded cover and full picture of a black and white moggie sitting outside the quintessential French house: peeling paint, wooden shutters, striped canvas curtain at the door. You get the picture.

But like many of the 'spot the kitty' pictures in this lavishly illustrated book, there is a second cat perched far above on the first-floor lintel, observing - as cats do - the other one below.

"I have always thought I was extremely lucky," says author Rachael McKenna, "to be able to spend my days consumed by my two favourite passions: photography and animals. In my eyes it's truly the best job in the world, but now I have added France to the equation."

Lucky, indeed! And lucky for those who buy this book.

A hugely experienced and prolific author and photographer, Rachael McKenna (formerly Rachael Hale) will be no stranger to fans of this sort of book.

From grassy meadows to the steps of grand chateaux, the author has tracked all sorts and conditions of French felines (les chats) and captured them at play, stalking, sunbaking or simply cat-napping! Best of all, not only is it a peep into the daily, mostly unreported life of a cat, but also into parts of French villages and everyday life which go generally unnoticed.

For those who regard France as a dog-obsessed nation - think again!

The French Cat, by Rachael McKenna (nee Hale), published by Hardie Grant Books, October 2011, hardback, richly illustrated, rrp $29.95. ISBN 978 174 270179 0

- Sally Hammond

 

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