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The Unadulterated Cat: A Campaign for Real Cats [Paperback]

Terry Pratchett , Gray Jolliffe
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)

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Book Description

September 1995
The unadulterated cat is becoming endangered as more people settle for the pussies that purr into their gold-plated food bowls on telly. This is a Campaign for Real Cats - the sort that never wear flea collars but will eat quiche (and anything else left on the table) if they can get away with it.

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Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
4.2 out of 5 stars
Most helpful customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Such a fun read Nov. 5 2013
By Mary-Lou Bird TOP 1000 REVIEWER
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This book was suggested to me by a friend who is also a cat lover. I thoroughly enjoyed reading Terry's 'description' of different 'breeds' of cats, it was comical and I also related to some of his stories, as a cat owner myself. I finished reading this book in a very short amount of time as it was an easy read and also I didn't want to put it down. If you love cats, this book is for you and if you hate cats then this book is also for you.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Campaign for 'Real' Cats July 10 2002
Format:Paperback
For those of you who absolutely need to know what a 'real' cat is... Also tells you how to extricate your 'real' cat from flypaper. I laugh every time I re-read that part (and I re-read it frequently). Also, an informal introduction to Schroedinger's cat. I absolutely loved the book. Cat lovers, and those odd few who aren't, will probably find it amusing. I sure did...
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Hilarious insight into cat behavior June 19 2006
By Daniel Jolley TOP 50 REVIEWER
Format:Hardcover
Terry Pratchett is, as far as I'm concerned, the funniest writer to ever live, and while The Unadulterated Cat flies far afield of the mythical Discworld universe, it is simply hilarious. You don't have to be a cat lover to enjoy it, but only the cat lover can appreciate the strong current of truth that runs throughout this wildly comical look at the world of our feline friends. The Campaign For Real Cats, Pratchett tells us, wants to celebrate the dwindling number of Real Cats in the world by helping people identify Real Cats among their modern, Unreal Cat compatriots. To this end, Pratchett goes about describing how to spot a Real Cat in any of its several variations, defines eleven types of cats such as your classic farm cat, boot-faced cat (as Real as they come), arch-villain's cat (always Unreal), and cartoon cats. He offers useful tips on naming cats, describes common illnesses such as impatient feet, gives tips on feeding and disciplining cats, describes common cat games, indulges in the theory of the Schrodinger, time-traveling cat, looks at the cat in history, and offers other insightful, highly comical ideas and theories on cat-ness in general. All of these subjects are examined, of course, from the point of the view of the cat. By far the funniest and most insightful section is devoted to the games cats play; the book's worth acquiring for this one section alone.

I should point out the fact that this is in no way a useful guide for current or potential cat-owners; this is rollicking comedy from first page to last. Given this point, there are still a number of astute observations that will make cat lovers smile and perhaps even guffaw, for the behaviors Pratchett expounds upon are quite familiar to those sharing their lives with feline friends.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A book for "real cat" lovers Sept. 21 2008
Format:Hardcover
I found this old Pratchett gem in a used bookstore and bought it without question, simply because I love Terry Pratchett as an author and I willing to buy his stuff sight unseen. I can understand how some people might find this book disappointing, because this is very early work and about as far from the Discworld as you can get.

That being said, I loved it. People looking for echoes of the Discworld won't find them, but people who are fans of James Herriott and Gerald Durrell and a certain type of English country writing will find this book follows in their footsteps. For me, it was like taking a step back into a pastoral England that may not even exist anymore. Also, this book was deeply appealing to me as a pet owner, who has been able to chronicle the misanthropic foibles of more than one benighted creature. What "Marley and Me" does for dogs, this book does for cats.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Big Disappointment Aug. 26 2008
Format:Hardcover
Let me say that I'm a big Terry Pratchett fan. I have all his books, and love them. Which is why I ordered The Unadulterated Cat sight-unseen.

I was only a few pages into it when I thought to myself, this doesn't feel like Terry Pratchett's writing. It's curiously flat. His other books give me the feeling that practically every sentence is well thought out, either advancing the plot, or showing some interesting aspect of someone's character, or giving us some (perhaps twisted, but valid) insight into how the world works. And yes, of course the humor.

But this doesn't feel that way to me at all. Yeah, there are a few truisms along the way. But precious few of them felt like they had any real depth. OK, we all know that cats stare at the refrigerator a lot. And he mentions that. Several times. And we know that cats will hide under beds, or in other out-of-the-way places. And scratch you if you try to get them out. But is any of this breaking news?

Another thing that's few and far between is the humor. Yes, there are Pratchett-lines occasionally. Very occasionally. For example, describing humans' evolutionary ancestors, they're described as "... little crouching shapes with hairy chests, no forehead and the intelligence of a gameshow audience."

To be honest (and undoubtedly quite unfair to Mr. Pratchett), it feels (not that I'm saying this is what happened, but it *feels*) like it's something he threw together one afternoon, without too much thought.

Another way of describing it is that I have problems shaking the feeling that someone else wrote this, then Terry Pratchett came in as a "script doctor" and punched it up with a few suggestions and some cute one-liners. Again, I'm not saying this happened.
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