The Secrets of Lost Cats: One Woman, 20 Posters and a New Understanding of Love

When therapist Nancy Davidson's beloved cat, Zak, went missing, she placed posters in her neighborhood; after many anxiety-filled days, cat and owner were happily reunited. During her search, however, Davidson developed an acute awareness of other lost cat posters, which seemed to be everywhere. Then, as she recounts in The Secrets of Lost Cats, she began more than seven years of research into the stories connected to these cries for help.

If a poster contained emotional phrases or descriptions such as "afraid of loud noises," she learned, the cat's owner was probably female. Male cat owners tended to fill their posters with declarative statements: Missing! Reward! Call! Furthermore, "in my role as cat sleuth," she writes, "I was learning that when you talk to people about their animals, they'll often reveal personal and profound statements about their life." Davidson was fascinated by the stories of the owners; she writes with sensitivity and respect about the roles cats and their human companions play with each other and the extent to which a person would go to get their beloved feline back--including breaking and entering and hiring psychics and pet detectives.

Some cats were found, others returned on their own--and some never came back, leaving owners depressed and guilty. But the overall feelings Davidson sensed were ones of love and compassion, and these threads run strong throughout The Secrets of Lost Cats. --Lee E. Cart, freelance writer and book reviewer

Powered by: Xtenit