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Culture Corner

Scribblings and Screenings for the Animal Set

Feral Education

TNR advocates will want to get their paws on the second edition of The Neighborhood Cats TNR Handbook: A Guide to Trap-Neuter-Return for the Feral Cat Caretaker. The award-winning first edition, published in 2004, has been an indispensable resource for countless caretakers. Like its predecessor, the new edition presents the topic of feral cats and TNR in an easy-to-read format with detailed how-to photographs—particularly helpful to novice caretakers. Also included is information about advances in the field, such as the first commercially available box trap created specifically for TNR of feral cats, and the first mass-marketed drop trap, now collapsible, all designed by Neighborhood Cats. There are also trapper tips, an updated resource section, and more, along with beautiful photos of feral cats provided by caretakers in New York City. The hands-on expertise of Neighborhood Cats’ staff, as well as the group’s involvement with caretakers around the world, makes this the most comprehensive and up-to-the-minute resource for educating caretakers on all aspects of colony management. Read or download the book for free at

Greener Pastures

While their reason for existence is troubling—the increased abandonment and abuse of equines—horse sanctuaries can be beautiful places of healing. That beauty is captured magnificently in Horse Sanctuary, a coffee table book of Karen Tweedy-Holmes’ stunning photography of some of the animals at equine sanctuaries around the country, from Ojai, Calif., to the comically named Save Your Ass Long Ear Rescue in New Hampshire. Some of the horses have experienced awful things, but as author Allison Milionis writes, “If we had allowed ourselves to focus solely on the horrors we learned about, this book would not exist. Instead we adopted the attitude shared by many of the rescuers we met—concern for the animal’s present and future rather than its painful past.” That focus comes through beautifully in the scores of photographs of rescued horses who’ve found greener fields and happier pastures. Milionis tells the unique story of each sanctuary she and Tweedy-Holmes visit, providing a broad national picture of the groups working to save these animals.

A Mystery with Collar and Tags

"This book is dedicated to all the pets out there who need good and loving homes, particularly those who are older or who have special needs.” So writes Linda Johnston in the dedication to Hounds Abound, a clever whodunit with a rescue twist. While protagonist Lauren Vancouver doggedly investigates a murder in her San Fernando Valley community, the gutsy shelter director confronts animal abusers, combats a potential parvovirus outbreak, and works to keep a dog and cat sanctuary from closing its doors. (In the first two installments in Johnston’s Pet Rescue Mystery series, Vancouver tackled puppy mills and animal hoarding.) Hounds Abound is one of six fiction paperbacks featured in Penguin Group USA’s Read Humane initiative (details at, which supports The HSUS Animal Rescue Team’s real-life work. Along with Johnston, authors Miranda James, Leann Sweeney, Judi McCoy, Jill Shalvis, and Ali Brandon dish up engaging mysteries and romances in which pets play prominent roles.

Being and Nothingness

Cats have taken over the Internet—that’s no secret—but has there ever been a feline who could care less about his popular appeal, and, in fact, disdains it? Meet Henri, the YouTube sensation whose faux French film noir videos, (spoken entirely in French, with subtitles), accompanied by the sad tinkling of a piano, document his disaffected experiences with “Le Vet,” and other routine, yet insufferable, indignities of this tuxedo cat’s life. Now Henri shares his unedited thoughts with admirers (whom he no doubt views as morons), in Henri, le Chat Noir—The Existential Musings of an Angst-Filled Cat. The book pairs black-and-white photos of Henri with stark captions that express his deep disillusionment with the pointless, conventional pursuits (toys, sunning, sitting in boxes) that seem to bring such joy to most simple-minded cats—particularly one of his fellow kitty housemates, “the white imbecile.” Nor does he understand his human caretakers. “They curse the fur on the bed, but what is shedding if not a reminder of my own spiritual evanescence? It is my soul they vacuum up,” he notes. The book, like Henri’s YouTube videos, is credited to his human, William Braden (“the thieving Filmmaker”), a videographer from Seattle. Henri won the Golden Cat Award in 2012, the top prize at the Internet Cat Video Film Festival at the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis. Not that he would care. “My thumbs are not opposable, yet I oppose everything,” Henri declares.

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