Truth and lies about cats

cat's out of the bagI don’t profess to be an authority on cats, but I always thought I knew a fair amount. Then I had the opportunity to read Max Cryer’s book, The Cat’s Out of the Bag. This is a 191-page compendium of everything cat.

Did you know that:

  • 40 percent of cats are ambidextrous?
  • the average cat spends 30 percent of its time grooming itself and loses almost as much fluid through this behavior as it does through urine?
  • Florence Nightingale owned 17 cats at one time and more than 60 in her lifetime?
  • Isaac Newton is credited with inventing the cat door?
  • the white patch on the Turkish Van cat’s forehead is known as “The Thumbprint of Allah”?
  • Shakespeare refers to cats 42 times in his writings, but the cat is not mentioned even once in the Bible?

Have you ever wondered the origins of expressions you use every day, like “Has the cat got your tongue?” or “Curiosity killed the cat.”? Cryer tells how and when these and so many other expressions came into existence. He also discusses the myth of cats having nine lives as well as the nine emotions/behaviors of cats as identified by Jeffrey Masson.

If you live with cats or have even a smidgen of interest in cats, this is a must read. Find out the name of Elizabeth Taylor’s favorite cat, the origin of the game, Cat’s Cradle, and the word for “cat” in 34 other languages. Read poems and quotes about cats and find out where you can go to have your cat mummified.

This is all just a small sample of what you will find in The Cat’s Out of the Bag. Some of the chapters in Cryer’s book are: Idioms, Poetry, Bodies and Behavior, History and Cartoons. And the book is filled with drawings of cats as well.

The Cat’s Out of the Bag is available in paperback and as an e-book for Kindle and Nook.

Max Cryer

cat's out of the bagCryer is a writer, entertainer and broadcaster. He’s had a varied career, including schoolteacher, television host and cabaret performer. His books include: Who Said That FirstEvery Dog has His Day, Preposterous ProverbsLove Me Tender and others.


The Cat on My Head is giving away two copies of Cryer’s The Cat’s Out of the Bag. The giveaway is for U.S. residents only, but you may gift your book to someone in the U.S. should you win but live outside the U.S. Winners will be selected using To qualify for the drawing, leave a comment on this post prior to Friday, October 9, at 5 p.m.

Disclaimer: The Cat on My Head received one copy of The Cat’s Out of the Bag for the purpose of review. I was not told what to write. All opinions expressed here are mine alone.