In this inventive, surprisingly funny, and highly entertaining and practical book, Mac Delaney addresses the quirks of cat behavior through the mindset of an aerospace engineer (because that's what he is )--and gives us 10 projects that solve the most common sources of friction affecting cats and their doting owners.
Take that preference for running water. Because cats don't trust still water (in the wild, a stagnant pool can harbor disease), they're often dehydrated and cranky. Here's how to build not one but two different fountains that will provide fresh, moving water. Or another problem: Cats, diminutive in stature, can feel inferior around humans, causing them to act out in negative ways. The solution: Erect a cat shelf on your wall, giving your pet a prime perch and a height advantage. And that furniture scratching problem? Construct the Cat Cave--it has angled surfaces for optimal scratching, a curved top for ergonomic lounging, a carpeted interior for perfect napping, and an escape route out back for emergency exits.
For any cat lover with a modicum of DIY skills, here's a whole new approach to living happily ever after with your pet(s).
Lifestyles: The fancy feline home
Live with a cat? Rejigger your home environment to make kitty as content as possible with Engineering for Cats: Better the Life of Your Pet with 10 Cat-Approved Projects. Author, aerospace engineer and cat dad Mac Delaney applies his expertise to the book’s 10 DIY projects, each a response to a common problem such as, “Cats enjoy destroying your upholstered belongings.” I adore the geeky, good-natured humor with which this book is written. In his how-to for building a scratching post, Delaney writes, “I know I said before that I am no expert in aesthetics, but the tan shag carpet that comes on almost every store-bought scratching post is atrocious.” This book is clever, but it is also a totally usable guide to feline-friendly home props. If you’re planning on opening a kitty café—a trend on the rise!—you need to pick up a de-shedding brush and a copy of this book.
CHEERS TO YOUR HEALTH
In Clean + Dirty Drinking: 100+ Recipes for Making Delicious Elixirs, With or Without Booze, California mixologist Gabriella Mlynarczyk does something that seems borderline revolutionary: She includes both a boozy and booze-free version of each featured cocktail recipe. These spectacular drinks incorporate Mlynarczyk’s various consommés, shrubs, syrups, foams and infusions, such as a rhubarb Pimm’s. On the slightly simpler side, I love her recipe for Old Fashioned Stock Ice Cubes. (How about watermelon, mint and basil on a hot summer day?) This is not a book for the timid or lazy home-drinker—rather, it’s an inventive, thorough, extreme sports-style guide to the art of the modern cocktail.
TOP PICK IN LIFESTYLES
Move over, hygge. Now there’s something . . . drunker? From another Nordic country comes another strategy for happier, healthier living, only this one swaps candles for cocktails—or your booze of choice—consumed in your skivvies. The Finnish concept of kalsarikänni—chilling at home while drinking in your underwear—is explored in Miska Rantanen’s Pantsdrunk, which heralds said pastime as an “authentic, total, and true relaxation.” Pantsdrunk is “the antithesis of posing, performing, or pretense: one does not post atmospheric images on Instagram while pantsdrunk.” I admit: I was certain this book, this very idea, was nothing but a killer spoof. Then I did a little internet digging—pantsless, of course, with an Aperol spritz at the ready. Apparently, pantsdrunk is legit in the eyes of the Finnish Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Rantanen goes all out on the subject with “preferred nibbles when pantsdrunk” (prosciutto!), a “Social Media + Pantsdrunk Hierarchy of Needs” and, my personal favorite, “The Top 100 Excuses for Pantsdrunk.” (Number 15: “I’ve never been this old before.”) If there were ever a book desperately needed during a particular cultural moment, it is Pantsdrunk.