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The Owl Who Liked Sitting on Caesar : Living With a Tawny Owl
by Martin Windrow and Christa Hook


Overview -

The story of an odd couple-a British military historian and the Tawny Owl with whom he lived for fifteen years
Martin Windrow was a war historian with little experience with pets when he adopted an owl the size of a corncob. Adorable but with knife-sharp talons, Mumble became Windrow's closest, if at times unpredictable, companion, first in a South London flat and later in the more owl-friendly Sussex countryside.  Read more...


 
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More About The Owl Who Liked Sitting on Caesar by Martin Windrow; Christa Hook
 
 
 
Overview

The story of an odd couple-a British military historian and the Tawny Owl with whom he lived for fifteen years
Martin Windrow was a war historian with little experience with pets when he adopted an owl the size of a corncob. Adorable but with knife-sharp talons, Mumble became Windrow's closest, if at times unpredictable, companion, first in a South London flat and later in the more owl-friendly Sussex countryside. In "The Owl Who Liked Sitting on Caesar," Windrow recalls with wry humor their finer moments as well as the reactions of incredulous neighbors, the awkwardness of buying Mumble unskinned rabbit at Harrods Food Hall, and the grievous sense of loss when Mumble nearly escapes.
As Windrow writes: "Mumble was so much a part of my life in those days that the oddity of our relationship seldom occurred to me, and I only thought about it when faced with other people's astonishment. When new acquaintances learned that they were talking to a book editor who shared a seventh-floor flat in a South London tower block with a Tawny Owl, some tended to edge away, rather thoughtfully . . . I tried to answer patiently, but I found it hard to come up with a short reply to the direct question 'Yes, but . . . "why?"'; my best answer was simply 'Why not?'"
Windrow offers a poignant and unforgettable reminiscence of his charmed years with his improbable pet, as well as an unexpected education in the paleontology, zoology, and sociology of owls.

 
Details
  • ISBN-13: 9780374228460
  • ISBN-10: 0374228469
  • Publisher: Farrar Straus & Giroux
  • Publish Date: June 2014
  • Page Count: 302
  • Dimensions: 1 x 5.25 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 0.8 pounds


Related Categories

Books > Biography & Autobiography > Personal Memoirs
Books > Pets > Essays
Books > Science > Life Sciences - Zoology - Ornithology

 
Publishers Weekly Reviews

Publishers Weekly® Reviews

  • Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
  • Review Date: 2014-03-17
  • Reviewer: Staff

Historian Windrow (The French Foreign Legion) reminisces on 16 years living with “Mumble,” his pet tawny owl, and provides a scientific and historical background on the charming creatures. He covers the basic necessities of owl ownership: explaining building her enclosure, complete with “Double-Reciprocating Owl Valve”; diet; and dealing with “a fair amount of owl crap.”Drawing from diary entries, Windrow tracks Mumble’s developments like changes in calls and flight skills and the turmoil of molting season. Described as a “cat with wings,” Mumble has her flaws, including “unquenchable lust” for shoelaces, aggressive behavior with guests, and bringing “certain death to houseplants.” Windrow gives an anatomy lesson and outlines the tawny’s life in the wild—a harrowing battle for territory and prey that results in short life expectancy—as well as their nesting and fledgling process. In amusing anecdotes, Windrow recalls luring Mumble back inside in the middle of the night after an escape and later her disgruntled reaction to a wild suitor outside the apartment. While Windrow might have benefited from greater concision, this is a heartfelt and heartbreaking testament to humans’ love for their animal companions and the ways they enrich our lives. Photos and illus. Agent: Ian Drury, Sheil Land Associates. (June)

 
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