Nothing like a little serious fun once in a while, no? Or, rather, I should say, in French, n’est-ce pas? That’s because I just fell in love with the most seriously cuddly book about cats posing, or simply caught mid-yowl, in some of France’s most beautiful spots, which means, some of the world’s most beautiful spots. (Needless to say, I am a Francophile.)
The French Cat, by photographer Rachael Hale, who just happens to be one of the world’s most successful animal photographers, is full of elegant, sweet, sunning, stretching, snobbing and snarling and smiling cats–perched on velvet chaises, playing in topiary, examining rivers, eyeing wrought iron bird cages. Cats are wonderfully charismatic, whatever they are doing. I haven’t had a cat in years, since I found the beloved white Balthazar with opposable thumbs, a tiny kitten curled in a shoe in my dorm room closet, where he suckled off a sweater lying on the floor (okay, I was a messy college student, I admit it.) Love at first sight.
Rachel is a new mom, and this book is also the story of her new life in France with her husband and baby. What does all this have to do with air pollution, you ask? Lest you think I can find trouble underneath every silver lining, let me assure you I’m not making this up. I want to alert you to a condition called feline asthma. This is serious. Air pollution triggers asthma–and other respiratory ailments–in cats, just as it does in children, and grown ups.
Any mom who has taught children how to raise and cherish a pet knows how fully a family gives its heart to its cats–and dogs, guinea pigs, lizards, toads, you name it. When the pet falls ill, the children suffer too; just as moms do, when their children are ill.
Air pollution is bad for all living creatures; it harms children disproportionately, damaging their lungs, hearts, and brains. So join me and thousands of moms and dads, in using our hearts, lungs and brains–and shouting out support for the Clean Air Act. Cats around the world will thank us, too. BRAVO! MERCI! PURRRR….
Photos: The French Cat