This book examines the social world of the cat fancy, or the leisure activity of breeding and exhibiting pedigree cats. Based on multispecies ethnographic fieldwork and interviews in the United Kingdom, it explores the process and performance of exhibiting cats at shows, the breeding practices and discourses integral to the creation of pedigree breeds, and the relations that these practices generate between human guardians, the pedigree cat population, and non-pedigree cats. Through observation with cat fanciers and their interactions with their cats, the author investigates the social dynamics and relationships that form within the fancy, considering the interconnections between biopower and eugenics in pedigree breeding, the practices of pet keeping and the complexities of more-than-human care, and the implications of involvement for the cats themselves. As such, Cat People: Human–Cat Interrelatedness in the Cat Fancy will appeal to scholars from across the social sciences and humanities interested in human–animal interactions, multispecies leisure, anthrozoology, and more-than-human care.
Table of Contents
1. From Mouser to the Catwalk: The Journey of the Domestic Cat 2. On the Catwalk: Champion Cats 3. Learning to Look at Cats: Enskilment, Aesthetics and Feline Agency 4. Shaping Cats: Breeding, Eugenics and Biopower 5. Cat Fancy Sociality: The Serious Leisure of Exhibiting Cats 6. Love is Complicated: Cat Care Compromises and Relational Entanglements with Harm 7. A Dying Breed: The Perceived Decline of the Cat Fancy 8. Conclusions: The Co-Becoming of Cat People
Emily Stone is a Postdoctoral Research Associate with the Exeter Anthrozoology as Symbiotic Ethics (EASE) Working Group at the University of Exeter, UK.