cover image Pets and the City: True Tales of a Manhattan House Call Veterinarian

Pets and the City: True Tales of a Manhattan House Call Veterinarian

Amy Attas. Putnam, $30 (320p) ISBN 978-0-5937-1567-3

The rich and famous are just as obsessed with their pets as everyone else, according to this charming debut memoir from Attas, a veterinarian whose practice, City Pets, has been making house calls in New York City since 1992. Born in Queens, Attas was hired by an Upper East Side “Vet to the Stars” in 1987, but claims she was fired in a fit of jealousy after VIP client Joan Rivers specifically requested her services. Rivers went on to become a loyal supporter of Attas’s private practice, the client roster of which ballooned with celebrities. Chronicling her encounters with notable New Yorkers, Attas portrays them as by turns endearingly vulnerable and incomprehensibly weird: a bighearted but clueless Cher asks for a midnight appointment for a dog with a contagious case of mange that she’d found in Italy and flown all the way back to New York; an eye-contact avoidant Ivana Trump never takes Attas’s advice, and instead goes diagnosis shopping when she doesn’t like what she hears. Attas also recounts her mirror-opposite experiences with that other class of New Yorkers in need of house calls: the homebound and disabled (“I am pretty sure I was the only health care professional she had any contact with,” Attas writes of one such client). This bubbly tell-all has fascinating depths. (June)