cover image The Tribe of Tiger: Cats and Their Culture

The Tribe of Tiger: Cats and Their Culture

Elizabeth Marshall Thomas / Author Simon & Schuster $19.5 (240

This latest animal book from the author of The Hidden Life of Dogs will have ailurophiles purring. If she were a captive tiger, Thomas tells us that she'd prefer to be in a circus rather than a zoo--the big top is more stimulating. She compares the quality of life for captive animals in zoos and circuses, introduces circus tigers and their trainers and visits a tiger training school in northern Illinois. Thomas begins by defining cats as meat-eaters, all, then examines cat culture as it evolved to the present time. We meet Ruby, a domesticated puma, and several generations of barn and house cats. Thomas relates an astonishing tale about Bushmen and a pride of lions in the Kalahari Desert. But the most enthralling of her subjects in this thoroughly captivating book proves to be the tiger. Illustrations. 225,000 first printing; first serial to Atlantic Monthly; author tour. (Aug.)