Cover Image: Battle Cry of the Siamese Kitten

Battle Cry of the Siamese Kitten

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Battle Cry of the Siamese Kitten is the third book in this bestselling series by veterinarian Philipp Schott, where we meet the oddest creatures, from an escaped newt to a baby snow leopard, but the focus is on the dogs and cats that make up most of a pet vet's day as well as the wacky and wonderful people who bring them in. I enjoyed this series of anecdotes from the author who has worked as a vet for over 30 years. Many are humorous, some are sad, some gross and some informative but they are all interesting and it made me look at vets in a different way, seeing what these wonderful people do on behalf of our beloved pets. The book also highlights the difficulties the vet practice faced during the various COVID restrictions. Everyone was quick to complain about sitting in the parking lot while someone came out to collect their pet for treatment and sometimes even euthanasia, but reading this I was able to see how it affected the vets as well. Philipp Scott has an engaging and entertaining manner and I enjoyed his writing. I laughed, I cried, I was grossed out at times, but I enjoyed this book. It is reminiscent of James Herriot, in a modern, citified way. If you are an animal lover, a pet owner or just someone who wants to learn more about what it's really like to be a veterinarian, then I recommend you pick up Battle Cry of the Siamese Kitten. I will be looking for the other two books in this series.

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This book contains a series of anecdotes from the life of a Canadian veterinarian. I thoroughly enjoyed the book and the humor the author used. He talked about the various experiences with the various animals he came into contact within his vet practice. The story on the Siamese kitten was way too funny. This was one evil kitten, reminding me of my grandparents' Siamese cat.

The title was what had attracted me to this book. I inherited 2 Siamese kittens earlier this year. But the book talks about a wide variety of animals. I also loved how the author integrated animal facts into his stories.

Rating: 5 out of 5

This book was provided by NetGalley and ECW Press in exchange for a review.

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Thanks to Netgalley and ECW Press for the ARC of this!

I really enjoyed this next installment from Dr. Schott. Overall the stories are short and sweet and overwhelmingly funny and feel good, with a few more emotional ones sprinkled in. Great if you like animals, I’m going to suggest it to my non-fiction and animal loving kid as well.

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I loved this book. I totally judged this book by its cover when deciding to read it. Between the title and the fierce little kitten, I couldn’t resist, and I wasn’t disappointed. The book is little more than a series of anecdotes from a veterinarian with 30+ years in practice, and his stories range from humorous to heartbreaking. From determining how to ultrasound a fish, to dealing with dogs (and owners) who judge him throughout the examination, to wondering how to euthanize a pet when he knows it is likely the last pet the elderly owners will have, Schott’s anecdotes are real and easy to visualize. Any animal lover will surely enjoy this book.

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My thanks to ECW Press for a review copy of this book via NetGalley.

The Battle Cry of the Siamese Kitten (2022) is the third volume of memoirs/anecdotes by German-born, Canadian veterinary doctor and writer, Dr Philipp Schott (I have previously read and reviewed the second volume, How to Examine a Wolverine, as well as a work of detective fiction by the author, featuring of course a vet as the detective, Fifty-four Pigs, both of which I enjoyed very much).

Like his previous sets of memoirs, The Battle Cry of the Siamese Kitten too, contains 60 short pieces, this time not categorized in any way (by type of experience or kind of animal—arranged alphabetically by title instead) and covers a whole lot of ground. We have stories of specific patients, Dr Schott’s memories of his childhood, his own training, initial days in practice (including how he never ever got a job he interviewed for) and his absentmindedness, as well as some colleagues, besides also some general pieces (for instance, on bathing dogs—and thankfully not having to bathe cats; or doctors’ struggles to keep up with advances in medicine). Well aware that his work, though in a different vein, is bound to be compared to James Herriott, Dr Schott goes ahead and does so himself, including telling us how he never read Herriott until quite late in the day.

Being written during the pandemic, this is a theme that comes up every so often in the book, from pointing out how people’s reliance on pets increased during this time (so many more being acquired, and understandably so), to how pets (and animals more generally) continued to be just as they were, unperturbed by all that was happening and carried on purring and woofing as always, and also how veterinary practice itself changed during the time (only urgent cases allowed, and pet parents having to wait in the car while patients were fetched with some conversations between doctor and parents taking place in well-below freezing temperatures in the parking lot). Perhaps bearing this in mind Dr Schott chose to include mostly cheery episodes (which I for one was very glad about), although a few heart-breaking and melancholy ones do creep in as well.

Again, like in the previous volume, while most stories are of small animal practice (dogs and cats), we meet some unusual patients (as the equipment at their hospital is at times used to help out the zoo) including a snow leopard cub, and a pelican (the latter story painlessly teaching us something about ultrasounds and about pelicans). He even gets to ultrasound a tiny fish, another experience I’m sure not many have been through. And we also learn why he tries to stay far far away from parrots!

Some of my favourite stories in this volume included Scott, a Labrador Collie mix who was suddenly unable to walk or stand very well with a very surprising reason behind it (I won’t spoil it for you by telling you what), or Dr Scott’s experience bringing his one of own cats, Lucy in for a check up when she developed some trouble (as much a struggle as any of us ‘ordinary’ pet parents face). And also an entertaining ‘conversation’ between Dr Schott and one of his patients during the pandemic (for parents had to wait outside). And how can I not talk about the Siamese kitten of the title, ‘Supercat’ who not only had an extraordinarily loud caterwaul (as though he was being ‘dumped into bubbling lava’), but also a lunge apparently like ‘Rocky Balboa going at the punching bag with the video sped up ten times’—wouldn’t want to be in his path!

Written in a humorous style that I very much enjoyed, this collection once again gives us a mix of entertainment, fun, heart-warming moments and lots of lovable animals but also puts across at the same time, plenty of useful information and trivia, and raises issues that are socially relevant (like the need for support for the elderly to be able to continue to have pets who can provide much needed company and comfort at their stage of life).

With wonderful illustrations by Brian Gable to complement many of the pieces, this is a book that any animal lover would enjoy, whether read spread out or all together!

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The Battle Cry of the Siamese Kitten is the third collection of stories by Dr. Philipp Schott from his 30 years in practice as a small animal practice veterinarian. Released 11th Oct 2022 by ECW Press, it's 282 pages and is available in paperback, audio, and ebook formats. 

This is a warm and entertainingly written collection of stories gathered over a long and full career of service to his patients and their humans. He's a gifted writer and the stories are told with wit and compassion (and occasionally a little eye-rolling exasperation). The stories are arranged alphabetically by the author's admittedly eccentric chapter names (Thud, Scrumpy, and Emotional Slot Machine to give a few examples). 

My family had a tradition of reading short, well-loved, stories to one another after traditional "family" meals such as Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year's. This book, and its predecessors, would be ideal candidates for those situations. Inevitable comparisons will be made with Herriot's classics. They're not at all derivative, obviously, but fans of the latter will find much to love here.

Classic and humorous, this would be a good choice for holiday gift giving, public library acquisition, and home use. For reading out loud, readers should be aware the book contains some mild cursing (sh*t and d*mn a couple times, nothing worse).

Four and a half stars. 

Disclosure: I received an ARC at no cost from the author/publisher for review purposes.

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Battle Cry of the Siamese Kitten

by Philipp Schott, DVM

I had a delightful journey through a series of tales, compared by the author to snacks, in Philipp Schott’s latest book Battle Cry of the Siamese Kitten. It is his third book of this type. It includes animal stories, vet stories, and client stories along with memories dredged up from his unusual childhood as a German immigrant. We gain insight into how he thinks and how he relates to others. There is a lot of humor in the book, and Schott doesn’t shy away from laughing at himself. He has a great way with words that lets the reader experience the animal encounters whether they be disgusting and smelly, bloodletting, or laugh out loud funny. The second tale about a two pound “gorgeous fluffy kitten who channels Satan” will ensure that you are fully engaged as this tiny, very loud, little guy “starfished himself across the entrance” to the kennel looking for a “decisive victory.”

Philipp Schott draws on over 30 years of experience with animals. He is the kind of vet you would want for your own pets—caring, hardworking, kind, intelligent, and honest. Unless you live in Winnipeg, Manitoba, you are unlikely to meet him. He lives there with his family and four animals who admittedly receive people food from time to time as treats. Although she did not contribute to this book, his wife is also a veterinarian and probably a very patient person.

I received a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.

Rating: 5/5

Category: Memoir, Nonfiction

Notes: The more I read, the more I liked what I was reading and even went back to read a few tales again for pure pleasure.

Publication: October 11, 2022—ECW Press

Memorable Lines:

Supercat put his ears back flat and stared at me with an intensity that signaled a level of hatred two steps beyond loathing.

I am not easily bored, but this was an exception. Flies fell asleep in that class.

Have you ever noticed this? The happiest dogs are the ones carrying sticks. And if the sight of a happy dog carrying a stick doesn’t gladden your heart, then what are you doing with this book in your hands?

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Phillipp Scott is a veterinarian in Winnipeg, Manitoba, who, in addition to being a very good vet, is also a very good writer. This book is his third, and the stories he tells are engaging. I will definitely look for his earlier books.

That said, he’s a bit long-winded, and his attempt to tell these tales (tales?!) in alphabetical order is an affectation I found unnecessary and I thought the book could have been about 30-50 pages shorter. Nevertheless, I like his style and the insight into a working veterinarian and his patients ( animals and their humans) gives the reader an idea of what goes on in a veterinary practice and in the mind of the veterinarian himself. I also liked the anecdotes about his education and various animal-related jobs before he started his practice.

I received this book as an ARC from NetGalley and the publisher.

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This is a thoroughly delightful book of anecdotes from a Canadian vet's life and practice. In it, we meet all kinds of animals, both domestic and exotic. Mixed in with the stories is plenty of good advice about our own pets and lots of biology too.

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This was a brilliant book packed full of very interesting tales from the authors veterinary practice in Canada. I just couldn't put it down and had to read it in one sitting. I was definitely laughing at some of these stories. It is a real roller coaster ride of successes and failures. It does have a couple of sad stories so be prepared. The author wrote this book so well and it flowed perfectly. It was such I joy to read and I was so happy I found this book. I was actually gutted when it ended I could of read this authors stories forever. I am gutted that I missed the other books to read and review especially not having a budget for books. This is the authors 5th and if this one is anything to got by then the rest would have the same rating im sure. I especially loved the story from the authors student days and the story that gave this book its name. I also have to say how much I loved the cover. I can't recommend this book enough. If your loved vet stories or animal stories they you really should read this book.

Only the highest of praise goes out to the author and publishers for bringing us this fantastic collection of stories that I loved so much.

The above review has already been placed on goodreads, waterstones, Google books, Barnes&noble, kobo, amazon UK where found and my blog either under my name or ladyreading365

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Princess Fuzzypants here: Animal lovers and animals will get a kick out of the anecdotes that are shared in this book. From his days in veterinary school to thirty years in practice, the book is filled with heartwarming stories that are often funny. Some are filled with pathos. I guess that is the lot of a vet. It certainly gives us, the ones the vets treat, a new perspective.

Like James Herriot before him, many of the stories are self deprecating. Being a vet can be a very mucky business. Very mucky indeed. It would impossible to be an expert in all animals and all conditions but the family vet is faced with a myriad of situations that they must do their best to diagnose and, if possible, cure. I would think laughter is the only way to ease some of the sadness when their skills cannot turn things around. I liked the humility that is shown because we often think the vet should be all and know all. And the reality is they are only human.

It is a quick and easy read that can be done in small chunks or all at once. Four purrs and two paws up.

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Ever since reading All Creatures Great and Small many years ago, I've been hooked on veterinary stories, some good, some bad. This series is great, I'd rank it with my favorite James Herriot anyday. Guarantee to bring a few tears and alot of smiles, give yourself a treat and read Battle Cry of the Siamese Kitten. The title and cover are enough to make you want to read this book.

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Just finished The Battle Cry of the Siamese Kitten, my 2nd book by this author. First off thank you to @netgalley the author and @ecwpress for the eARC in exchange for an honest review.

I really love Dr. Schott’s short stories. They always cover a range of things experiences, some are sad (who ever wants to hear about an animal that has to be put down) to happy endings and some funny stories too.

I love he passes on bits of knowledge to the reads too like xylitol is deadly to dogs (which I recently learned while researching some formulas for my work).

One of my favourite stories from this one was about his disappearing Mr. Newt. Although his story didn’t have a happy ending, it reminded me of my last year in high school which is when I first got my Mr. Nigel E. Newt (who is still alive btw). I went to clean his tank after school and left my brother Matt to watch him while he was in a small open container on the coffee table. Matt fell asleep on the couch and Nigel took full advantage. He was missing when I came back and my dad heard me scream and came running. We slowly moved the pillows and cushions and found him under the couch trying to make a break for the vent. Luckily he was unharmed and just wearing a bit of a cat hair sweater. Nigel is now getting close to 20 years old and has never been given the opportunity to make another break for it.


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This is the third book to follow the author who is a practicing veterinarian in Winnipeg Canada. He has been in practice for over thirty years. Who happens to also be an expert in administering ultrasounds and he has performed them on a wide array of animals. If you have not read the previous two books it is alright as each story is an individual story about a case or a moment in Vet school. Some of these stories may make you smile and laugh with an occasional that will pull on your heartstrings. Don't worry there not too many disgusting or gross stories. I did find it funny that someone so adverse to dissections in high school and college would become a successful Vet. You will learn that the Doctor who has treated many different types of creatures he is not a fan of one and this one he will not treat. There are even a few lessons to learn along the way the importance of getting your pets examined, that you cannot always judge a person by looks on how caring they will be for their pets, and the real reason that pregnant women should stay away from cat boxes. There is a great chapter where he described how a visit would go with one of his clients if he had the ability to be like Dr. Doolittle. Last but not least can you imagine having to force feed a rabbit? Read this book and you will see what i mean. Like i said previously you do not have to read the other two books first to read this one, but I would definitely recommend that you read them all at some point as they are all three a good read.

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In my continuing efforts to read a greater variety of books I picked this one purely based on the title and the adorable cover. I didn’t read the blurb. I had a Siamese cat for 15 years (Lily) she was quite the character!

This is not fiction, rather a series of anecdotes from the author who has worked as a vet for over 30 years. Many are humorous, some are sad, some gross and some informative but they are all interesting and give you
a great insight into what these wonderful people do on behalf of our beloved pets. The book also highlights the difficulties the vet practice faced during the various COVID restrictions.

I enjoyed this little excursion into a different world and applaud the work that vets and all their staff do under difficult circumstances. The author writes in a very engaging manner and I had a few laugh out loud moments where I had to read excerpts to my husband. On behalf of all pet owners - thank you vets! Many thanks to Netgalley and ECW Press for the much appreciated arc which I reviewed voluntarily and honestly.

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Thank you Netgalley and ECW Press for access to this arc.

Arranged in little alphabetical snacks, the book can be delved into anywhere. It can be read from back to front or the standard front to back. Readers can sit down and buzz through half of it in a go (as I did over two days) or dip into it when the mood strikes or time allows. Once again we see the vets, staff, clients, and pets who make up the “Birchwood Animal Hospital. For the love of animals since 1959.” It’s funny, it’s touching, it’s sad, and heartwarming all at the same time. There are delightful stories, gross stories (well, it is a profession with patients who truly don’t care what they do and where they go – my cats don’t differentiate between coughing up a hairball on the hardwood floor or one of my Persian rugs).

I learned all kinds of new things including some nifty words to try in my next Scrabble game, that pelicans don’t weigh more than a housecat, how to ultrasound a fish, not to stand behind one of the big cats (well, actually this was a reminder as a friend of mine went to a large cat sanctuary and the staff warned them), and that mink stink. Yes, I giggled over the rhyme. I would also immediately agree to help treat a baby snow leopard and want to hug a cria. For older people afraid to take on a young pet for fear of outliving it, lots of senior dogs and cats are in need of new homes.

I hope my vets (love my vets and their staff!) would count me among the 98% of pet owners they enjoy seeing. Thanks for continuing to see your patients through Covid even while standing in the parking lot during a Winnipeg winter. And having grown up with Siamese, I know the sound of their battle cries. B+

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Philipp Schott is a Canadian veterinarian, and he’s very funny. This meaty compendium of essays runs the gamut, and the overall effect is a calming one, like the fish tank in your doctor’s waiting room, but more entertaining. My thanks go to Net Galley and ECW Press for the review copy. This book is for sale now.

I came to Dr. Schott’s work through the back door, so to speak. A friend on social media recommended a mystery he wrote, Fifty-Four Pigs. While I was requesting the galley for that one, I saw that this was also available, so I put in for it as well. I am glad I did, because while the mystery is pretty good, this little gem is even better.

I have never said this before without intending it as an insult, but I do so now: this book is great for insomnia. Here’s what I mean. I’m tossing and turning and after half an hour of that, studies suggest that one must give the battle up and go do something for a bit in order to reboot the brain. When we cannot sleep, it eventually upsets us, and when we are upset, it’s even harder to get to sleep.

When I am sleepless, I am too groggy to do much. I’ve had a sleeping pill, and my motor skills make me unfit to clean house or do anything else that is useful. Once my eyes are able to focus on text, reading is the obvious activity to breach the difficult night hours, but I cannot be certain I’ll remember what I’ve read the next day, and I’m not with it enough to take in complex literature or nonfiction. Thrillers are completely out; they’ll wake me up further, once I’m coherent enough to understand what I am reading.

When all is said and done, short stories or collections of essays, are the best, and Dr. Schott’s are particularly congenial. Each is engaging; a few are tear-jerkers, and while some are persuasive or informational, most are humorous. Although Dr. Schott’s practice is almost entirely there for house pets that are mammals—so, cats and dogs—he has a handful of essays describing cases where he has gone far afield. The zoo wants an ultrasound of that pregnant snow leopard? He’s on it! Beluga whales? YES!

There’s one in which he waxes eloquent about the healing bond that occurs between the very elderly, particularly those in assisted living facilities, and elderly cats and dogs, and he decries the way most such facilities exclude pets; he advocates for a large scale effort to remedy this, including volunteer corps to assist with the extra labor that including these beloved beasties creates. He makes a strong case.

Funniest of all, however, is the title piece, in which he and his wife attempt to take their own cat to the office for shots and whatnot:

I don’t think we veterinarians appreciate how difficult it is to bring some cats to the clinic. Dogs are more easily fooled, only catching on once they get to the clinic door, but it is the rare cat who cheerfully saunters into their carrier, purring in euphoric anticipation of the double joy of a car ride AND a veterinary visit…
“Lucy, look! Extra treats today! And that special catnip mouse! Don’t you want to go in? Her facial expression was clear: ‘How dumb do you think I am?’… Play our cards wrong, and she could bolt for the cat sanctuary above the basement ceiling tiles. The cats think of it as their secret rebel base; we know where it is, but we still can’t get them out of there.

The pandemic has inspired countless previously petless households to seek out four-pawed companionship, and so, during the period when many businesses have suffered from a lack of customers, Dr. Schott has been even busier than usual. It’s lucky for us that he’s found the time to sit down and write these agreeable essays. In addition to aiding the sleepless, it’s a fine addition to a guest room or yes, the bathroom, because each entry is fairly brief, and the reader can be assured that they’ll have time to finish what they’ve started. Regarding the book, I mean.

Highly recommended.

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This is veterinarian Dr. Philipp Schott’s third collection of short stories, but the first of his books that I have read. The author shares personal stories, anecdotes about his 30 years of veterinary practice, and short essays to help the reader better understand animal care. The stories are organized somewhat randomly in alphabetical order by title, and include stories about cats, dogs, birds, and various other animals.

Many of the stories were humorous, some were sad, and many were informative. Dr. Schott has some strong opinions, but he tries to share his stories with empathy and compassion for both people and pets. Animal lovers and those curious about the veterinary profession will probably appreciate this.

Thanks to ECW Press for providing me with an unproofed ARC through NetGalley, which I volunteered to review.

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The Battle Cry of the Siamese Kitten is the third non-fiction book by Canadian veterinarian and author, Philipp Schott. Another catchy title and cover picture make it clear that this is a book by a vet about animals and, of course, their owners. It consists of sixty essays in roughly alphabetical order with intriguing titles like: Does Your Cat Smoke, Parratosaurus, Pelican Surprise, Screaming Beagles and The Song of the Guinea Pig.

The topics are quite varied. Schott covers many aspects of veterinary practice including what running a clinic during the COVID pandemic entails (like parking lot medicine in -20C). He tells the reader what an odd child he was and describes how the first dog that was his actually lived on another continent. He pays homage to a late colleague who didn’t hesitate to muck in for the dirty jobs: there’s lots of gore and gross stuff in vet practice.

The text is enhanced with amusing illustrations by Brian Gable and Schott manages to include a great deal of information in easily-assimilated form, as well as lots of good advice. There’s plenty of humour, but also a good helping of interesting trivia.

His anecdotes, most (but not all) of which have happy endings, demonstrate: the importance of checking the client’s understanding of what will be done; that not all kittens are nervous at the vet’s (some, like the eponymous Siamese kitten, are ANGRY); how challenging it can be to bring the cat to the clinic; and that clients’ care for their pets can’t always be judged by attitude or appearance, admitting “I had been taught this lesson several times before, but apparently I’m not done learning it yet.”

He puzzles over the steep rise in puppy ownership with the pandemic and theorises that “it’s also because it is therapeutic to engage with a living being that is so blithely oblivious to the human news cycle and the traumas our species inflicts on itself.”

He compares the role of veterinarians and car mechanics: regular checks and maintenance benefit both pets and cars; he notes the rise in popularity of pet rabbit ownership, as gauged by pet-cams; he notes the increasingly complex nature of veterinary medicine requiring the proliferation of “ologists” with an associated rise in costs; he compares country vs city practice; and acknowledges the potential to slide into quackery.

Schott talks about: Eccentric Cat Ladies (not all are crazy and some perform a valuable service); territory, cats fighting and injuries sustained; cats who dream excessively; the reasons pets lick wounds; why some rats love cats; how often to bathe your dog (hardly ever); and he gives a formula for dog (and cat) years.

He describes: how he overcame a childhood dread of dead things; how young Philipp Schott learned to be a vet in practice with real people; how gratifying it is to give a client good news; how a day at the clinic can be like an emotional slot machine; and how thrilling it is to ultrasound a snow leopard cub.

Schott freely admits to errors: after all, no one is infallible. He describes how he mistook a hairball cough for asthma and “For those of you keeping count of how many medical errors I have confessed to in my stories over the years, I’m going to ask you to please not be alarmed. I’m a dab hand at self-criticism and even then, I don’t think my number of mistakes is above average. It’s just that stories of mishaps are much more entertaining than stories of successes.”

His imagined conversation with a dog is very amusing. He answers the question “Can you perform an ultrasound on a fish?” Ditto, a pelican. He admits to zero expertise with amphibians, and lacking both the knowledge and the courage to treat parrots (and why). Many veterinary mysteries require thinking laterally, especially when eg dealing with a drunken dog.

Even when he mounts his soapbox on something about which he feels strongly, such as vaccine skeptics, mismatched dogs and owners, dog training, or the importance for pets in the elderly, he’s never preachy; rather his explanations are redolent with expertise and common sense. The tone is conversational and this makes the book very readable. You don’t have to be a pet owner to enjoy this informative, entertaining, often moving and frequently hilarious book.
This unbiased review is from an uncorrected proof copy provided by NetGalley and ECW Press.

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Veterinary anecdote compilations have been a life long favorite of mine, since discovering James Herriott in my youth. Phillipp Scott’s latest collection of work memories, The Battle Cry of the Siamese Kitten, has plenty more fun animal versus human situations. Dr. Schott is a veterinarian in Canada who gives us insight into building his vet practice, dealing with different client personalities and pet sicknesses. These stories are pretty light fare, with some laughable moments. The doctor also adds in a bit of explanation when describing a rarely used procedure or illness. I suggest this great genre especially for reading before bed, short chapters that usually are individual tales that don’t depend on remembering the pages that came prior. I can say I enjoy all of this author’s styles, as he also has a (somewhat) cozy mystery series that just started about a veterinarian who solves crimes. Keep it up Dr. Schott!

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